At the end of a commencement speech given at Connecticut College in 1980, Alan Alda said, “At times you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing, but what you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”
I like the city of comfort. It’s familiar, somewhat structured, fairly reasonable, and yet, at times, frustrating. Possibly, the frustration lies within the walls of the city, built by the hands of convenience and formed by the expectation of others. Perhaps, we find ourselves one day standing at those walls and looking over into the endless fields of possibilities, the forests of should haves, and the oceans of mysteries. Fear keeps us behind those walls. Self-doubt convinces us to stop peering over those walls. But, what if one day our intuition draws us to the top of the wall, to sit and contemplate, to urge us to dream, to dare us to leave those confines of comfort.
My intuition tells me there is change on my horizon. I don’t know what it is, just that it is coming. It could be great or it could be small, but my inner Natalie is telling me to prepare. While I do not sense danger or tragedy, I am still a little fearful because change is always daunting. And, while I feel change is approaching, I also know I will have to meet change halfway by leaving these walls I so readily constructed. And, while I’ve never been one to refrain from hard work, I confess risk has not been in my vocabulary these past few years. Just when we believe we have our lives all figured out, something whispers in our ear to ready ourselves, to be prepared to scale the walls and run head long into the forests of our dreams.
Like waiting for a Kansas storm to arrive, anticipating either a deluge of long-awaited rain or the violent crack and tremor of a thunderstorm. How appropriate.