One of the first Broadway shows I worked on was Cabaret at Studio 54. I would sit in the back of the theatre night after night and watch that story unfold, every show more beautiful than the show before. One of my favorite lines is from Herr Schultz (played by Ron Rifkin) to Fräulein Schneider (played by Blair Brown). Herr Schultz is trying to convince Fräulein Schneider to enter into a relationship with him, despite the fact that he is Jewish and the world is looking a little bleak for people of his heritage. He tells her that the apples at the base of tree are easy to pick up, though the fruit at the top of tree, if she is willing to climb up a ways, is so much sweeter. I worked on that show almost 11 years ago, and still I think of that line and how applicable it is to our lives every day.
I feel comfortable admitting in this blog post that very soon I will be moving on to a new position in my career. I've had an honest conversation with my boss and explained my intentions. I hope she understands. At the end of the day, the future of her team that she's laid out is just not what gets me going. I completely understand that she's in charge of the team and has every right to change the direction of the bus. My obligation is to decide whether or not to whole-heartedly get on the bus. I've decided to actively look for a new bus, and there are some stupendous options on the horizon.
Some people think I'm a little crazy for making this move. I've done a lot of good work in my position; I've built solid relationships that would serve me so well and get me promoted quickly. If only I could put my head down, keep my mouth shut, and phone it in just the way that I've been scripted, I'd be just fine. I could coast right through to the end of this recession no matter how long it lasts.
Those who know me a bit better just smile and nod when I say I'm looking for new opportunities that get me up out of bed in the morning. They know I'm not built for coasting. Yes, coasting is much easier in that it requires no exertion on my part. The trouble is that for me coasting is just an unbearable existence. Putting the pedal to the metal and 'trying to get up that great big hill of hope' is more my style. Herr Schultz was right: The vistas up there are so much wider and more open and beautiful. Fräulein Schneider didn't know what she was missing.
The photo above is not my own. It can be found here.