I’ve been obsessed with the song “Geronimo” lately. I hear it on the radio during my commute and I turn the volume up and sing along.
Can you feel it?
Now it’s coming back we can steal it
If we bridge this gap,
I can see you
Through the curtains of the waterfall
So say Geronimo!
Can you feel my love?
The song is really about love, but those words, Say Geronimo, mean something to me right now.
Here’s the thing: I’m not really a bombs away person. I am a planner. I can adapt, and I can be flexible, but I prefer for there to be a plan and for that plan to be followed. I would like to know the details. Ahead of time, please. Also, I have a difficult time making decisions, and when I do, I second guess myself to death. I believe in good decision-making. I do. One bad decision can have bad consequences. I know that. But sometimes I wonder if my planning-obsessed, decision-agonizer persona needs a dose of confidence and risk-taking.
Lately I find myself making quick decisions. And choosing not to regret them. Choosing to believe in myself and my choices. Choosing to move forward. I feel like I’ve been yelling “Bombs Away!” a lot lately. I’ve been jumping off that cliff and into the waterfall, no matter how scared I am.
1. I’ve been working as an instructional coach for the Office of English Learners for 4 years now. I like my job. I am a huge instructional strategy person, and my heart is teaching English Learners. A few weeks back, I was offered a full-time coaching position at one of the three schools I work with. I decided to take the job. I only thought about it for two weeks, three max. That is a pretty short decision-making time for me. And it was a really hard decision. I wholeheartedly believe in the EL Office of Metro Schools and in EL leadership, and I love my team there.
But I have also struggled to feel effective because I’ve juggled multiple schools while not really being a true faculty member at any school. This new job is a chance to be grounded in one school and to develop momentum with coaching and mentoring teachers on one faculty. And I will still be focusing mostly on EL strategies. Part of me wants to backtrack, to second-guess myself, to ask yet again, Did I do the right thing? But I’m pushing that voice aside. I made a decision, and I’m moving forward. Geronimo.
2. I’ve applied to be a poetry editor for a couple of journals who have open positions (all unpaid of course). I haven’t heard anything yet, and honestly, I don’t expect to get anything, but it took pushing through a ton of self-doubt to even submit letters of interest. Am I really qualified to be a poetry editor? I don’t know. I have some ideas about how to distinguish a good poem from a mediocre poem. I don’t know if my ideas are right, though. But how will I know if I don’t try? Guess what: When I applied, I didn’t hesitate to hit send. I didn’t dilly-dally for weeks. I just did it. Geronimo.
3. I got a new tattoo. I’ve wanted something on my right wrist to symbolize my writing, but I’ve wavered about what exactly to get. I thought about a word or quote from a poem. I thought about a flower, like the lotus flower, which literally grows in mud – great symbol for failure, struggle, growth, and creating beauty. I was browsing tattoos on Pinterest and a tree tattoo on a wrist caught my eye. I pinned it, searched for similar tattoos, and pinned them.
Then it hit me: My forthcoming chapbook, Evening Body, is titled after a poem I wrote. It was also the title poem for my MFA thesis, and it’s a poem about winter trees, fragile beauty, and strength in weakness. Trees are a beautiful symbol of rebirth. Even that winter tree is full of promise and hope for a new season. And a winter tree ties into my year of being enough. It’s okay if all my leaves haven’t grown out yet. So I decided to get a winter tree tattoo on my wrist as a symbol of writing, rebirth, creativity, and renewal.
Once I made the decision, I didn’t look back: I quickly booked an appointment and went through with it! Right before the artist started, I had one tiny moment of panic, but I pushed through and stuck with my decision. (Many thanks to my friend Tara who went with me for moral support!) Geronimo.
I don’t think I’ll ever become a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person. I think I’ll always crave ritual and preparedness. But some days, you need to live a Geronimo life. You need to make a Bombs Away decision. You need to believe that your gut feeling is enough, that you are enough, that you will dive through that waterfall, be baptized by its drops, and come out on the other side knowing that you survived free-fall. So here’s to you, to both of us, to our fear, to our bravery, to our confidence. Get in Geronimo position, baby. It’s Bombs Away time.
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Do YOU have a Geronimo story or Geronimo decision you made? Share it in the comments or, if you’re a blogger, blog about it and add your link below! The link will be open for 2 months, so you have plenty of time to incorporate Bombs Away into your life!
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