Surfing is a bit like life.
You have to watch the incoming waves carefully to catch a good one. Once you decide which one to go for, you have to paddle like crazy to catch it. The wave may or may not break as you thought it would. You never know until you finish riding it.
You have to take the risk of getting pounded, possibly break your board, or hurt yourself when you go for a bigger wave. And it’s just awesome when you successfully surf it!
For the past 15 years, I thought that I’d be an academic scientist. I was in an OK position to do so.
After getting a PhD and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at a university for two years, the wave I caught was marriage and pregnancy. I had a job offer to continue my academic career but I chose to kick off from the academic wave and go for a new one.
It's ok that some of my friends don’t understand my choice. Things change…I mean, nothing stays the same. Most of my friends used to be researchers, professors, or PhD students. Now I have more friends who are fulltime moms, house wives, and/or entrepreneurs. I see this as a good change.
To surf good waves, you have to have an ability to read waves, techniques, and luck.
A wave you are on may look great at first, and may completely poop out after a while. Skilled surfers may be able to still ride it. Experienced surfers may get off of the wave before it goes bad.
Now I am looking at the back of the academic wave, fighting the fear that I would never catch an academic wave again. But I decided to go for this new wave and do my best to surf it well.