from LEAN FORWARD INTO YOUR LIFE (2007 Conari Press, Mary Anne Radmacher, author)  “Know When To Leave”

It was time for me to leave. What I was leaving was so delicious in its appearance. The opportunity to be a part-time hero is reasonable appealing. I chose to be hero to myself. I chose to not disappoint myself. In so choosing, disappointed others. Such is just one consequence of knowing when to leave.’’

Acting on an impulse to protect my environment, I accidentally became a national activist.  That was not my objective.  My objective was far more self-focused. I was thriving as a body boarder and planned to learn to surf. That the government was planning on issuing leases for oil drilling off our shore was quite disturbing. So much so that a fellow “water baby” and I began an energy conservation program campaign that still thrives in my former community.  We led what became a two state petition effort involving hundreds of people. We traveled and testified before committees and elected officials.  A moratorium was issued.  Ten year delay.

On the heals of that success several agencies had other “issues” they wanted me to champion.  They were all important. Yet, none of them were passionately important to me.  “But you are so GOOD at this,“ they crooned.  “The State needs people like you.”
Being wanted and needed and courted – wow, they are heady drugs!  I knew the chunk of soul and time and health that one effort took out of me.  My soul calls me to make a  difference.  And I do that through generosity, poetry, art and teaching.  I am not a born
activist.  I fight for what I am passionate about.  It’s the passion that drives me, not the fight.

I said no.  I’ve been grateful for knowing to leave those opportunities so many times. A yes would have fulfilled the
expectations that others held of me.  My NO honored my calling, my craft and my health.  From that I learned and have often said,

“My NO becomes the opportunity for someone else’s YES.”

mary anne radmacher

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