Aw, all life’s transitions… life is all about change. We as human beings seriously do not enjoy the challenges and changes we endure as we grow up, grow in life and grow older. We fight and rail against them. All for nothing, because time just keeps moving on.
I’ve come to see life much like my ever-evolving garden. Each season comes and goes. Some plants thrive, some pass and yet there is still a beauty about each passing season that gives me a sense of continuance. Just as the seasons transition from one to the other so must we, as we transition from one stage of our lives to another.
Always one to tell a story, here is mine about transitions.
As I approach a particular anniversary date, I am amazed that it’s been over two years when my life truly shifted to what I’m doing now.
I left the corporate world about 2 years ago, not by my choice. The company I had worked for had been purchased by a private equity group resulting in the layoff of all the C-level execs of which I was one. It was a difficult time because all my friends were tied to my work. I felt like a ship without a rudder and disconnected from all that I knew.
It was a transition I had not expected or desired, and I fought hard against it. I struggle with what to do next. I had to relearn how to use my time in a way that would provide me with a sense of self-worth. I had a great deal of trouble giving myself permission to enjoy life. I felt guilty that I didn’t have a job while others were tolling at one every day. I was casting around mightily, struggling with what my next steps should be. The truth was, many of my former associates were a bit jealous that I was in a position to forge a new direction. I couldn’t see it.
Then some things happened. They weren’t earth shattering or life altering, but they did jolt me out of my stupor. First I had a minor accident. It was totally my fault because I hadn’t been paying attention because I was commiserating about my circumstances. It was a wake-up call, and I heard it loud and clear. My thought was; “Girl, it’s time to move on, transition to something other than where you are”. The fact was I had inadvertently put myself in limbo, and I was miserable. All the signs were there, pointing me in the direction I needed to go. I just wasn’t getting to message.
After the accident, I have lunch with a friend to talk about how I felt. I was seeking her counsel and insight as to what I had just begun to realize. I did what we all do when life seems to be against us. I complained. At the end of my complaining, I mentioned to her that I thought I was ready for a change and wanted her opinion. She listened, thought a minute and then started complaining about her job and all the terrible challenges she faced every day. She went on for what seemed like an interminable amount of time. She gave me a headache. Lunch ended, and my friend had to rush off to her “not so great job”. I had to take a walk to clear my head. It certainly had not been the lunch or help I had expected. As I walked, I noticed it was a beautiful day.
I’m not sure if it was the accident, my complaining friends or the fact it was a beautiful day, but something shifted. Maybe it was a combination of all three, but it was if I began to surface and was seeing the world as it was for the very first time.
I sat on a bench, and I watched a few birds flitting from tree to tree, building a nest and doing what life meant them to do. As I watched the birds, my headache went away, and I felt really lucky for the first time in what seemed like forever. It started to dawn on me that I could forge a new path, a new direction, that I could build my own new nest the way I wanted.
I thought about my unhappy friend and felt relief, realizing I was no longer a part of that world. That was when it occurred to me that I had stepped over the threshold on to a new path. I was making a transition to something new. I wasn’t at all sure what that new direction was going to be or look like, but just like the birds, I had to start with the first twig. A few days later I started my private journal (blog) and called it “Finding A New Path.” That eventually evolved into the website “Finding Our Way Now” you now enjoy today.
That was over a year and a half ago, and I haven’t looked back or regretted ever leaving my past life for something totally new. It hasn’t always been easy, but that’s how life is. What I do know is, like the birds and my garden, I’m building my new nest, one careful twig at a time in my garden of life.
Have you ever struggled with a transition? What was it that prompted you to move into another phase in your life?
Life’s journey continues…