Not much has changed for me over the last few years. In fact, most of the time people asked me, "What's new?", I wouldn't really have anything to report. Maybe I was training for a triathlon or planning a weekend getaway or starting a blog :), but nothing of major impact.
Isn't it funny how change can sweep in suddenly from so many directions? It's scary and exciting and confusing when you're right in the middle of dealing with it - trying to figure out what to do, which way to go. Kind of like a big thunderstorm.
In the last six months, I've found my way through a couple major life changes. I've restarted a relationship, which has been so great and such a source of stability and support. And, I've recently the completed the process of applying for and accepting a new job, which I think will provide a great environment and new challenges. (I start on Monday!) Going through these changes brought on stress and anxiety in ways I couldn't have predicted, and made me dig deep into my own fears and dreams and intuition. In the end, I made decisions based on the direction my heart was pulling me in, but that doesn't mean making the decision was easy!
But you know that smell and that feeling when you wake up after a storm, in the morning? Fresh and new.
A lot of things feel fresh and new and exciting at this moment. I've come through the process of making hard decisions, and I'm ready to fully embrace this new direction for my life.
Here's what I've learned while going through this process:
- Change is scary, even terrifying, but you can't be afraid of it. Don't let fear hold you back.
- When faced with two options, neither one will be perfect. You just have to make the best decision you can based on your knowledge, experience, goals and values. (I've given up the notion that there is one "right" decision in every circumstance. Trying to be sure you're making the "right" decision can drive you insane.)
- Pursue the life and values that you want to embody, not money and status.
- Take calculated - or even crazy - risks. Don't just play it safe all the time.
- A good friend told me that when you don't know how to start the process of making a change, just take one step in that direction. Do something small that moves you a little closer, and see what unfolds.
- Listen to the advice of people you trust, who have your best interests at heart. But, in the end, you have to make the decision on your own and you have to live with the outcome. Don't let someone make the decision for you.
So, the times for me are changing. Wish me luck!