Talking to a friend recently whose life is being upended, I mentioned how nice it was that at least her career was settled. With everything else in flux, she has a stable port in which to rest.
“I never seem to be offered that,” I commented. When change happens in my life, it tends to come as a full-fledged tsunami. On several occasions in my life, the entire house of cards has been thrown up in the air. And when those cards land, they settle in a completely different configuration I must then call my life.
Oddly enough, I must admit that these occasions involve my own choice for change. I don’t mean I purposely burn the house down to begin anew. But life morphs in such a way that I am forced to make a choice for either the safe and the known, or the unknown. The unknown usually wins, because the known has become untenable.
Did I mention I can be quite a ninny? There’s that, yes. I love the known. I hug the known. I tell the known I love it every single day. Change is terrifying and exhilarating simultaneously. But most times, I’m leaning toward “terrifying.”
When I am ninnying about, trying not to let the flurry of flying cards smack me in the face, I generally complain to God. I’m sure He loves that. “Really, God? Again with this? Why must I make the ‘right’ choice, the tough choice, without seeing if a safety net is in place to catch me as I make the leap?”
And generally, the answer I get is that it’s about that pesky thing called faith. It’s not faith if you see the safety net. Safety is comforting but it rarely promotes growth, spiritual or otherwise.
Before I divorced, my sister asked me if I was sure it was what I wanted. I told her that if I did not feel I deserved better, who would?
When I had to decide to either return to the corporate world or start my own business in earnest, I sat in a lavish conference room overlooking Lake Michigan. Before me was a list of names on an org chart—the team I would take on if I chose to accept the position for which I was interviewing.
I had sat in many such conference rooms prior. The gorgeous view never made up for the plethora of egos that usually filled the room. And a voice inside of me said, “This is the known. I no longer enjoy these known bits.” The pro forma choice for me was to take the job for security. That was the “smart” choice. But not the wise one.
Which led me to the bottom line–if I didn’t feel I deserved better, who would?
During both of these life changes, I was terrified, truth be told. But my gut would not allow me to ignore that a new direction was necessary.
A fellow blogger recently commented that numerology deemed 2016 a year of completion, but 2017 a year of beginnings. Do you feel it? Are you ready?
As I watch my friend try to wend her way through the minefield of change she has entered, a declaration from a book I’m reading comes to mind:
“I stand on a precipice of great change. I stand on the edge of truth. I stand on the edge of freedom. I stand on the edge of all that I have known and believed to be true. I stand on the edge of my limitations. I stand on the edge of my fear. And as I say yes, as I say yes, as I say yes, I step forward into the unknown.
I say yes to the journey before me and I step into the unknown.”
–The Book of Knowing and Worth, Paul Selig
I choose my life. I claim my worth. Say it with me, folks. I think the metaphorical equivalent is shuffling the deck. A house of cards is not meant to be permanent. After all, any ‘ole stray wind can blow it down.
But a life purposefully chosen, a resounding and faith-filled “yes” to the Universe as you fling both arms out and jump from the virtual precipice? I have found these things to be rock solid in the most delightful (if sometimes terrifying) way.
As we say yes, as we say yes, as we say yes, let us step forward into the unknown. This is the part where we fling our arms and jump.
38 Comments Add yours
I decided in Nov 2016 that 2017 is going to be my year and there’s no turning back on that decision. My decision was to quit my corporate job in June and go full-time freelance writing and travel blogging. 17.5 years of the corporate world – I’ve had enough – but this means giving up financial security. I don’t intend to be a travel nomad but to work from home as a freelance writer and travel every few months just like how I schedule my travel plans while having a full time job. Will my 2017 plans work out? I don’t know. There are days I’m super excited about this new journey but there are days I’m terrified. But it’s change, and I’m willing to go through this change and find out what’s in store for me 🙂
I like what you wrote – “I choose my life. I claim my worth”. Game on, LOL! Cheers!
Oh, I am so very excited for you! And I truly hope that your journey as new venture sans the fear. Although, I’m not sure that is possible for most of us who are oh so human. Here’s to the universe rewarding your courage :-).
This goes in tandem with a poem I just revisited today, wondering when to repost it. You go, girl. We just know when it’s not right, when we don’t belong in that room full of egos. You will find your way. Remember to take good care of yourself each day.
Thank you. It’s still scary when a decision seems “foolish” to the world. But I’ve learned the world’s standards are far from my barometer.
You definitely make me feel like jumping 🙂
I’m never more alive than when I am standing on the edge looking into the unknown! Great post. You are very inspiring Kristine 😇
Oh, you brave soul! I’m never more alive but can also be quaking in my boots:). Am trying to flip that to exhilaration!
Oh yes, did I forget to mention the quaking too ha!! 😬
Loved this. There’s something freeing and yes, scary, about the unknown. I look back and never regretted following my heart. Sounds like you made the right decision too.
So hard to determine “right.” It’s all relative. But, I can’t imagine the other path. I think it would have involved much unnecessary pain. Ever seen the movie “Sliding Doors?” I often wonder what it would be like if we could each see what might have been . . .
I just love you. I do. I read your posts and it’s like you’re in my head! We are definitely in a parallel universe. I also greatly appreciate your comments that inspire me to keep thinking, keep writing. Cheers to you…finding faith in yourself, in the world around you and in the grand universe itself. May 2017 bless us all. But for now, thank you for being a blessing to me 🙂 Happy New Everything!
Oh, thank you ever so much! What wonderful words to read this AM:). Warm my heart. I’m so glad my words resonate–I guess that’s why we do what we do, right? To make that connection. Wishing you a happy, blessed and adventurous New Year!
A life purposefully chosen– I love that. I want to be more intentional this year with so much. I am with you.
Here’s to purpose, intention and all the good they bring :-). Happy new year!
Again, so many parallels. I’ve also contemplated giving up my freelance life for the security of a steady, full-time corporate-style job…and can’t bring myself to do it. Been there, done that, and it wasn’t for me. But the Universe has found me a new path, which – for now at least – gives me the best of both worlds, and I think I can make that work for the rest of my working life. Here’s hoping. New beginnings in 2017…I think so! I’m starting with opening up to the potential of a new relationship that seems to be on the horizon, with some trepidation. But hey, why not make the jump and see what happens?! Your post seems timely (as it often is). Here’s to new beginnings!
I am so glad that you’re listening to your gut! And would love to hear more about this new gig. As for the relationship, fling those arms out and jump :-). You know, deep down, there’s a safety net. Happy new year, Lee!
The new gig has been taking shape over the past few years, teaching journalism as well as practicing it. Such energy in those young minds – I love it! Working on my doctorate (one year down, two to go) will help make teaching a more stable reality (I hope) but I’m looking at a path that won’t necessarily mean full-time teaching so I can continue to write and travel too. Hopefully combining all three. Win, win, win? I sure hope so! As for the other…stay tuned 🙂
I love that you are custom designing a life! That is really what we are all here to do and too many of us shirk the task for the easy route:).
Whoa. I do feel it. I’m still figuring it all out and what it means and which move to make… but things are brewing. Cheers to 2017!
Good! Brewing is movement, right? And movement is good:).
A thought provoking post.
Thank you! Glad you stopped by:)
Yes! That terrifying and yet exciting (or sometimes just plain terrifying) leap into the unknown. For me, I now see that my heart is always ready to leap. It’s only my preprogrammed, fear-filled brain that hesitates. I love your house of cards metaphor.
“If I didn’t feel I deserved better, who would ?”
That’s a great compass for life and the choices you’ve made using that guide has probably worked well for you and will continue to do so in the future.
From your lips to God’s ears:)
“A fellow blogger recently commented that numerology deemed 2016 a year of completion, but 2017 a year of beginnings. Do you feel it? Are you ready?” I am soooooo ready..
Huzzah! Me too:). Let’s hope we lean toward exhilarated vs. terrified.
I love it Kristine, that poking and prodding to finally make that jump 😀
And just to let you know, usually once you make the decision, something is put in front of you to test your resolve, to see if you really have put your heart into self for the plunge. And even further down the track it will come up to see how you are going. That is how we ‘check in’ to our heart and realise you have truly ‘done it for you’ 😀
Ah, yes. Those tests. Not my favorite part:). But yes, they get thrown our way!
House of cards is an apt analogy. In times of greatest stress and immovable, unfixable problems, when completely flummoxed I have chosen to make one big change, almost at random. Then my whole life changes as all the cards fall down … and rearrange themselves into a different structure. That one gesture does take faith — whether in life itself or the Red Queen, I won’t query.
Oh, that one big change that your gut prompts is usually the savior, right? Even though it temporarily adds to the chaos, it eventually ends it.
I agree… it’s not a risk and the rewards will not be as great with a safety net. Risk taking is terrifying, but keeping the faith always helps us to come through.
The interesting piece for me is the dichotomy between exhilaration and terror. Physiologically, they are supposed to be the same feeling. But our interpretation makes all the difference.
I understand that feeling of terror and exhilaration when standing on the edge of a big, life changing decision. I’ve faced that several times in my life. Some times at that moment an old form of living is dying away just as a new one is waiting to be born.
Thank you for your thoughtful and thought provoking posts.
Oh, you pegged it. It’s not a split second–but feels like it is–in which one moment you’re living in your familiar reality and the next, in a new one.
yes, for me too, it always always ends up being about faith. And I do feel so intensely that this is a year of immense beginnings, changes that we can’t even yet fathom. It’s so beautiful and yet absolutely terrifying. But. Trust.
Yes! With a capital T:).