I wrestled with this for a while. I wasn’t sure what to say – whether to say anything. The reality is, though, that to hide is to be ashamed, and I won’t be ashamed.
Today is Day 1. For the first time in my adult life, I am unemployed.
I had the good (?) fortune to have known this was coming since late October. Time to get my head around it. Here’s the short version: Reorganization, eliminated position, opportunity to apply for a position that was truly not a good fit for me. Hit me like a freight train. Then this occurred to me. When my husband was laid-off about 8 years ago, we look back on that as the best thing that could have happened to him (although it certainly did not feel like it at the time).
Well, this doesn’t feel so great either, but I have decided its the best thing that could have happened to me. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a letter to the universe. I really didn’t think I would publish it here, but I have decided to.
Is this a test? Because it kind of feels like you are testing me.
I think about the last five years or so when I started to feel like maybe I needed to move in a new direction. I think of opportunities that fell through. When they did, I put more energy back into my work, seeking a way to make more of a difference.
I started feeling dissatisfied with the limits on how to do that work, like the demands of others (reasonable or not), restrictions of funding, and others.
I took on new challenges and learned new things. I still felt that itch, but I was doing good work. Then the itch grew bigger and became more insistent. Another opportunity fell through. And I knew.
I knew it was time to make the big change. To leave organized employment and set out on my own. Not yet, though, because I still didn’t know exactly how to do what I wanted to do.
I wanted to help people heal. I’d spent two years at that point researching trauma and its long-term effects. I’d seen first hand the struggles of those who had not gotten sufficient support. I was beginning to explore energy work. I liked talking people through finding creative solutions to problems. Yet, I knew becoming a licensed therapist was not my path.
Somewhere along the way, my inner self had gotten tired of being pushed aside to make room for logic, the world, and everything else. My inner self started speaking up, and for once, I started listening. Within 2 days I had made the decision to become a massage therapist, open my own business, and develop a protocol to reintegrate touch to those who struggle with it due to trauma. I could use massage to help anyone who needed it, to calm the body and mind. I could do energy work. I could be a life coach.
It all fell into place. I could take classes part-time for a year and continue my full-time work. Work I was good at. Work that paid bills and allowed for a few extras.
I had to wait a year to begin classes. The timing was just a little off. So I waited, and though the itch continued to grow, I did my good work.
I started classes. I juggled. I stretched. I was tired and a little overwhelmed. But I managed. I am good at managing things.
I figured I would graduate next August and start to build my business on evenings and weekends. I would be tired and a little overwhelmed for a while longer. I would juggle. I would keep doing good work at my job and I would build my new career. My new purpose.
I figured maybe by the following January, if I was lucky (and worked hard enough), my business would be viable to go full-time. If not, I would continue a while longer.
Here is where you stepped in, Universe. You see, I am really good at planning. I need to plan. I don’t like unknowns.
Then I was told there was no more job. Not after the end of December anyways. There would be a different job, and I could apply for that if I wanted to.
Except I didn’t. That inner self looked at me and said, ‘please, no. This is not our path.’
I felt like I was standing on glass over a deep pit. A safety net had been offered, a chance to continue earning a steady wage. It was the safe choice.
And it was the wrong choice. Wrong for me. It wasn’t the work I was driven to, that I had been pouring myself into. It wasn’t work I felt good at. It wasn’t work I felt I could do and be well.
I waivered. I crave safety and predictability. I need it. Logic and order.
But now safe and logical didn’t feel safe. It wasn’t ‘safe’ to my inner self. It was a sacrifice.
I’m willing to make sacrifices, to make hard choices. But this time it felt like I was sacrificing the well-being of my innermost self. And I stopped. I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t.
I went ’round and ’round with ‘but what will happen’ if we step off the safe and predictable path.
And that’s when I felt it. I felt you, Universe, grip me by the shoulders, and with a little shake say ‘Will you just trust me this one time.’
You know, trust is not something I naturally do. I thought back to the single other time I decided to let go and trust you Universe. And I married him. And he is the best man in the world.
So ok, Universe – if this is a test – Challenge Accepted.
Let’s do this.
So, today is Day 1
It is Day 1 of my new career and my new business.
It is Day 1 of my future.
It is Day 1 of me learning to love and honor myself.
It is Day 1 of me learning to listen to that ‘still, small voice’ inside.
It is Day 1 of me reminding myself that life is not a dress rehearsal. We have one chance to make it count.
It is Day 1 of the next chapter.