This year as I prepared to start my next trip around the sun, I had an unexpected life change occur. Change, even the best change, is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, whether we want to be or not. And I, for one, want to be. I like my routines and I cling hard to certainty. Any change challenges our habits and asks us to show up in our lives in a different way. As a mentor once told me, all change is loss on some level. If you go from single to married, you lose a bit of autonomy. If you go from childless to parent, you lose the ability to be selfish. And in this loss and simultaneous gain we have to learn a new way of being and doing. Even the smallest change, like moving what drawer you keep your socks in, takes a bit of time to get used to. For
days or even weeks you might find yourself going to the old drawer out of sheer muscle memory until you’ve retrained yourself on the new location. When a big change happens, especially an unexpected one, the uptake is a bit steeper. I’m not going to lie, my first reaction was shock. Then some sadness. But what I finally landed on was gratitude. For one, gratitude is a much more pleasant place to live. And for another, I really wanted to find the blessing in the
loss. So that’s why this year instead of celebrating a birthday, I decided to celebrate a rebirth-day. My response to one door closing was to open the other one myself rather than just waiting for it to do so on its own. I can be real patient waiting for the perfect, just right door to appear and swing wide open. But sometimes, we don’t get the chance or the time to wait. This change for me was an opportunity to find myself again. Or actually to reinvent myself. To start a new chapter and to be the author of that chapter. I no longer had to be the character in someone else’s story, even though I had grown quite accustomed to that role. Being forced in to change is scary and a bit overwhelming. I don’t mean to sugarcoat it or make it seem easy. But it is
possible to move gracefully through it (with maybe some tears and swearing thrown in for good measure). The graceful part comes from giving ourselves some grace. Finding acceptance and looking for the silver lining. Sometimes we need the universe to push us off the cliff that we were too scared to jump off of ourselves. Then, if we can muster up a little trust and faith, we find our wings and soar right through that next door.