In my last few posts I've mentioned some major changes and transitions I've been planning for the past few months. Things are still in the works but there was one major change that I was very optimistic about that did not work out. This was a change that all the other changes were dependent on and, after all I had done, it didn't work out. As to be expected I was disappointed but, to my surprise, the disappointment lasted a whole 10 minutes and then it was gone. 10 minutes and that was it. No drawn-out emotional pity party, no blows to my self-esteem, not a tear shed nor a negative thought; just a desire to move on to what is next on my Journey to Legacy. This experience helped me see how far I've come, how much I've matured, and how my mindset has changed. I really am walking a walk of faith and living this positive thinking way of life!
As I shared with others who had been waiting for updates on my situation I was met with lots of condolences that things didn't go as planned. Some were surprised when I said I was really not upset about it and was still optimistic about new opportunities; others just provided encouragement for what was to come. Regardless of the reaction I told everyone the same thing, that I was content in knowing that this closed door was just an opening for a greater opportunity. Go figure, who knew I could be so philosophical?! I guess if you follow this blog you had some idea but still, I really surprised myself that I was genuinely happy after experiencing a disappointment. It's what we call "the peace that surpasses all understanding", you can't explain it, it doesn't make sense, you just feel it.
So as I continue to see how things play out in my next steps I hold on to the joy and optimism that are dictating my emotions. How we experience the world is ultimately our own choice; if you love it, great, if you hate it, change.
Over the past few months I've been contemplating a major transition in my life with bittersweet feelings about the change. As you know I'm all about personal growth but with growth also coming growing pains and with transition comes loss in order to gain. As I prepared myself and those around me about the potential change I was overwhelmed with emotion thinking about the end of a loved chapter in my life. And as I shared my feelings with a friend she gave me a glimpse into my legacy. She reminded me of my role in building the foundation, of adding structure and purpose to the things I would leave behind. She spoke of my dedication and passion for making it work and putting into things as much as I was expecting to pull out. She assured me that the fact that God was releasing me to move forward meant I had strengthen things enough that they could live on without me and she reminded me of how great it will feel to come back and stand proud as I witness the growth of what I had started. And I was comforted.
It's always hard to leave behind people, places, and things that have bring us joy. The friends you leave behind after graduation, the co-workers you will no longer see everyday when you switch jobs, and the family you depended on so much who will stay when you move away. We dread leaving these things behind, promise that we'll stay in touch, and try to continue what we've always done. But, reality says that when it's time for something to end it undoubtedly will and something new will begin. It's in these moments, like the comments in a yearbook, where you get a glimpse into how you'll be remembered; into the impact you had on the lives of those around you. And when you're fortunate enough to have these experiences, embrace them and grow knowing that you are building legacy each and every day.
The next time you're at the park with your children and you're watching to make sure they're safe, instead of being the protective parent take a moment to look at their faces. Watch their body language, watch them laugh and smile. Before they're taught to hate, before their hearts have been broken, before they've been disappointed and rejected and failed at something major, before any of the trials of life have impacted their minds, children are innocent and life is great. The joy of a child's innocence is enviable but it just might be key to a fulfilling life.
Think about your own life and the things that constantly replay in your mind. Think about the major things that have happened to you that shape the way you think. If you think hard enough you can probably pinpoint at least two events or experiences that, whether you admit it or not, have a direct impact on what you do every single day. Maybe your family is very supportive and always encouraged you to do your best and that has given you a strong work ethic. Or maybe your parents' marriage set an example for the loving, positive marriage you aspire to build with your own spouse. Unfortunately, chances are the memories that came to your mind were not the positive ones I mentioned. For some reason we tend to be most affected by negative events. Something traumatic happens and, just like that, our childhood innocence is gone and so goes the joy we once had. And, as adults, we just accept it. We accept our circumstances and the things we've been through as if we have not choice in the matter. We don't fight to keep the innocence and joy, we allow it to be snatched away by whatever has happened to us. Yes, terrible things happen to people everyday and you may have a real reason to be angry or bitter or resentful but, ask yourself this question, is feeling that way working well for you? Probably not. Maybe we should try to grab hold of the innocence that living life has drawn away from us. Maybe we can make an effort to smile, and play, and laugh like a child every now and then. If being miserable isn't helping you why not try something new?
So the next time you feel down try hopping on a swing, throwing your head back and letting out a laugh from deep in your gut, it just might make you feel better.
The past 30 days have been a whirlwind as I've made some decisions about major changes in my life. Transition is on the horizon and in just a few short weeks I've gone from hesitant and reserved to ready to jump in with both feet. It's been a lot to take in and, to be honest, I hadn't been able to get my thoughts together long enough to blog or write. But I'm here with you today with some insight on taking the first step.
Now I that have a clear vision for my life and the legacy I want to leave behind my eyes are more open to opportunity. It doesn't take much for me to recognize if something, or someone, fits into that vision and whether I should put effort and time into something. For the first time, in a very long time, I am excited and anxious all at the same time as I anticipate the great new things in store for me but nothing seemed to be happening until I took the first step. Usually I'm a person who likes to know all the details before I make a move but I've learned that greatness always comes with risk and I can't allow the fear of that risk to hold me back.
Think about a staircase. You are at the bottom and your destination is at the top. If the staircase is short and you can see the top taking those steps is no big deal, you can move forward without much thought. But if that staircase is long and steep and you cannot see the top it's not so easy to start stepping. Maybe it's dark up there, you don't really know what's up there, you don't even know how far you have to go to get to the top. As you stand at the bottom you have a choice: stay or take the first step. You can stay at the bottom where you care comfortable and familiar and settle for where you are or you can take that first step, then another and another, one step at a time, until you reach your destination. The choice is YOURS.
Have you ever experienced a time in life when it seemed like you were failing at everything? A time when you felt helpless because every attempt you made to move forward ended with frustration and nothing you tried to do actually worked? Most of us can say we've felt that way a time or two but I venture to say that those times may have passed us by much quicker if we had taken full advantage of them.
Let me explain. It's human nature to resist change. Some of us adjust well to change, and even welcome it, but most people need some time to get used to new things and would prefer to keep things the same if we can. So much so that even when things are clearly not working out we stick with them just because they are familiar to us. We remain stuck and unfulfilled in jobs, relationships, and circumstances simply because we fear stepping into the unknown.
Over time I've learned that when it starts to seem like nothing I do is working it is a sign that it's time for me to make a major change. I've also learned that the sooner I embrace the idea of change and take steps to move forward the quicker the frustration of being "stuck" subsides and my life changes for the better. Every major change in my life has been proceeded by a period of frustration and each decision to move forward into something new was met with challenges. But, I can confidently say each of those changes improved my life in a major way for the better and every time I step out it gets easier.
So, if you're at a point where it seems like life is a grind and nothing seems to go the way you planned consider making a change to shake things up, it may be the best decision you've ever made.
Romaine A. Wright