So I had a great title all picked out for this one, and it was really inspiring and thought-provoking and all that, but since I can’t remember all of it, I’ll just say it had something to do with taking leaps of faith. Oh yeah, and the idea of “staying power.”
With that, I’m going to just jump right in. Ready? Here we go.
If there is one thing I’ve learned about life it’s that it changes. Just when you think you have something figured out, it completely throws you off course sending you in a totally, utterly, smack-you-upside-the-head, different direction. This has happened to me in my 33 years more times than I can count. And I’m not talking about small directional changes, or slight tilts in the earth’s axis…I’m talking about major rotational, gravitational, knock-your-socks-off and you don’t even know where you left them, life changes.
I’ve tried making excuses or coming up with elaborate explanations for why chaos rules my life most of the time. But the fact of the matter is, it just happens that way, and it has for long enough that I’m done trying to understand it, prevent it, or change it. And the strange thing is, I’ve become kind of ok with that. I’ve learned to like change. Sometimes I even thrive on it. But you see, there’s one tiny glitch in the system….
Frequent change makes it difficult to make important decisions- especially when I’m not sure what aspects of my life have this so-called “staying power”…how do I decide what I want, or what’s quote un-quote best for me when I may not know myself all the time because things are always changing?? Let’s take a short walk down memory lane and look at the last twelve months, shall we? It’ll be quick, I promise, but I think it’s relevant because things look completely different now than they did a year ago. (And a year before that it was different still.)
A year ago I was working my business, day in and out, not really doing *much* (ok, anything) outside my normal every day routine. I’d go to my shop, and in my spare hours I’d spend time with friends, hang out with Ryan… lather, rinse, repeat. Then one day I went to a networking event- ok, let’s be honest- I DRAGGED myself to a networking event- and that one decision led my life down a path I couldn’t have seen coming a mile away had I been working at NASA.
In the past twelve months I’ve gotten involved in several incredible organizations, and I now know so many amazing people- people who absolutely rock out with their lives and their level of involvement within the community- that I’m ashamed at how very little I did before. Because there is SO MUCH TO DO. Honestly. It’s hard to pick what not to do. But I’m getting off track…the point is, I’m now only working at my shop three days a week because the rest of the time I’m doing other super cool, fun things such as graphic design for DVAC, or helping Culture Works with their marketing and design pieces, or interviewing smart and interesting people for the paper (like the minimalists), or volunteering at events like Fleurs et Vin at Carillon Park or Over the Edge with Big Brother Big Sisters…and I’m so much happier this way…being involved in things, getting out and about in the community, meeting some pretty awesome people…it simply amazes me that I didn’t know all this was out there before, and I never thought to seek it out until last year.
And I ask myself, “How did I get here?” I don’t know, exactly…but I followed my instincts and took several leaps of faith, and here I am. But I never saw it coming. You could have quizzed me a year ago and asked me the names of half the people I know now, and I would have said, “Who?” Or asked about some of the organizations I’m now working closely with, and I would have said, “What’s that?” I’m half-ashamed to admit that. But on the other hand, it’s never too late to embrace the potential for your life to change its course and bring new situations into it that make it richer and fuller. Looking around me today I realize that at least half of the people in my life came into it within the last year – and I can’t imagine my life any differently.
As I mentioned before, things around here tend to change course pretty often. I’ll be plugging along doing just fine in one situation, thinking, “This is dandy,” but then suddenly I find myself hurtling down a steep metaphorical cliff into a ravine of the unknown. But once I get my bearings down there and look around, I usually think, “Hey, this is all right. I can do this. In fact, this is maybe even a little bit better.”
Is this a stupid post? Crap. Maybe it is. But this is the headspace I’m occupying lately….lots of decisions to make, and lots of questions rattling around inside like a game of pinball. So I continue to ponder how to know when something has staying power in our lives, or if we’re destined to get hit up with yet another surprise before too long. If you’ve been paying attention at all, you should say to yourself, “Hmmm, I bet this is where the whole taking leaps of faith thing comes in….”
And you would be correct. You see, sometimes that’s what it all boils down to: taking a leap of faith that we are on the right track. And maybe we don’t need to overanalyze it. We don’t need to lose sleep over any big decisions, or consult a panel of experts (or trusted friends)….we just need to stop thinking about it. We need to take little steps, even ones we think might lead nowhere (or in my case, little steps toward a networking event I would have rather pulled my toenails off than attend) because sometimes those little decisions are way more important than the so-called “big” ones. You just have no way of knowing it at the time. So stop thinking about it. Believe that you know in your heart what’s best for you. Just live your life one day at a time…and if you find yourself getting hit in the cranium with a surprise – look it dead in the eye and say, “Hey…nice to see you. So… let’s do this.”