If you don’t like something, change it.
If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
The late great David Bowie sang about it and Maya Angelou wrote about it. Change. Like growing old, it is the inevitable part of life. With it comes growth, new possibilities and experiences. John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life”, possibly because no matter what you do change will cross your path many times in the course of your life.
Change can be positive or negative, all depending on how the traveler views it. Facing a new road to traipse, a new perspective or challenge to over come, can each make us stronger, wiser and more experienced. Or, they can make us bitter and sullen. Maybe this is what the sage Maya Angelou meant? We choose the mindset on how we regard the forks in our road.
Two years ago, my husband and I were waiting and praying for our hard efforts to bring forth new adventures. Enduring the much-needed “In-Between” stage as Jeff Goins calls it. Then the spark of change ignited and blazed forth a new trail for us to follow.
From 2013 through 2015 we, along with our business partners, embarked on the difficult and exciting journey of opening a small business in a tourist based market. This entailed financial strains, time apart, brainstorming and hard work. Thankfully, our endeavors have paid off and in a short period of time have earned us a reputable business. My husband set out to achieve his dream and it is now within his grasp. I could not be more proud, for what good is a life not lived. If we never reach beyond what we think we can, we may only be left with wondering what could have been.
That being said, one of the biggest parts I played on this excursion was being my husbands’ cheerleader, standing on the sidelines exuding positivity and beaming with pride. Assisting in building a business is exciting, but the change I felt on an individual level was a bit of a strain to put it mildly.
The landscape of my life changed drastically and suddenly after years of waiting. Much like the mountainous land I moved to, the new terrain had its ups and downs. I can’t say any of it was truly negative, but I suppose for any introvert, like myself, any change, especially a lot of it, poses a challenge.
I can no longer jump in the car to have coffee with my girlfriends or dinner with family. I went from being a happy flatlander to a nervous mountain girl. I left my safe haven in outpatient physical therapy to the scary land of acute care (which means I’m the person who comes in all sunshine and skittles, after the surgeon has taken out their frustrations on your hip joint, and says “Good Morning! I know you are writhing in pain, but how bouts we go for a nice stroll.” I meet many eye rolls, foul language and bodily fluids on a daily basis). I now live in a temperate rainforest boasting hundreds of species of trees and plants, which sounds exotic, but for me translates into non-stop allergies. I’ve been here 5 months and have had 4 colds and 2 sinus infections. Money will be tight for some time as our business is still in its infancy, which is just as well since there is no Target for me to playfully skip around, only Wal-Mart (that alone is enough to put me on Prozac).
This is the negative nelly in me whining. It could be so much worse. My husbands dream could have been to become a scientist studying climate change in Antarctica. And its not that the place we moved to isn’t beautiful, it’s quite breathtaking. But every rose has its thorns.
As happy as I was for all the accomplishments our team achieved, I felt lost without a map or compass to help me find my true north. Meeting new people, learning a new job and navigating a new region all became daunting instead of exciting for me. I found solace in amateur photography, as this land lends its beauty, vibrancy and wildlife easily to the lens. But words, my usual resting place, escaped me.
Several people in recent past asked about my writing, one supporter thought her email was moving my blogs to spam since she stopped receiving them. I had to admit it wasn’t a computer error but my absence that caused the delay. It’s an odd feeling to long to write but lack the right climate or headspace to create the words.
“Turn and face the strain”- David Bowie
I write now, not because I have found my way, but because I’m taking Maya Angelou’s words to heart. To change my attitude and see the change for what it is…an adventure. I’m a work in progress. We all are, until we die. For much of our lives we are learning who we are, trying to improve or expand ourselves and testing how we hold up to adversity. We’ve heard it before-life is a journey. I say life is many journeys, some arduous, some complex and some all together blissful. I lost my voice along this journey and deep down I know writing, the stringing together of word after word while thought after thought is born, is my map. It’s how I’ll mend myself back and find my voice in this new place and time.
With my mind more settled, its time to dust off my boots and add some determined footprints to this fresh path. Time to recall what’s important to me on a personal level, like finishing the final edits of my first memoir, completing the outline for my first attempt at fiction and return to my monthly blog posts. I hope some of you will follow along on this journey as I to take up my pen, my compass, and trek back to the heart of me.
Making a big life change is pretty scary.
But, know what’s even scarier?