A little over two hundred days ago, I left the very secure and very predictable job I held at the company I had been with for nearly three years and took on a new role with a different organization. This new role, to all outward appearances, had the makings of a dream job. The company that I now would be working for had created this role specially for me, working with me to hand-craft the new position, drawing up the job description and responsibilities through a list of wants and needs we discussed together. I was the first person in my specific department and the plan was that I would act as the right-hand woman to the CEO. It was going to be a first for both employer and employee, and it was designed to be an opportunity to learn and grow together. I went into it full of hope, exhilaration, expectation, and determination.
A little over one hundred days ago, I was let go. My position was eliminated overnight, without warning. The only reason given for my termination was that they were choosing to go in a different direction. I was unceremoniously booted from that promising dream job with very little explanation. With a firm hand shake, a tight-lipped smile, and a thank you, I said my goodbye and walked out into the parking lot with my office belongings in a box. As soon as I had shut my car door behind me and driven out of sight, I gave into the sweet release of uncontrolled sobbing.
Ninety seven days ago I left my relationship. And when I left that relationship it was at a dead run. To explain it as easily and as simply as I can, I ran because I had to. I ran because I was left with no choice other than to choose me. I’m so glad I finally chose me. The timing was not ideal, but I can’t say that there ever would be an ideal or even a convenient time to have to make that choice. One doesn’t choose for these things to happen, one simply figures out how to survive once they do. I did what I had to. I did what I must. Given a thousand chances, I would do it all over again if only to have the opportunity to choose me one more time. It was one of the greatest acts of self-love I have ever done.
I packed up my things in the little one-bedroom apartment we shared and tearfully, painfully, and necessarily closed the door on that portion of my story. When I shut that door I found myself standing face-to-face with a very big and unplanned new beginning.
Thank God for new beginnings. Thank God for every single thing that has happened in my life. Thank God for this moment that I am now standing in and everything that has transpired to bring me here.
This isn’t the first time that everything has changed, nor has it been the most painful, and I am sure that it will not be the last. This latest episode of my life turning upside down and inside out has reminded me of the importance of it all. The importance of loss, anguish, hope, gratitude, choice, faith, acceptance, perseverance, grit, patience, bravery, grace, forgiveness, and above all, love.
I coped. Many days I wore a mask to shield myself from the outside world because the truth, my truth, was too painful to expose. I often lied, put on a brave face, and said that I was okay. I said that I was okay with how things had turned out when deep inside of me I was kicking and screaming because nothing, absolutely nothing, was how I would have chosen it to be. I felt like I was starting over or worse yet, falling so far behind I could never hope to catch up. Still, I continued.
I’m so glad I continued.
In the last one hundred or so days I’ve done ordinary things to adjust to the new normal. I have shown up to job interviews. I joined a new gym in my new neighborhood. I let my community of friends and family embrace me and support me. I began a new type of therapy that has been rocking my world in the most intense and necessary way possible.
My feelings have felt so big and deep and powerful that, more often than not, it feels like my body cannot possibly continue to hold them all without exploding into a million tiny pieces.
I’ve welcomed the intense emotion that all of these changes have brought. I’ve inhaled it in and let it fill the deepest parts of me. I’ve seen new pieces of me take shape. Many parts of me are now stronger yet softer at the same time. I’ve done all that I possibly can to cease fighting anything and everything that is going on in my life.
For every loss there is a reckoning. By being stripped of everything, whether by circumstance or by choice, I was liberated. I was released. I was set free.
Much sooner than I expected, the universe began to show me what it has had planned for me since the beginning. Losing that job and leaving that relationship kicked off a cascade of events that I know are miracles in my life. There is so much good today.
A little over sixty days ago I started a new job doing something I’ve never done before. And wouldn’t you know it? I feel like I may have found my calling. I’ve never felt happier or more full of purpose or capable of making an impact in my entire professional career. What an incredibly wonderful and overwhelming experience it is to find that you’ve landed smack dab in the middle of where you had no idea you were supposed to be.
The long and the short of it is that I’ve kept going, no matter what. I’ve kept writing, even if I haven’t been able to publish it. I’ve kept moving forward as quickly as my feet will carry me. I’ve stopped trying to keep it all together. For the most part, and for perhaps the first time, I’ve made a true effort to just let myself be. To let it all be. I’ve let myself be distraught, despondent, and full of rage. I’ve let myself be proud, although I won’t readily admit it, of the woman that I am and the choices that I’ve made. I’ve let myself reach out and build a completely new life, welcoming its beauty with open arms. I’ve strived to act out of love, kindness, and graciousness. I’ve let myself be happy at the promise of new beginnings. I’ve focused on being the woman that I want to be, that I ought to be, and that I know I will continue to become.
In every area of my life I am now beginning to thrive.
More than ever, I know who I am. I know exactly what I want, and I know I have the fight and the strength within me to make it a reality. I know just what I am fighting for. I feel aligned with my purpose.
I hear my calling and I’m running towards it at full speed.