An old Facebook post I wrote on this day in 2013 triggered memories of an unhappy time. “How funny this life is…” I wrote, “We think we have it all figured out, we’ve engraved our plans in stone. Then, one morning, SURPRISE!”
Surprise indeed. In 2013, the direction I was taking with my life changed quite rapidly. I went from seeking out a career in International Development to deciding, post grad, that something was missing in my plan. Next thing I knew, I was pursuing an MA in Educational Technologies. This meant I would be separated from my family for at least two more years. It meant I had to keep my mall job, the one I was so excited to graduate from to new challenges. It meant worse schedules than ever, and more nights burning the midnight oil over research.
It was also a time when I looked around at the people in my life and thought “no, this isn’t for me.” I decided, on an August morning right before a long winter, to leave behind a relationship and the two handfuls of friends that came with it. Then, I sat on my couch alone, and laughed. I found it hilarious that everything I had worked so hard to build over the past 3 years came to a screeching halt in an instant.
There were warnings that change was near, but we only see what we want to see.
The truth is, the change wasn’t as abrupt as it seemed, but it had taken me months to see what was right under my nose, then it took me months longer to accept it. None of those decisions were fun, but they were also the best decisions I ever made in my life.
There is always a promise of change; what happens next depends on whether or not you are open to it. Rarely can one see far enough ahead to recognize what the potential of accepting change might be.
It’s a bit like cliff jumping. You know there might be a thrill and a great story to take with you, but you also know you might break your neck. You just sort of need to close your eyes and go for it. Otherwise, you’ll never know.
Laughing alone in the middle of the night might seem frightening, but believe me, there is no loneliness worse than always being surrounded by people and feeling invisible. We serve ourselves better alone than with a hundred false friends. Moreover, space and time are limited. There is no room for a new career, relationship, friendship, or life, if all the space and time is occupied by the old.
Sometimes, you just need to close your eyes and go for it.
And remember… we design our own luck!