There are so many emotions roiling about right now, that I am not sure which one is the most dominant. I think the top five are: scared, apprehensive, sad, wistful, and a bit excited. What’s even stranger, I’ve discovered you CAN feel all of these at once without exploding. And it’s OK.
My family has been amazing. I will just leave it at that.
I am also very fortunate to have an extremely smart circle of best friends. They have put up with much from me the past year, as I went through various stages of soul-searching. They have been supportive throughout, and have been wonderfully understanding when I have had to cancel lunches, dinners, theater engagements, and spa time because of work travel, client emergencies, or elder care issues. They have given nothing but kind words as I shared my conflicting emotions, and I love them all dearly for that. It would have been so easy for them to say “ENOUGH, ALREADY!” The fact they didn’t says a lot about their characters.
What I have learned so far is that it is OK to feel scared. And apprehensive, sad and wistful. This is a major life transformation. The other ones I’ve been through were all when I was younger, more naive, too innocent to know just what was in front of me, and had the energy to deal with the consequences. Now I’m older, wiser, less patient, and what’s ahead scares the bejeebers out of me.
I think I like that better. I can now acknowledge it, address it, and conquer it. And find out just who I am in the process.
One of my soon-to-be-former colleagues calls me a “Damned Pollyanna”. Frankly, that’s the only way I’ve been able to stay sane in my chosen profession. As much as I would have liked to howl at the moon and then curl up in a ball, it’s not productive, and it makes you very unpleasant to be around. So, I look for the bright side and a shred of humor whenever I can. When I can’t, I open up a voodoo doll and enjoy putting pins in some very tender places. (You can buy them in bulk on Amazon) I am determined to face this monumental challenge in the same way. There will be dark times, bad moods, and serious grumps to deal with, and deal with them, I will. I have already apologized to my family and friends in advance.
So, what’s it really like?
The best analogy I can think of is of paddle-boarding. You are on something solid, with a device that enables movement, and you can see the shore, but that doesn’t negate the fact you’re still floating on a vast ocean. If you have a lot of experience, you’re on your feet, but at the beginning, you need to be on your knees to stay afloat.
So, here I am, on my knees, paddling as fast as I can. I know I will tip over a lot in the next several months as I go through the first step of my journey, but I hope to face the next step on my feet.
Now it’s time to be realistic. THAT will not happen, and I’m OK with it. You get more exercise climbing back on the board, after all, and the water is refreshing.