Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of me finishing up 32 years of employment in the one place and stepping out into the great unknown. [See my post from February 2017 called "Time to Say Goodbye" and a poem I wrote in December 2016 called "The Great Unknown"). One year on, I am so glad I did. Words can’t quite express the increasing amounts of joy, excitement and meaning I am starting to experience. I am extremely grateful.
So, what have I learned? There are many things, but here are 10 reflections:
- Your calling isn’t limited to your current role. In fact, don’t allow your calling to ever become merely a duty or an obligation. Keep following your curiosity.
- Sometimes we need to let our roots go down deep and stick it out through the various seasons of life, being faithful where we have been planted. At others time we need to let go, step out of the boat, and go on an adventure to new places.
- Your current world is a lot smaller than you think. There is a much bigger world waiting outside the confines of your pond.
- Life goes on. No one is indispensable. True, you can't replace people but roles can be filled and the wheels of every organisation or industry keep moving on, one way or another.
- Your identity, your significance and your security are not in what you do or the position or title you have but in who you are as a person.
- Growth means change and change can be hard, especially letting go, but it is healthy and can be good for you. It helps you avoid becoming ‘risk averse’ and losing the sense of adventure in life.
- Once you are through the threshold of change, you will see things from a totally different perspective.
- Relationships change through every season of life. Not everyone goes with you on your journey. Some old friendships fade but new ones will emerge. Having those closest to you (especially your family) love and respect you the most is what is most important.
- Life becomes very liminal as your new world continues to unfold. You have to go of certainty and embrace paradox and a lot of loose ends. Go slowly as you walk this liminal path, moving forward with openness rather than seeking a pre-mature sense of permanence.
- There will be grief and loss but there is much joy just around the corner.
May you follow your curiosity, even if it leads you out of your comfort zone and on an adventure into the great unknown!
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a ride!'" Hunter S. Thompson