Sunday, October 17, 2010

Exciting News...As Promised

Reading through these posts, it dawns on me that this blog has turned more into an outlet for introspective overwhelm than the actual account of this journey I had intended it to be. Sometimes I am o.k. with that. Other times, I read through these posts and just think 'whaaaaaaaa'. It's a shame I rarely find inspiration to write when things are going well...it would definitely broaden the perspective on what's really happening in my life.

So what else is happening, you ask? Lots of things. Good things. Exciting things. Things that have met me at the fruition of promise and of hope.

The first of many changes I made in life (now nearly 18 months ago) was to quit my high-powered corporate job that was challenging my ethics. I had no other job lined up, I just knew I needed to quit. It actually wasn't realistic at that time for me to even look for another job. I was completely jaded by the corporate world, having witnessed first-hand the rich getting richer by exploiting the poor. So I quit, traveled to Africa for a month, and came home to face the music of a whole slew of other difficult decisions that would turn my life completely around.

Something that really blows me away about the story of quitting is that it was a year and a half ago. Let me clarify something - I have debt, not savings. I've never been in a position where I could take a few months off from work just because I felt like it. This particular situation was no exception. I had one month, and had no idea what I was going to do for money when I got back from Africa. When I got back, the breakup and moving out consumed so much of my time and energy I couldn't even think about looking for work.

But, the amazing thing is, work found me. And just in the right increments, too. With the help of friends I was able to pick up a consulting gig or two. A few hours here, a few hours there - more than enough to get me by and allowing the freedom I needed to move through the change happening in my life at the pace I needed to. When I sunk into a sullen depression last fall, I could hardly muster up the energy to get out of bed. One of the richest blessings of this time, knowing that I had to experience that darkness, is that my work (or lack thereof) allowed me the freedom to take the time and days I needed to to move through it. There is, no doubt, divinity in that. Call it God, the Universe or whatever - someone or something showed up for me in a real way during that time.

And that someone or something has continued to provide...up to and beyond the point when I realized I was ready to dive back into work again. This happened around August this year. One year after moving out of the house I had shared with my boyfriend of seven years, I had finally decided that Santa Barbara really was my home. I had realized the lifestyle and friends and activities we shared as a couple were still available to me as a single woman. Even more so, in fact - and by August I was finally relishing in the activities and friends that I realized were just mine. There is life outside of relationship...and a home. And I'm living it in Santa Barbara.

Provisions continued to pour out when I realized, at this point, all the options I had available to me. I had options...in this economy. It's unbelievable when you think about it, but I did. I had offers for more consulting work, one of the clients who had ended up hiring me on as a part-time employee really wanted me to join them at full-time status, and a friend of mine had just introduced me to an associate at a local startup in town. The decision was easy in that I knew I didn't want to continue as a consultant and I had a nice offer on the table from the current job. The only problem is that it was a job that I just liked, but I was really looking for something again that I could really love. Nothing fit quite right at the time. So I made the best decision available to me and took the offer on the table.

Within two weeks of transitioning to a full-time employee, it became clearly evident to me that this was not the right 'home' for me. But, even in that realization, there was little discouragement or concern. It affirmed my decision to keep the conversation going with the local startup. The problem was that my meetings and interviews with that company up to this point had been merely interesting - almost awkward - interactions of trying to feel each other out. Amazingly, less than a week after deciding the new full-time gig wasn't going to work long-term, my second official interview was when the opportunity really began to reveal itself, and I was starting to get excited. What's more, it was clear they were starting to get excited, too. By the end of my third interview a week or two after that, there was a definite click. It was one of those great interviews where, at the end, we were both saying things like "when I come on board" (as opposed to "if").

And I bet you can guess how this story ends (or continues, depending on how you look at it). I hardly lasted a month as a full-time employee at the other place - my last day was a little over a week ago. I'm just returning home from a 7 day cruise in the Caribbean, and two weeks from tomorrow I will be starting a new job at a new and exciting company with great people who are doing great things with a great product that really provides value to their customers. I couldn't be more excited. I'm refreshed by the return of that spark within me that is really passionate about the work I do (for a while there I was afraid I'd never get it back). Best of all, I am ready.

No, I lied...I think the best part is that this is a solid reprieve from some of the ambiguity I've despised so much as part of the process. The job thing was one of those unknowns that filled the void in which I took a leap of faith into. But, remember? I took that leap because I was promised something more. I quit my job 18 months ago because I knew there was a great company out there that was doing exciting things - where I could go home after a good day's work feeling like I've done something good in the world. I was promised that not all corporations are run by fat cats swindling to make a buck. I feel like I've been lead around a corner, the divine blindfold has been removed, and have been met with the hearty shout "surprise!"

And it feels great. I am so blessed I hardly know how to hold it. And I realize that the fruition of all that's promised is something that is available to me in a constant trickle. There's no final 'ah-ha' moment and no use in sitting around waiting for the next reprieve from ambiguity to happen. It's happening right now. For all of us.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Seedling

The seedling
Pushes out and breaks ground
At the first hint of spring
Eager to wake from the cold, dark winter

Determined
It spreads its small leaves outward
A statement of life emerging
Growth to be recognized; a will unbroken

Its resilience
However, is no match to the storm
To the heavy, wet snow that falls
When the air freezes in the evening

Frozen still
Buried under blankets white
Dormant and crushed in the quiet
Where hope exists only in waiting

Snow will melt
This is a promise of nature's design
Also ingrained in the seedling itself
Which keeps it from giving up; from dying

Flattened
The seedling enters sight at final thaw
One of its leaves brown and cracking
Stuck clinging lifelessly to the soil

But it remains
And as the sun warms its stem
Its other leaves breathe and perk to life
And the stem sheds its frost-bitten past

Growth resumes
Stretching out taller each day
Gaining strength in its momentum
Enduring this cycle throughout the season

The seedling
Its once-fragile stem now a hearty stalk
With arms that stretch out in a colorful array
Its flowers welcoming the new hope of summer

Friday, October 1, 2010

Optimistic October

"Life is learning love. The rest is killing time."
~Noelle Price Marinello
This morning I welcome a new month like a new beginning. I have dubbed it "Optimistic October", in anxious anticipation of new hope and new reprieve from grief. I am aware that actual circumstances are more or less out of my control, so rather than setting an expectation for what will happen I am setting intention for how I will react to whatever I meet this month.

I am praying that with all my heart and with all my mind and with all my soul I will remember and hold hope for promise. That I will walk the journey without fear and without doubt. I pray that in all circumstances I will remember humility, gratitude, and grace. "Optimistic October" is about returning to a belief that was undeniable in my heart early last year - that I am called for a greater and deeper purpose and to experience a greater and deeper love. In my faith experiment, I am called to authentic connection in partnership; committed, present, engaged. I pray for the courage and will to remember and believe unwavering in that promise.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

In October, I seek gratitude. I seek community. Authentic community; people to enjoy life with. Not anxiously checking into Facebook or reading emails to fulfill that connection. I seek presence, strength, courage and wisdom.