Change, of course, is constant. Some change is within our control and brings with it neutral feelings: like swapping out our toothbrush, putting on fresh sheets, or opting for a new hairstyle. Other changes are far beyond our control and can be quite scary or stir up a variety of uncomfortable emotions: matters as large and significant as life, death, sickness, health, or the changing of the seasons. Of course not all change that is out of our control has to come with dire or hugely impactful consequences, but can still stir up difficult emotions, like the fact that Reese’s peanut butter cups have gotten noticeably smaller since I was a kid. Don’t think we aren’t wise to your shenanigans, Mr. Hershey.
Yep, change is all around us, and this past week for me certainly came with a number of life-altering events, both big and small. Most notably, I’d say, is that I took on a new role within a ‘new-to-me’ company and formally tendered my resignation with my current employer. Like any change we encounter, there is a lot to unpack within the event, and along with the this comes the reconciliation of feelings and discovering how to embrace each of them separately for what they offer.
I am excited and full of happiness for what I see on the horizon. I am proud of myself for making a choice, as hard as it may have been, and growing my skill sets to where they are today. I recognize the fortune in having this opportunity. I have no shortage of gratitude for my wife, who is equal parts patient, supportive, encouraging and will not hold back from challenging me to think not just critically, but with evidence and with a kindness fist and foremost to my mental well-being. Joy is the first feeling that comes to mind whenever I stop and think about what change is forthcoming but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that right on its tails is:
This opportunity I’ve been given comes with no small amount of fear and brings with it a terrified feeling in the pit of my stomach. Change can often times represent the shift and transition from something comfortable and familiar, to something unknown and therefor scary. It also comes with a barrage of questions and emotions: Will I like the people? Will the people like me? What will my day look like? What if I’ve made a terrible mistake and I’m going to feel nothing but regret? These are all valid and justified feelings, but, as I have been working through processing these feelings I am continuously reminded that ‘comfort’ is a different word with a very different meaning than ‘happiness’.
I am scared, yes. But in almost equal measure, I find myself also tapping into:
This comes as a bittersweet shift in my life, as I genuinely and sincerely love the people that I have shared a space with almost every day for past few years. Our work family is often times comprised of individuals that we see even more frequently than our home families, and although the relationships are on a different level, they are no less meaningful. I am grateful for all of the daily laughs, sharing of stories and, perhaps most notably, the ways in which everyone I have had the joy to spend time with has helped me to grow and develop as a person. In other words: thank you. All of you.
I have shed no small amount of tears over the past seven days, as I prepare to close a chapter in my life. I am going to miss so many aspects of what my life has been, and I only hope that each and every individual that I have worked alongside everyday knows and understands how amazing they are, how much they bring to the table, and they see the value within themselves. If I could selfishly ask one thing of all of them as a parting gift to me, it would be this: forever be kind to yourselves and always remember what’s important.
Yes, I am very sad to be losing some of the close connections I have, at least on a daily basis, as I do hope and trust many of us will continue to cross paths regularly. This all said, I am also curious, and enticed by prospects that lay ahead. Perhaps even more importantly, I feel:
Joy and excitement overlap quite a bit, but I do view them differently, as the the joy is the thing that exists in me now and the excitement is for what’s to come. It’s the happy unknown that I can’t wait to explore. I will be joining the ranks of like-minded individuals who explore a creative space involving imagination, play, and constant collaboration. Just about everything about this position is new, and new can be fun and intriguing, and I view it like ball of modelling clay: ready for me to shape and re-shape it however I deem best. I have an opportunity to learn, grow, and expand upon my knowledge of the world around me. I will meet new people in a new environment and get to explore all kinds of ‘new’.
Yes, there is a lot to process and consider, each and every new emotion bringing with it a level of importance no more signifiant than the last. But as I look out my window, thinking of change and whatever comes after tomorrow, any feelings I have specific to this subject all pale in comparison to what else is about to come…
It is November 13th and a few snowflakes have started to kiss the sky. It’s starting to get a little bit chilly in the air, and I’ve switched out a few of my jackets and footwear. The tires are changed over, and the Hallowe’en decorations are down. There’s a familiar tune on the radio and, judge me all you want, but I find myself humming All I want for Christmas Is You on a regular basis. I have a spring in my step and a song in my heart. Yep, Christmas is on the horizon, and in this exact moment nothing could excite me more than that. It’s time for snow forts, and skiing, hot chocolate and candy canes. If I think my wife is loving and patient with me for a job change…well, that doesn’t hold a candle to how she tolerates my enthusiasm for the magic of the season, and my countless Christmas traditions. Love you, my dear!