This is Part II of my story. If you missed Part I, you can read it here.
Psychologists and grief counselors recommend not making any major life changes in the first year following a loss. I made it one month. I packed up my home in a weekend, rented a monster moving truck (seriously the thing was like a meat packing truck) and drove myself to Michigan. Along the way I prayed for all others on the road occasionally yelling warnings to move out of the crazy lady’s way. One of my best friends was moving too (her husband’s job relocated) and I drove our collective belongs and furniture while she wisely flew on a plan.
I needed time to heal but also needed money so I took a non-management position with a clinical laboratory. By week four, I was on my third boss and second reorganization. Yea, this was going to be fun. I committed to myself to stick it out one year, and I made it barely.
So what was a now 40 year old widow in a new city going to do? Well, start a business of course! . I went to the library and checked out bundles of book. I filled notebooks with ideas and plans. I researched, studied and soaked up knowledge from seasoned business owners.
I wrote a business plan and took it to the Small Business Administration (SBA). I had decided I would start a pet sitting business and even got my animal CPR certification.
On one trip to the library, I stumbled across a book about starting a writing business. I honestly had not considered that I could combine writing and business. I had always loved writing and dreamed of writing a book, but a writing business? Armed with this knowledge, I quickly changed course and made a new business plan. I used a DIY website and created a web presence one Friday and by that afternoon had my first client.
So, why this story and why now? As we enter the fourth quarter of a year that has been filled with change, many of you are considering your own reinvention. You may be feeling the need to stretch yourself or completely change course. Perhaps your friends and family are warning you that now is not the time for risk or maybe YOU are allowing fear to hold you back.
I am sharing my story so that you will know that it is possible to not only survive your challenges but thrive!
To help you in your own reinvention, allow me to share 5 Things that I learned:
- Accept that life is different. It is so easy to get stuck mourning what is gone and cannot be resurrected. A major life change is exactly that, a change. Do not waste time wishing for what you can no longer have. Cherish that time in your heart and keep moving forward.
- Build on your foundation. Change is not a loss of all you’ve collected along the way. I had never been a professional writer but I had deep expertise in business, healthcare and marketing. I used what I knew as I learned what I did not.
- Accept that your new chapter is NEW! Do not compare your new job, life, etc to your old one. Embrace where you are right now and create your new life in the moment.
- Know that life changes. We make small reinventions almost daily because life is not static. I only wish that we each had a fixed allotment of challenges in life, because surely I would be done!
- Decide to be happy. No matter what life deals you, you are completely in charge of your reaction. I will never forget when a friend asked me if I was happy living in Michigan. The question struck me as odd. Of course I was happy because I chose happiness every day. It did not matter where I lived, I would bloom where planted because that was my choice.
I did not choose the circumstances that brought me to the here and now but I always knew I had a choice. I could choose victim or victor at every turn. I was not forced into reinvention I chose it!
Are you facing change in your own life? What are you finding the most challenging?