It’s a when, not if, it’s going to happen. The whats, the hows, the whys, the whens, the magnitude – those are the unknowns, but change comes for all of us at some point, and in some form.
Change always brings an opportunity – opportunity for reflection, to start over, to reevaluate, to take a risk, to learn. It’s up to us on how we react and respond to the opportunities change might bring – it can only present them, sometimes in frustratingly subtle and unclear ways.
I feel as I am writing this that I am trying to sound like an expert in this category. HA! That couldn’t be further from the truth. I would not classify myself as someone who handles change well. I would say I am someone who is learning how to handle change as effectively as possible because that’s the cards life wants to deal me right now. Here’s the truth – I had a plan for my life! It was a simple one, really – not different from most people, I would think. Get married, live locally to be close to family and friends, pursue an awesome career that I always thought I wanted, climb the corporate ladder, make a great living, travel the world, have babies (babies who would be well-behaved and well-mannered, and eat like the cultured, little global citizens I was going to raise them to be), be AWESOME at being a working mom and still have time to read, write, travel, plan, photograph, and do all.the.things. I’d have endless energy, be a stress-managing pro, Pinterest mom, and generally – be happy.
The truth? 18 months ago I had a beautiful baby girl who is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. She is well-behaved (mostly), and well-mannered (when she is not exerting her extreme will) but lives on a diet that pretty much consists of mac & cheese, frozen pancakes, french fries, bread, and bananas. She won’t even try a strawberry, let alone be the global-inspired eating machine I was sure she would be.
More truth? I went back to work after my maternity leave and less than a month later found out I would be losing my job, at a company I thought I loved and was committed to, and had been progressively growing in. It was completely blindsiding, and it was the domino that has led me to where I am now. I took a job with another company doing pretty much the same thing, and less than one year later that company went out of business. What was I doing? Well, the hard, cold facts were I hadn’t been happy in either job for years – my heart was just not in it, and after becoming a mom it happened to me – the one thing I never, ever thought would happen! The days where I was working 7 to 7? I couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t have the drive, or the desire, to climb the corporate ladder any longer. My mind was elsewhere, and so were my passions and my dreams. Somewhere along the way, I had changed – my heart and my goals had evolved. And I was tired – I didn’t have the energy to do all.the.things that I wanted to do, and found myself sitting in front of my TV doing nothing way more than I am proud to admit, and I couldn’t remember the last time I was able to pick up a book without falling asleep after the first few pages. I stayed in the job because it was comfortable – the money was great, I knew what I was doing, and it checked all the boxes I always thought I needed to check about myself.
Have you ever seen “The Greatest Showman”? If not, you should – it has awesome music and super inspiring lyrics and quotes. I recently saw it, right when I was losing my job for the second time in one year, and one of the quotes that stuck out to me the most from P.T. Barnum is this:
“Comfort is the enemy of progress.”
Um, yes. Yes, it is. Comfort makes us complacent, and that is exactly what I was. Not living the life I had sought for myself, or my family. But when you are dealing with change, it is so easy to look to other people to make your decisions for you. I can’t tell you how many people’s opinions I asked for what I should do with my future, and every single time I wasn’t happy with their answers. Why? Because I’ve learned that only I know what is truly going to make me happy. Only I know where my heart wants me to go, and only I can make the decisions for myself that I am going to be content with. So this past April, when I knew my company was going to fold, I chose to take it as a sign – God’s way of telling me “hey, WAKE UP! This is not what you are meant to be doing – it’s about time you make a change.” I think He had tried telling me that last year, but I didn’t listen and instead went with what was comfortable. Whoops! Because now I am 23 weeks pregnant, moving into a brand new home, in a brand new community, starting a brand new job, trying to find my daughter brand new childcare, AND trying to adjust to a brand new financial situation. It’s completely unknown, overwhelming and terrifying…but it’s also exhilarating, and refreshing – an opportunity to wipe the slate clean of what I thought my life needed to look like, and how I was living it, and start over, writing the next chapter of what our life is going to become. We are so blessed and fortunate – change isn’t making that any less so. We have our health, and the support of our amazing family and friends behind us, and despite it all, we are happy and excited about the future. I am choosing to chase a career for passion, instead of monetary gain, and I have absolutely no clue where it will lead and if I will fall on my face, or be a wild success. But that’s okay because at least I am trying – no regrets!
I know I am not the only person struggling with change and having to make serious life decisions because of unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Mine is just one case of many. What I want to leave you with today is this:
Sometimes life has a crazy way of telling us what we need, even when we are not ready for it. Don’t be afraid to embrace the changes life throws you. Don’t be so scared of the future that you forget how to move forward in the present. Don’t use logic and reason to prevent you from taking risks and following your heart when the opportunity presents itself. And when you feel like you can’t breathe under the weight of everything you need to deal with, remember every single day is a new day for starting over and embracing opportunity. Life is a journey – it’s got twists, turns, curveballs, and roadblocks. We don’t always know where the journey will lead, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking. Trust in yourself, and in your heart, so that when change happens to you, you can listen, and you can see past the struggle. Your new path might lead you to somewhere you never thought you could go, somewhere truly magical – and that is my simple hope for you.
Hi there! I’m Angela – I recently turned 30 and have determined that this is going to be my year to embrace change and chase new dreams. My husband and I are going on 5 years married this Fall – we grew up not 10 mins from each other (Greendale/New Berlin) but never met until college (Go Badgers!). We have a spunky little girl who’s 1.5 years old, and another baby on the way this September. We are brand new members of the Lake Country community and are so excited to start this next chapter of our lives here. I’ve spent the past 8 years working in the tumultuous retail industry which has had major ups, and more recently, major downs. At this moment I am in flux – reflecting and re-evaluating what is best for me and my family as I make a career change. Personally, our lives revolve around family – we are lucky to live close to both of our parents, and adore spending time with our siblings, and nieces & nephews. I love all things Disney and know almost every lyric to every song. I’ll always remind my daughter it’s okay to believe in Magic. I adore a good book, a steaming cup of tea, any bowl of soup, a glass of Red, and putting pen to paper. I enjoy elaborate party planning, and wasting too much time on Pinterest and Instagram. I love eating more than I love cooking, and going out and trying new restaurants is a favorite way to spend our evenings or weekend afternoons. I am passionate about traveling the world, and exploring as much of it as possible together as a family. When I “grow up”, I want to plan incredible trips that excite, inspire and fulfill people’s travel desires. We adventure together as much as we can both near & far. I am honored to be a part of this community, and hope you will join me as I share fun things to do, local places to check out, and travel tips & inspiration for the family on the go! You can follow me on my personal instagram account or at my new, travel-focused account (or both!). Thank you!