When I embarked on 2016, I determined that this would be a year of transition and shaking things up. I set goals to improve on the professional, personal, physical and spiritual aspects of my life. My pastor once said, “If you’re not doing something with your life that shakes it up and scares you a little (in a good way), then you’re not doing something with your life”. It was time to shake things up and venture into some scary, and, at times, daunting territory and push toward a greater purpose.
On the professional side, although I was much endeared to the people I worked with at my former company, my role was no longer challenging or satisfying and the opportunity for upward mobility was at least two years down the road. My job search led me to my current firm, where the first few months I felt like Alice in Wonderland when she fell down the rabbit hole. When you move from one job to another, everything in your professional universe changes.
I swore I’d never work in downtown Los Angeles again and here I was snaking through its gritty streets with its onslaught of rude drivers, one ways, constant construction and/or streets being closed due to filming. The latter a constant in LA. I went from a company of 200 employees onsite to about 5-10 people in the office on any given day. I had new leaders to become acquainted and partner with, new systems and processes to learn, a new team of recruiters to assess, develop and ensure they were providing value to the organization, begin delivering results, and, most importantly, know where all the Starbucks within in a three block radius were located. As the weeks wore on I began to build new professional relationships, experienced a few quick wins and started to gain my stride, and was landing on a deeper confirmation that this was truly the right role and place for me.
On the dating side, earlier this year I made a choice to come off of all online dating and take a much needed break. I had experienced one too many shallow, go nowhere relationships and/or scary encounters. I was becoming more and more jaded and knew it was time to get out from this cornucopia of broken men who, in theory, wanted to find their soul mate, but in reality were just looking for options. If I had a dollar for every commitment-phobe guy I’ve met, I could retire today. Where are all the “real men” with good godly values, are respectful, who know how to treat a lady like a lady and are not afraid to truly pursue a girl? Really, where are these unicorns being held? I even asked Siri and she replied with raucous laughter. Alright, alright… I digress.
The thought of being alone is never comforting. There are nights I’ve woken up in tears over the thought of it. We are not designed to be alone; however, I wanted to use this time to deepen my spiritual walk as well as get healthier physically and emotionally.
As a result, my prayer and meditation practices became stronger than ever. Although I’ve always done daily devotionals and was listening to online sermons/teachings, I recently starting going back to church, after a three year hiatus, thanks to God’s pressing on my heart and reconnecting with a dear friend. My spiritual walk is stronger than it's ever been and this would never have been possible if I hadn’t taken the time to bring it back to the forefront of my life.
I also got back to the gym and have lost another 15 lbs. I’m loving the reflection I see in the mirror these days and am working towards getting in even better shape.
I pushed through a serious depressive episode this summer, which in hindsight, I believe was my mind and soul taking out the garbage with all of the changes I was undergoing. I am more grounded emotionally, physically and spiritually than I have been in a long time.
I also took stock of my friendships and those in my inner circle. It’s not until you take the time to quiet the chatter in your life that you realize the need to do some friendship housecleaning. I had unknowingly been in relationships that were very unhealthy, controlling, toxic and just outright hurtful. In my desire to be needed or not be alone, I had allowed these relationships and their bad behaviors to manifest themselves in very unhealthy ways. By drawing a line in the sand and letting go of the wrong relationships I was able to make room for right ones to occupy the space they were cluttering up. I have been beautifully surprised by those whom I now call friend and are part of my inner circle.
This year of transition and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone has been rewarding in insurmountable ways. There have been moments of tremendous fear and anxiety along the way coupled with great victory through the milestones I was able to reach. I’m astonished at how amazingly adaptable we humans are when we finally resolve ourselves to the change. We often distress or bristle during times of great transition; even though we know it’s exactly the direction we should be heading in. Sometimes we make excuses as to why it’s not good for us or will subconsciously look for a way out.
I often equate change to wearing a new pair of moccasins. You’re drawn in by their newness, yet don’t feel their comfort at first. They sometimes blister making each new step a little awkward and painful. You want to reach for your old pair because they were familiar and made you feel good when you put them on; but they are tattered and torn and no longer serve their original purpose. You are now forced to be temporarily uncomfortable in order to move forward. Then something beautiful happens. With each step you take forward, you begin to adapt and surrender to the change, and you realize the discomfort was meant to be in order to push you further down the path to your true potential.
As I reflect back over this past year, I’m thankful for all of the beautiful disruptions I had the courage to surrender to. They, in turn, pointed me to the wonderfully rewarding and fulfilling life I am now living and have open the door to the untold possibilities before me. Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. As such, I can hardly wait to see where 2017 leads!