There is an email in the flagged folder of my inbox. I received this email back in 2014.
Before you start thinking that I haven’t cleaned out my inbox in four years, read on, because I keep this email for a good reason.
It reminds me that I am not a tree. I took a chance when it was time for a change.
Some people thrive on change. They may even refer to change as “adventure”.
Overall, I’m not a fan of change. I like a splash of routine with my morning coffee, thank you. Routine is safe and comfortable. Change is the total opposite of that.
Change is not fun.
Change is not comfortable.
One of my favorite quotes is from a movie called “Maid in Manhattan”. One line is eloquently delivered by a character that has just been dismissed from his job at a swanky New York hotel. As he leaves the building, he turns to the main character who has just apologized to him (and was somewhat responsible) for the loss of his job, and says:
“Sometimes we’re forced in directions that we ought to have found for ourselves.”
I heard that line many, many times, but I never really heard the line.
Do you know what I mean?
Four years ago, I heard that line. I heard it with my heart and it dawned on me that I had decided to stay at the job I had because it was comfortable. I had a good job, but it started to become out of sync with the life I desired. What I really wanted, and had prayed for years before, was to find a career that gave me the freedom and flexibility to enjoy my family and travel with them whenever I desired.
One day I sat at my desk and knew that I had to make a decision.
After calling a good friend and my husband, I carefully composed a letter and submitted my resignation. That was it. Like it or not, I was face to face with change. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t hide.
But the dreaded feeling of change wasn’t what I felt.
I felt hope.
I felt freedom.
I embraced change and it became chance.
A difference of one letter changed the word I feared into a word of opportunity.
Better yet, thanks to change, a WORLD of opportunity awaited.
And I lived happily ever after. The end.
Stay with me, because this is not a fairy tale. All of my change-to-chance moments were not perfect. There were moments of fear and anxiety. My former full time job was gone, and now every “What’s next?” thought flooded my mind. My favorite scripture during this time was Psalm 94: 18-19:
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
I eventually found a career that gave me freedom, flexibility and time to enjoy my family.
Now back to the email I mentioned at the beginning of this post. The reason I keep this email is because of the third word in the Subject line:
Exit Interview: Voluntary
The word ‘voluntary’ makes me smile. It reminds me that I made the decision to change. I didn’t wait until I was forced to change. I took a chance because I am not a tree.
Is there something you are ready to change? Why not go ahead and make the change?
You are not a tree.