Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how we get to where we are. I recognize that the question doesn’t always have a specific answer. Do the choices we make get us to where we are or do the things we choose not to do help to guide us to wherever we end up? Are we always headed somewhere or does figuring it out often lie in a willingness to just stand still until it feels right? Do you ultimately choose your own path or does something bigger than us help to present us with the options we need to move forward? How can we be sure that our decisions reflect the path we hope to be on rather than respond to where we currently exist?
As you may have noticed, it has been far too long since I last blogged. The changes I’ve made related to employment have been pretty huge. I left my full time job as a Director of Development and agreed to teach six classes between three colleges in the state. I LOVE teaching and while it has been a ton of work it has helped to cement my desire to make this my chosen profession and has reassured me that the change was the right choice. It has reinforced for me the idea that my path ultimately includes teaching.
You are probably wondering what the problem is so here goes…I agreed to remain at the nonprofit in a part time capacity to oversee a major fundraiser. This appealed to my sense of responsibility – of not leaving things undone. It sounded like a good idea at the time when I thought about the connections I could maintain and experience that I would gain. To be honest, the amount of money they offered me was very appealing too but the amount of work that I am currently doing is completely overwhelming and it seems that I have lost sight of why I was making changes in the first place – to find my true path.
I wanted to leave development work so that I could be true to myself. I was tired of feeling inauthentic, tired of being fake and frustrated with the lack of time I had to explore other interests – including teaching and writing. When I gave my resignation I was concerned about how I would make enough money while working numerous part time jobs but I believed I could do it. I felt empowered, excited, somewhat terrified and ultimately incredibly confident that I was making the right decision. I felt a sense of inner peace. The part time offer threw me and I agreed during one of the moments that I gave in to fear. For the last few months as I have tried to balance it all I have felt overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated and lonely. I have felt out of control and unappreciated. I do not presently feel at peace. This was not what I wanted when I made changes in the first place.
At this point the end is in sight. I have approximately three more weeks of part time work and I have made a promise to myself (and to my very patient and very loving husband!) that I will be true to the path I originally chose to follow – the path to a happier, more fulfilled life. For me this includes teaching, writing, time for family and friends and “me” time – exercise, reading, photography, pedicures! This has been an incredibly frustrating experience because I have no one to blame but myself for creating this situation. However, I choose to look at what a learning experience it was as well. I now know how much I can handle, I know who I can count on and I know what I want — and more importantly what I don’t want. All valuable things to learn in spite of it all.
One of my very best friends has defined her personal values and she tries to make all of her decisions based on whether they fit into her priority areas and her ultimate goals. I happen to think that she is brilliant. In following her example I have defined the following: love, balance and inspiration. Whatever path I travel next will be headed toward a life that includes all of these and helps me to embrace the sense of fulfillment and inner peace that I crave.
Where does your path lead?
ps. A very big thank you to everyone that pushed me to prioritize writing again. I am very grateful for your support and encouragement!