I have done something I never thought I would do: I quit a job I love to take on a new challenge. I’m already exhausted at the thought of it! Yet, at a time in my life when I should be slowing the pace and seeking the refuge of the familiar and comfortable, I have seized a once in a lifetime opportunity to try something new and fresh, in the hopes of breathing a new life into a life that was already pretty good. More than once, I have questioned the sanity of it all, yet I struggle to find a negative. It is time – and how often does life offer such a clarity of thought in the choices presented. So, as life holds out its hand, I grasp it with gusto and joy.
Twenty years ago, I walked into an open enrollment night at Suffolk University, armed with a charge card and a desire to study “School Counseling”, or my perceived notion of the career. At thirty-nine years old, I was a dinosaur. The other students in the program were young and fresh faced, unjaded by the world. On the other hand, I was the mother of two teens, schooled in life experience and laden with opinions. It was a long shot, but with the support of my family, I assumed my studies with energy and great interest. At its culmination, the program required a one-year, six hundred hour internship. To me, the internship offered the greatest challenge, testing my skills as well as my ability to relate to kids. But my supervisor identified in me one trait that is an intangible – intuition, or as she would say, “a good gut”, It is this “good gut” that has been my greatest asset, carrying me through the day to day, and year to year of “my career”.
Years later, I once again returned to school – and over the past eleven years, I doubted why I ever did. The degree, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies, offered a license to be an administrator and twenty one credits towards a doctorate. However, as the years progressed, comfortable and satisfied in my current position, I chalked the experience up to enrichment, figuring that the opportunity to do more in an administrative sense had bypassed me, not that I ever truly pursued the possibility. Over the course of the past few years, chances presented themselves but none worthy of uprooting my life. But when it happened, I just knew.
Now, at a fork in the road, my “gut” directs my decision to leave the nest of my happy, settled life to shake it all up. Tomorrow, I begin a very different journey. Now officially an “administrator’, a “Director”, I realize that sometimes life give you chances and it’s the decision to take that chance that makes it all so exciting and worthwhile. I keep reverting to self talk, reminding myself, “You got this!”, or as my mom said to me in some of her last words, “You’ll figure it out, you always do!” And as many have encouraged me, “Change is good!” Or lastly, as a former boss from my college days would say, “Onward and upward!” We can only hope.
To those who have been with me on this “journey”, my sincerest thanks for your encouragement, support, friendship, and love. I couldn’t have wished for a better experience. As good as it has all been, my gut somehow tells me that the best is yet to come.