I’m an all or nothing kind of girl.
I’m in or I’m out, you’re in or your out. I don’t have time for the murkiness of the middle. A few years back I took this job that was huge, demanding, and completely overwhelming. I prayed, I worked hard (really hard), and so did a lot of other people. We rocked it! We reorganized, we built new systems, we developed new ways of doing things. We did it because we cared, passionately cared, about people who needed a shot at new opportunities. We met and exceeded the goals set for us. And then it came to an end.
I still have my job, but the project has ended. Now, I am looking at the path ahead and feeling less inclined to lean in…to jump all in with my whole heart. You see, I don’t have the professional walls my colleagues do. They show up with some hard won professional armor, I just show up as me. I didn’t spend my adulthood learning these lessons about protection, institutional change, and shifting priorities. Instead I learned lessons about authenticity, vulnerability, and leadership that takes risks. So, it feels like I have to make some decisions.
How do I stand here? I am trying to figure out how to stand with enough protection to continue and enough vulnerability to maintain my integrity. So, I am considering how to live here and thinking about what I need, to be whole, and continue doing the work I love. I am learning how to grow thicker skin and build some boundaries without losing the doors and windows that allow in light and air… and people.
Where does the path lead? I’ve given up looking for a different path. I didn’t drop into this place, but followed a winding path here. Years of small decisions led me to this work. So, I will continue to try, and do the next things in front of me, trusting that small decisions will lead me forward.
In the quiet after the storm, there is now time to sort out my heart, my story and my next moves. I am hopeful about all I have learned here, strengthened by the fact that I have maintained my footing in the storm, and confident that the best is yet to come.
This is part of a 31 day writing challenge. If you are interested in following along, you can find the rest of the series here. Thank you for stopping by!