Recently my world has gone through a transformation. I resigned from the company I had been working with for 32 years and took a position with an organization in Oakland, CA, pseudo moving from Austin, TX. “Pseudo” because my house and everything (sans clothes, vehicle and dogs) are still in Texas.
It’s been a challenging few months. For the majority of my life career took priority. This leg of my path began with a gentle continual tugging feeling scattered with an occasional panic. “What the heck am I doing?” “What about my house?” “What about my 32 years?” “What about everyone I work with?” etc etc etc (side note – I can never write “etc” without thinking of the movie “The King and I” - love that movie). There seemed to be so many reasons, including a huge comfort, to NOT do this.
Eventually it became beneficial, sort of necessary, to create a visualization and mantra. The visualization entailed hands cupped around the outsides of my eyes, like blinders, and the mantra whispering in my ear “just one more step”, “just one more step”, “you can always change your mind”, “you can stop at any time”, “just one more step”. As time went on I’d like to say the anxiety waned, maybe it did a little, but mostly I began to trust in the one more step.
As you can imagine there was a great deal of self reflection and introspection. I’ve always considered myself spontaneous, free spirited even. Maybe this sounds weird after just saying I’ve had the same employer for over half my life. But during these years, I’ve never hesitated to take on completely different roles or challenges, including those which were in different parts of the US. Once moving within 4 days notice. Yes, moving, presented with an opportunity on a Tuesday, packing everything up (well, it wasn’t that much back then), loading a u-haul and, boom, outta there Friday afternoon. And that was with work. Personally, I could travel on a moment’s notice. A sister could call me (or I call a sister) on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and suggest we meet in Zion’s on the weekend and we’re there! Or head to Laughlin after work for just the evening or once, sitting around with friends having brunch one Saturday morning when an advertisement for cheap flights to Vegas came over the radio. We paid the tab, drove to the airport and flew to Vegas. And, you know what? Looking back, I regret none of those times. They created great memories!
So throughout this process the spontaneous side of me was saying “do it, move, it’ll be fine” but the older me, who now owned more stuff and worked with so many people I truly adored was saying “whoa, slow down, do you really want to do this?”. I relied on my mantra and what seemed like unwavering confidence from my sisters to keep going and follow the tug.
At 5:00 pm on my last day, I picked up my work cell phone and selected the option to revise the voicemail greeting “Hi, you’ve reached the voicemail of AECOM Gulf Southwest Regional Project Controls. If you have a question or need support regarding project controls please dial ….. “. Tears welled and a lump grew in my throat as I came to the realization that until that very moment I really didn’t really know positively for sure I’d truly follow through and make this change.
Now when someone finds out about my recent move, their first question is “did you sell your house?” I find my self feeling weird saying “no, all my stuff is there and I’m not sure when I’ll get it taken care of” but maybe if I start saying it with more confidence like it’s perfectly normal to start a new job, move `1500 miles and not have sold your house or move your belongings, they won’t think it’s weird either, you think? If I don’t make it weird, it won’t really be weird, right?!?!
P.S. I started to wonder, as usual, what the actual meaning of weird. According to dictionary.com,
Weird: involving or suggesting the supernatural; unearthly or uncanny
Weirdly enough I wasn’t expecting this definition :-)
P.P.S. Know anyone who wants to rent a furnished house with an incredible view of Lake Travis in Lago Vista, TX?