Last month, I walked away from a career I spent over a decade pouring my heart into. A decision that did not come lightly, but did come with a lot of clarity.
My resignation marked the beginning of our journey back to Australia, where my husband was raised. A decision based largely on political reasons, a leap of faith in the direction of what we believe will be a better future for our children.
We left behind a lifetime of memories, family, friends, and a piece of our hearts.
Making this life-changing decision was met with a range of emotion. With any major change, there is the process of closing one chapter all while anticipating the next. One minute you are ecstatic thinking about the possibilities to redefine what life looks like. The next, you are crying over the handprints that were drawn on the wall or remembering the day you brought your children home from the hospital after they were born. All the memories and comfort of what you know and what is familiar.
One thing I have learned in life is that we grow the most as humans when we challenge ourselves and lean into fear. It would have been easy for me to sit back and say I am too scared and continue to do more of the same. Instead, I chose to let go of that and simply go to the place that is laden with fear.
Change is hard. Change is scary. Doing what scares you will always pay off. It may not be immediate but it will happen. It is never too late to be the person you were created to be, the person you dream of being.
The minute you let self-doubt take over you will inevitably end up holding yourself back.
But, we have all had those moments.
For me in this process, they came in the form of distraction and worry. How will the kids adjust? Will our friends be okay? Will my husband be okay? What I finally realized was that I was spending so much time worrying about everyone else so I wouldn’t have to listen to my own fears. And by worrying about all of them what I was really saying is, “what if I struggle?”
I have a lot of peace in terms of the decision we made and know it was the right thing to do. I just can’t help being human, and well, a little Type A. I love lists. Perhaps I need to see someone about that!
In all seriousness, I have always had a plan. I knew what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, who I wanted to be. Now, I couldn’t tell you exactly what anything looks like. Today, we are looking at a clean slate to write our story any way we choose. That is both thrilling and terrifying.
One of the questions I ask young women when I am mentoring them is, “if you knew the world was ending 1 year from today, what would you do differently in your life?” Following their answer, I always ask “what is holding you back from doing all those things right now?”
What I realized is that there will always be something. We are too old. We are too scared to leave a steady paycheck. We are comfortable with the stability. Fear is at the root of every single answer.
At the end of the day, if you feel that pull on your heart and you know deep down that you aren’t living the life you were created to live – won’t it always be worth it to choose happiness over comfort? To lean into that fear?
Walking away isn’t giving up, it simply means you are walking towards something else.
We have been here now for just a little over 3 weeks.
I know this adventure is likely to be met with some challenges along the way, but I am choosing to lean into all of that. And so should you – no matter what form fear is presenting itself as in your life.
Life can change on a dime. Embrace it.
When all else fails: coffee, wine, repeat.
Jennifer Smith is the founder of Coffee Loves Wine and is the former Vice President over Marketing & Publicity for a major book publisher. Follow her at www.coffeeloveswine.com, on Facebook and on Instagram.
Start the Day with Coffee. End the Day with Wine. (Life is what happens in between).