That's what this week is all about for me.
Sometimes it takes shaking things up a bit to make us realize how blessed we really are.
I've had a hell of a couple of weeks.
Some big things are going on at work, and at home, and I've been stressed to the max.
Sometimes we come to a crossroads in life. Or in our relationships. Or our career.
Sometimes we have to make a choice. Make a turn in one direction or another, or stay where we are.
I had a choice this week. A big one. I was told "It's yours if you want it" regarding more than one opportunity.
I had put myself out there, asked for something that I believed impossible, and the response was: "Of course. It's yours if you want it."
Ummm. This caught me off guard. I had expected rejection or a flat out NO. But instead I got the opposite.
So now I had to answer the real question: Did I really want it?
You know, I think that a lot of life is easier than we think. When we put ourselves out there and actually ask for something, it's not always that hard to get.
The had part is deciding what to ask for. The hard part is figuring out WHAT WE WANT.
When faced with this question this week, I realized that I had no idea what I wanted.
And that's ok too.
We're allowed to try different things, to feel our way around until we find our sweet spot. No one is born knowing exactly who they are and what their purpose is. Well, at least not most people. So why do we think that we have to get it right the first time? Why do I feel like I get one shot at life, then I'm stuck with whatever that is for eternity?
But when I realized this week that I had no idea what I wanted, I panicked. I thought that it was black or white, take it or leave it. I felt ashamed and embarrassed that I didn't know. News flash: no one knows!
I've been learning a lot at work lately. And by a lot, I mean a mind-blowing amount of new information bombards my brain every second of every day. I say something foolish at least once every 5 minutes and blatantly reveal my ignorance to everyone around me. I struggle and curse architecture school and The stupid Fountainhead for ever making me interested in architecture in the first place. I have a stack of books a mile high at my desk because I have to look up EVERY SINGLE THING I do. ALL DAY. EVERY DAY. It's exhausting. And overwhelming. And painful. These growing pains suck.
And I'm tired. I'm emotional. I'm hormonal. I want to sit and cry a lot. I want to bawl my eyes out, gnash my teeth, howl and moan like a wild wildebeest. I want to let it all out. I am STRESSED. I want to drink wine all day. I want to complain to anyone who will listen. I want to talk incessantly about myself and my hard times.
BUT, when I put on my perspectacles, as Glennon Doyle Melton would say, I also realize that I am so lucky. I am finally in the arena; I am facing my biggest fear in life, I'm struggling to develop into the architect that I know I'm capable of being... and I have an office full of people who support and encourage me every step of the way. I have decades of cumulative knowledge within 10 feet of me. My pals John, Randy, Jim & Donna are more than willing to help me and explain things to me and share their knowledge. Sometimes I don't even have to ask... they sense me struggling and come to my rescue before I even know I'm in trouble. What an amazing gift that I have been given!
So I try to control my howling and gnashing of teeth. I don't let it all out...well, ok, maybe some of it. But most of it I keep inside. Why? Well, because that wouldn't be very attractive now, would it? And also because this is what I wanted! This is what I've been waiting for. This very opportunity to learn, to gain experience, to have my own project and be responsible for it's success or failure. That is what I've been wishing and waiting and asking for for years, and I'm not gonna blow this opportunity now by complaining about every second of it.
But now that it's here and I'm in the middle of it, I'm asking IS THIS STILL WHAT I WANT? I'm allowed to change my mind, you know. I'm allowed to try something and decide it's not for me, and move on to the next thing - guilt free.
But do you know what I have decided? Yes. This is still what I want. I thought I wanted the other thing, but maybe I was just trying to escape from the thing I already have because its hard. And I wanted an out. But I am happy where I am. I'm learning. I'm growing. The stress and the struggle are worth it to me right now. That might not always be the case, but right now, I'm exactly where I WANT to be.
So here I am, at the end of this stressful, emotional, exhausting week, in the exact same place that I started out on Monday. But the difference is that I'm changed. I have a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to my life just as it is, and I'm filled with gratitude for what I already have. I don't need a change. I just need to appreciate how blessed I already am.
Are you where you want to be in life? If you had an opportunity to make a change in your life, would you take it, or would you decide that you're actually good right where you are?
Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!
Till next time,
© Haley McManigal 2016
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