There came a time where I had to put my big girl panties on and toughen myself up to what was. To remember my current place and time is “For Now.” The situation was not permanent, and like the seasons changing, my position would improve. My current state of affairs required that I dig deep into the emotions that fueled my pain and start a healing process so that I could move forward. Because I like metaphors so much, I thought of it this way. I would need to put on my riding boots and firmly position myself into the saddle and prepare for a wild ride, as I had so much to process.
That “Wild Ride” was around the recent changes I had made in my life. Not just any little change, like the color of my nail polish, but significant changes that brought me to a place of liminality. That place where the waters are dark and murky and the unknown is looming around the corner. That place where the uncertainty lies. That place where courage is needed to survive the transition. It was also important to remind myself that it is okay to cry, to stomp my feet, to scream at the heavens, “what did I do to myself?”
What I also knew is that I needed to ask myself better questions. Questions like, how can I make this situation better? What am I grateful for today? What can I do to relieve the pain I am feeling? What actions can I take to move myself to a place of feeling like I belong?
I also knew that time would ease the pain and would take away the uncertainty I was feeling. My ability to manifest what I wanted was strong, so I had to tap into that ability and trust the process.
It was not the first time I had moved and made a career change within my field. It was not the first time I felt the loneliness, the sadness, the longing for family, friends, and all things familiar. All those people and places that brought certainty to my life were in another part of the state. I was in the process of shedding the old and trying on the new.
Boy, was I trying on the new! I dove in deep into the new job, so much so that I worked endlessly. It was easy to do because I had no one to go home with or for. I did not want to go back to my apartment and feel the aloneness. The busier I stayed, the more present I was while at work, and the less I felt uncertainty.
Thankfully, as the journey progressed, so did I. Great friends listened and encouraged me to stay on track. They held me up when I struggled to do it for myself. I was reminded of why I chose the path I had taken, and they let me cry when I felt the need. It was not their job to fix it for me or to make it better. What they offered me was the support I needed to move through the murky waters. They bolstered me and helped me travel through those murky waters and come out feeling better on the other side.
Hold on, here comes another metaphor! I liken all of this transition, much like running a marathon. You start out running three miles, then five, and before you know it, you are running ten miles. Ten miles that you never dreamed you could do, and those miles become part of your weekly routine. Next thing you know, you are running a robust distance of fifteen or eighteen miles. The final training run is twenty-one miles; the cut off just before the race. Then race day comes, and you push through those last 5.2 miles. Victory, you cross the finish line with arms extended to the sky, a smile on your face, an announcer calling out your bib number and name, and the greeter on the other side of the finish line telling you, great job, you did it, you are all done. It is a sweet feeling of accomplishment. A job well done. All that hard work paid off; you made it. Next, come recovery and the setting of yet another goal. What race will I run next? What dream will I realize? By the way, true story and not just another metaphor.
Running a marathon is a “Rite of Passage.” It is a place where transformation happens. You relinquish control of the unknown, uncertain if you can achieve the final victory but holding a belief that you can execute the race. It is where you have to put on the game face, tough it out, put on your big girl panties, and know the only thing you can control is putting in the training miles.
Preparing for a marathon is a time where you must stick with the program, run the training miles, gather a tribe of like-minded people around you, and persevere. The transition from being a novice runner to joining the ranks of those that have gone before requires your dedication and strength to make it across the finish line. Having gone through the process of planning and executing a marathon training and race day, I knew that I could do the same with my new home life and career move. Also the time I’d spent training to be a life coach I had done much personal work that also prepared me for this time in my life.
So, seven weeks into this transformational time, I am the one who sets the pace and holds the key to victory. It is not always easy to let go of control, to trust the process, to trust in God, the Universe, to believe that God has my back and that I will make it across the finish line. There is no promise that it will not hurt that I will not suffer some along the way; there is no promise that tomorrow will be even better. However, if each day I find something to be grateful for, it will make it that much easier to cross the finish line; I will have been victorious in accomplishing what I set out to do.
What metaphors might you use to help you achieve your desired outcomes to get to that place where a Rite of Passage takes place?