What Next?

I’m 40. I’m 40! Holy hell when did that happen? This isn’t even a birthday realisation. I’ll be 41 in September. It just grabs my attention every so often.

I always imagined I’d have my shit together and my life set by now. And I’m totally fine with aging, so far. I just….when did this all happen? Blink…40. And I’ve loved or accepted my experiences and my life so far. The good, the bad and the ugly. But I don’t feel settled. Sorry…I don’t WANT to feel settled. I want to do, see and be more. I want my family to experience everything there is to experience together. I want us all to reach goals and explore ideas and just get all into life and I’m realising that this requires me to be pals with change.

Ugh.

Am I right? Anyone else get all the yucky feels from change? Or are you one of those rare breeds that thrives on it? Weirdo. Just kidding. You folk are pretty impressive but for the rest of us who get the sweaty shakes at the idea of change, let’s work through this.

My logical brain knows that change is life. Literally life. But…why has it been so hard for me to own it? I mean, I get there. Eventually. But it takes some work most of the time. I like my routines and my schedules to keep me organised. This helps me get everything done and to be my best self. Or so I feel. I have given myself permission to wing it. Winging it is my best thing but it’s still within a safety net of assurance. I try and embrace the whole ‘go with the flow’ mentality and I can enjoy myself when I’m in the place for it but it’s really not for me all the time. I can accept this. It’s part of who I am and I’m learning to own it with pride. We all work best in certain ways.

But what about when life throws you those curve balls? Or things don’t work out the way you intended or hoped? Or an opportunity comes along you weren’t expecting? What then? You just gotta face the changes, right?

Isn’t it Socrates that said: ‘The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.’?

Sometimes change feels a bit like an invasion or attack on what you’ve got going on but I like the idea that you can engage your mindset to approach it in a positive manner. Well, in as positive a way as you can. Some change is just plain shit and you need to endure it until it becomes manageable. Some change isn’t suppose to happen, like loss. That is big ‘eff off’ change that we can all do without. It can break you into pieces then build you back up in a different version of yourself. Sometimes this leads you to all kinds of amazing places you didn’t expect and gives you insight you didn’t have before but it’s still massively shit and you’d probably choose to not have that kind of change thrust upon you.

But, for most of the changes that come up, this belief that you aren’t needing to get rid of all the ‘old stuff’ or your way of doing things that have served you for so long but instead can add in new skills or learning or habits that will get you on track is quite a powerful feeling. Like it’s your choice. Like you are taking back some control. These new ways will no doubt eventually push some of the ‘old ways’ out once you notice what works. Sometimes you wont even noticed what you’ve replaced because they have come along slowly and naturally. Sometimes you are going to have to put in some major mental effort to put in place the new stuff. You know it’s going to be good for you but sometimes that stubborn heart can take some convincing.

I’ve been having a lot of thoughts recently about a big change. A career route that would be a whole lifestyle and mindset shift. It would require a lot of self reflection, studying, money and skill development. It would be a lot. It scares the holy hell out of me but it also has me all kinds of revved up. Like goose pimply stuff. All the ‘buts’ and ‘what ifs’ come crashing it and it feels indulgent and privileged and nuts and wild to be able to even consider such a change.

But it doesn’t feel wrong.

I have a super set of skills. I know where my strengths are. Teaching has helped me develop in so many ways. Skills like planning, learning, communicating, engaging, supporting and listening. Teaching has been a great experience but I’ve been dissatisfied with it for a while now. It’s not the same job. I can’t engage the way I used to. My interests are elsewhere. No matter what I end up doing, teaching will serve me very well. I would never regret the time I spent as a teacher but I’m ready for a new challenge and direction. It’s taken me a long time to admit this. This is the first time I’ve ever written it down. I’ve avoided it for awhile because, well, scary change!

Sometimes there are enough nudges from the universe, wee links and connections that keep showing up that it’s probably best to stop and listen. To give space and time for these to start making sense and to let your brain catch up with your intuition. They don’t always work out. Many don’t. My ideas and planning and goals might not work out the way I am hoping or the way I expect. But I’m damn well going to give it a good go. We need to be vulnerable right? We need to allow space for the magic, right? We need to be okay with change if we want anything different than what we have right now.

I’m 40. I’m not too old or too set in my ways to change it up. I don’t believe we ever are but I also don’t want to waste any more time on dreaming and hoping. So, I’m going to be working away over here on the things that are firing me up. I’m going to be learning and learning and learning and overwhelmed. I’m going to be scared but that’s okay. I’ll survive and I’ll thrive.

If you are contemplating some changes in your life, put that shit out there, be open to the gifts that come and leave some space for magic to enter. We got this.

If you are interested in seeing more about the work I’m doing that I write about in my blog, click the link to my Instagram account below. I’d love to see you there.

https://instagram.com/shinetime_j

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