Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Second Page News

I am stepping back into life as I know it today and the whole landscape has changed since I last sat down to write down my thoughts.

Life is in a state of transition at the moment. It always is. Sometimes it is just more apparent. Right now I feel like I'm standing still as the landscape speeds past me and has swept me up in its wake.

So many stories, so few of them are my stories to tell.

I will write about how our health care system, the kindness, the dedication and thoroughness I have witnessed within.

I will write about my thoughts as various members of my family take tentative steps in a new direction. I will include myself in the telling of these stories as most of them involve wanting to keep one foot safely on firm and solid ground, while knowing how necessary it is to make a change.

I will write about how overwhelming the state of change feels. How terrifying it is to look too far ahead when all one can really do is take one forward step at a time.

I will write about the times when the decision to make a change is taken out of our hands and what a relief that can be. I will write about that right now...

I have been in a position where I have had to utilize all of the words I have inside of my head in an out loud kind of way. I have had a few verbal hangovers as I belabored the fact that I talked and wrote too much when fewer words would have said so much more. I have had no words left over at the end of each day. Then when I woke up the next morning, I knew I had to just keep on "using my words" to take the next step in a new and foreign land.

I came home last night, returned calls and corresponded as necessary. So many words, so few thoughts. Yet I kept spending my words like I was using a credit card. I'll "pay it back later" I kept telling myself. Just as soon as I get home, take care of the necessities of life, work a little, parent a little and find a little piece of quiet within this very wordy time.

Throughout this time of great wordiness, I knew the deadline to submit my columns had come. I thought I had worked in a one week leeway to trick myself into getting my columns sent out in time. I thought I still had time. Then I flipped open a newspaper I write for and read this:

Editor's note: This is the last 'Life as I know it' column from Colleen in her current series. We, along with our readers, will miss her weekly musings on life's challenges. When she figures out 'what's next', we sincerely hope it includes writing more of her much-appreciated, thoughtful columns.

It was interesting to read my formal "resignation" as second page news in a newspaper but I honestly don't think it would have happened any other way. I have wanted to resign from this position for a very (very) long time but I haven't had the courage to do so. Yet when I read and absorbed the words, I felt nothing but relief.

My time has come. Perhaps it came and went a long while ago and I just hadn't read about it yet. I've been saying this, feeling this, sending out messages to the universe about the need to stop "writing out loud" for quite some time. It just didn't seep in and become my reality until I read it in the newspaper.

I pondered the idea of handing in my notice to the rest of the papers I write for but thought I'd sleep on it. "I'll see how it feels in the morning." I woke up this morning and it felt like absolutely the right thing to do.

I'm tired, I'm working my way through my life without really having a plan and I don't know where I will end up. I trust that I am exactly where I need to be because I just kept taking one forward step at a time these past few weeks and every step of that journey felt right, felt necessary and I felt capable of being where and who I was.

I needed to be a daughter. In the process, I hope I was the sister I should have been. I have come home and I see the need for me to be a parent. Today, I must step back into the arena and be an employee.

I have shed a lot of my labels the past few weeks. My daycare days are behind me. I have resigned from my position of "columnist". I feel like I am stripping myself bare so I can be "exactly where I need to be" and in the process, become "exactly who I am meant to be".

As I wrote my formal letter of resignation to the remainder of the newspapers I write for this morning, these are the words that seeped out of my fingertips:

It is time for me to be “done writing” for now. One of my favorite authors/speakers Glennon Doyle Melton talks of the need to “write from a scar, not a wound”. Although my life is in no way going through a time of crisis, it is indeed going through a metamorphosis. I need to write like no one is reading for a while. Some of this unfamiliar territory involves my family so many of my musings and thoughts are not my story to tell. Most of this will turn into a great lesson one day. One day when I’m safely on the other side of where I am at right now and I have some perspective and depth to bring into what currently feels like “survival mode”.

I don't want to read about my need to make a change in yesterday's newspaper. I need to step back into the driver's seat and start navigating my own choices. I will treat this like the journey life is intended to be. I don't see my final destination yet but I am determined to drive safely and make the most of the ride. And hey, if one must read about their next life changing move "second page" isn't too shabby. I'll take that as a win. At least for today.

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