In January, I chose a word I felt would define my 2012: READY. Oh, the promises of such a word.
My friend Mary and I have been doing this for several years now, and it’s fun to see just how close to the truth of it we come as the year progresses. Just days after announcing my word (here), I was offered a job at our daily newspaper. It seemed, indeed, that I had chosen my word well. I did feel ready and eager for this big and promising step.
In June, I came upon another opportunity, or, rather, it came to me. Either way, it seemed like an exceptional fit, and once again, as I stepped into yet another fabulous opportunity, I thought about my word, ready, and couldn’t believe just where that word had taken me in such a short time.
Then just a few weeks ago, I was having coffee with another friend who chooses words to define her years. Her word this year was “light.” Being drawn to her light, I felt comfortable sharing with her in confidence, “I’m not so sure my word fits anymore. I am no longer feeling ready. I am feeling overwhelmed and very unready for what I have on my plate. Truthfully, I don’t think it’s working.”
She paused, then answered, “Sometimes when we choose a word, we have to be prepared to accept the opposite of it as well.”
I could tell from the look on her face that she had some experience to back what she was sharing with me in that moment. She’s the “light” girl, after all, as thoughtful and wise as they come.
“You know my word, light? Well, there have been times in this past year I’ve also had to be okay with its opposite, with darkness.”
She would know. As someone who lives with cancer, she would understand the reality of light being overtaken at times with darkness. And yet…light is still her word.
When I shared this with Mary, she said, “Well, you were ready; just not for all of it, perhaps.”
As I’ve thought on this more, I’ve realized that my word was true. I was ready. I had been prepared. But not everything in my life was at a place to meld with that readiness.
I’ve found that I have not been ready for what I couldn’t have known when I first stepped up to my new challenges. It wasn’t possible to know until actually diving into working outside the home that while I may have been ready in terms of my skills, I am not ready in terms of timing.
So while my current position as director of communications and diocesan newspaper editor has been a beautiful fit for my character and capabilities, the opportunity seems to have come just ahead of the time that would have been most favorable for the whole of my life and family.
And so, after agonizing over what is best, I’ve sent in my letter of resignation and will be leaving after the work day on Friday. Excruciating as it’s been coming to this decision, now that it’s been made, I am feeling at peace and looking forward to what’s ahead, though I will also miss what and whom I have come to know.
Life is such a fascinating journey. Already, new insights have been coming, fast and furiously, as the result of my retreat back into the heart of my home to do what I must — to take care of first things first, my family and myself.
It’s all good, but I would not turn down any offer for prayers. Being back in a place of uncertainty career-wise takes a great act of faith and courage, and there might be times ahead when I’ll wonder what I could have been thinking by leaving my dream job. But I know that I will not be alone in these times of doubting and wondering, and that makes all the difference. And someday, I’m convinced, the wisdom I’ll have gained from this experience will benefit others.
Thanks for sticking with me here on Peace Garden Writer, too. I have a feeling I will have a burst of words to share in the coming weeks as I continue to process all that this means, and as I turn more fully into the life that awaits.
For that, I am truly ready, even though I don’t yet know all that it will come to mean.