Has life recently presented you with a dump truck load of “let’s see how you handle this” kind of change?
8 weeks ago today, at the age of 37, I was living in a post card neighborhood of San Francisco. I was in my 15th year of my nursing career. 8 weeks ago today, I was eagerly awaiting the election of the first female president of The United States. 8 weeks ago today I was not pregnant. Today, as I write this, I am living in my ultra urban apartment in Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan, NY. I have left my nursing job with little intention of returning to the field. I am concluding my first trimester of pregnancy while trying to become a yoga instructor. Today, I still anxiously await the election of the first female US president. This is a blog about change, about what happens when it finds you, how to embrace it, and all the gritty ups and downs on its winding path.
Hello, and welcome to my blog, Lotus in The Rough. This is my first post to Lotus in The Rough. In fact, this is my first blog post. Ever. My intention with this blog is to thoughtfully, openly, and with painful honesty, follow my unfolding journey. I do not intend to use this as a personal diary, but rather as a platform to really investigate how change feels, what possibilities it creates, what challenges it poses, and how yoga plays in to all of that. My great hope is that my musings may help provide a small spark of inspiration for anyone who is contemplating their own life changes, and that my honest evaluation of my own struggles and triumphs will provide reassurance and community to those out there taking a similar leap of faith.
If any of this is intriguing to you, I will tell you how I got here.
As I mentioned, I am a career registered nurse. I spent 10 years in a Neuro Trauma ICU, and 5 in Labor and Delivery. Up until 8 weeks ago, I was cozily tucked in to my job and career, with no plans to leave. I was content and at home in our tiny San Francisco apartment. I was at work on the day that I got a text message from my husband mentioning that his consulting job had asked him to come on board full-time. Full time in New York City. They wanted him to start ASAP. Logically I should have just assumed that this was impossible. Of course we weren’t going to move. “I am so comfortable here, so is he, why would we upset the apple cart at this point in our lives.” But a voice very deep inside informed me that this was real. It would happen. As crazy and unrealistic as it sounded, it was right and good that this should happen. I knew before I even made it home that night that we were going.
After many long conversations, some tears, and a little negotiation, within four days we shared the news with family and friends that we were moving. In three weeks!
The day after the job offer was accepted, we found out I was pregnant. Change, for me, always seems to come in enormous bundles of “what in the damn hell?”
Now, before this starts to sound like a woe-is-me tale, let me share with you how I turned this enormously challenging transition into an even bigger life changer, in a good way.
While I was totally established in my nursing career, I wasn’t really identifying with it anymore. I felt no passion for it. It’s hard for me to admit that since I value caring for others, but that is the truth. I didn’t like it anymore. I certainly did not relish the idea of starting over in a new hospital, in a new city, in a field that had become stale for me. So what next? What do I love? What am I now passionate about? How do I start a new career? I have been working in hospitals in some capacity since I was 18 years old, more than half of my adult life. Fortunately, the answer came quickly. And the answer was Yoga. I love to practice it, I love to read about it, I spend my commute time listening to pod casts about it. Yoga, in and of itself, is about how we relate to changes in our bodies, minds, and lives on a daily basis. Yoga, for me, provides insights into illness and wellbeing that are a perfect and powerful adjunct to all I witnessed in my years in healthcare. I can become a yoga teacher!
Easy, right? Well, not so easy for a girl like me who always colors between the lines. I value saving , planning, security, and knowing what will happen tomorrow. How long will the training take? How will we pay the bills? Can I really help support our household on a yoga salary? Will I be able to pass a challenging yoga course while pregnant? I do not fly by the seat of my yoga pants. Well, at least I didn’t. But something was different this time as the bus-o’-life-changes pulled up. I did not approach this move with my usual mode of work like crazy to keep things the same. I did not resist. I asked myself, “what else can I break (change) here?” This transition was placed in my lap; we did not ask for it. I therefore decided to look at it as a gift to unwrap. And when I did unwrap it, inspect it, and really try to learn what it was, I found the courage to take a leap of faith.
So, back in the present moment, I am currently unemployed, something I haven’t been since age 15. I have enrolled in a month long yoga teacher training certificate program which starts in a week. I have no idea how I will do in this program, if my body can take at this time, or if I will pass. I have no back up plan. And, I feel really good about all that.
If you made it to the end of this post, I truly appreciate it! I plan to update this blog regularly, so please give it shot if you find this at all interesting. I look forward to finding out what is next with you all.