This week, my life changed. It’s all for the good, but with all growth, we must also leave something behind.
We may even be that someone, if it’s time for another’s growth.
Over the years, I have embraced all the change life and work has thrown at me. This time is no different. I have a mostly new team and look forward to learning more about their work and how to best help them in the coming months.
However, I must say goodbye to the team I’ve built over the last 2+ years.
It’s time for them to move on to the next step in their journey. Like kids going off to college, it’s time for them to leave the nest.
I didn’t expect it to be this difficult to let go. I didn’t expect to grieve.
It hit me hard. I worked from home one day, leading up to the announcement. With my head on the counter, I let it all consume me.
Brushing the tears away, I realized what a gift they have given me. Not the hard work and accomplishments. But how they have transformed me. Made me a better leader. More self-aware and compassionate.
While I grieve, I am also very proud. So proud of what we built. Most of it, the world will never see. It is something to be felt and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Over the years – of different homes, schools, friends, companies, roles, and mentors – I’ve taught myself to look forward so that I’m not reeling from what I’ve left behind.
What I’ve finally learned is that it’s okay to look back. To remember with fondness the relationships, the challenges, the triumphs. To cherish what was great, even when we have to let go and move on to the next step in our journey.
The next time change comes, don’t be sad what you have is over. Be grateful that it happened.
I just celebrated another birthday. It was wonderful for so many friends and family to reach out and wish me well. To receive the call that includes an off-key rendition of “happy birthday” that always makes me tear up.
Several of the well wishers wished me a happy 39th or 29th birthday. I’m pretty sure they meant the energy, blush and/or form of those earlier years. I proudly told them I was thrilled to be celebrating 43.
Whether or not it makes me crazy, or at least in the minority, I love my birthday and each year it brings. Even the tough ones. Especially the tough ones.
I still have a ton of energy, but now I can hone it on what’s really important. I’m more selective about what that means. I have a perspective that my 20’s and 30’s couldn’t provide. I’m sure in my 50’s I’ll think I was misguided in all my 40‘s profound-ity. And I look forward to it.
In my late 20’s, I remember talking with my grandmother, worried that I had passed up too many relationship opportunities because I was so focused on my plan. I was working hard, traveling, and had a list of things I felt were necessary to experience or achieve before I settled down on my terms.
At the 2015 Mass Conference for Women, one of the interactive booths included an artist storyteller. She asked the question “What advice do you wish you had as a college freshman?”
Since then, I’ve thought long and hard about that question. I spent a lot of time struggling, during college and in the decades since, with interpersonal interactions.
I wish someone had been able to help me see myself accurately. Ultimately, to share one book, which made me a better leader and better human being.
An artful collection of advice at Mass Conference for Women
I have spent much of my life feeling like Cassandra. Cassandra was the daughter of the King of Troy, who predicted their fall to the Greeks. She was cursed by Apollo to know the future, but not to be believed.
Rejecting traditional gender roles
I do not have a Y chromosome. Somehow, without that, I can still use power tools, change my tires or oil, install a car stereo, and do all sorts of other useful things.
As a young child, I was offered the opportunity to learn anything I wanted. There was no talk of not being able to do something because I’m a girl. Until I had my own child. Now I hear that from my son.
I have been shocked and perplexed as to why my son would think I can’t do something, simply because I’m a girl.
There is literally nothing I believe I can’t do or show him. Except that whole peeing standing up thing. His dad can take that on with my blessing.
If he’s growing up in a house with a strong, capable mother who believes she can do anything, what’s the deal?
The influence of broader society
My son is 8 and already being taught, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, that there are things girls do well and things boys do well. In spite of my (rather direct) influence and teachings, he’s hearing it and seeing it from many more people than what he’s hearing from me.
If volume and frequency of voices drives his reality, I’m a pretty lonely voice out there.
All dads are different. They hold a special place in the homes and hearts of their families. No matter your role as a dad, thank you for all that you do.
Whether it’s killing spiders, helping with homework, doing the laundry, vetting boyfriends, making breakfast, coaching a sport, or any number of other contributions, this day’s for you.
I hope you get to do something you love with the people you love today. Happy Father’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in my tribe and around the world. May you spend it doing something you enjoy, with people you love.
I have been lucky to be surrounded by the men in my life today, particularly the littlest man, with good weather, good food, and even a good nap. Sleep is the mom’s gift that can never be overrated.
We may be back to real life tomorrow, but today – I hope you celebrate you.