I know, I know, the year isn’t over yet 😊 , but then this is the period to get all reflective and assess how the year has been. So, here is mine.
In 2019, all the pillars that made up my comfort zone were shaken to their core. I came face to face with the reality that I am not indispensable to anyone and that people have their role in my life after which they, as I, must move on. I also got a rude reminder that nothing is permanent, and there is no absolute certainty to any life destination. I fought many battles and learnt several lessons. I still have the battle scars, some of them will never fade, but my uniqueness deepens with them.
I watched as my relevance began to diminish. This is not the cry of a toddler whose favourite toy was taken away; this is the dilemma of an employee who in the end, is at the mercy of the business owner. The direction can shift, the goal can change, all for noble reasons, but all of a sudden, you are no longer as important as you use to be. For the last decade, my job had been the steadiest part of my life. When my relationships take a hit, I have always had my career to turn to, to keep me busy and to give me a sense of purpose. Sometimes, it became a useful and safe distraction; other times, it was a consolation prize and most times, it was the crown I proudly wore. So, when things turned, it was unexpected.
At first, it felt as though the ground has shifted from under me, I was in freefall and in panic grabbed on to anything that could hold me steady. My family, a few friends, my network, records of my hard work and achievements, loyal colleagues. These things sufficed temporarily, but I soon discovered that they were not a long-term fix; they slowed the pace, but I was still in freefall. So, I accept the changing conditions, spread out my wings and started learning how to fly. I shared some of the things I began to do in my article ‘I have more Time’. I am not where I want to be; I still wish the grounds I was familiar with were still under me; I am still scared of the uncertainties. But I am learning to fly – that is all that matters.
I lost a battle, but the most significant jeopardy was that I lost a friend in the same swoop. It was the friendship that made things bearable, the sounding board for my ideas, the place where I run to feel safe and where I danced when I wanted to celebrate. I discovered a new me there; I love who I was in it. It was not perfect, but it was what I wanted. I did not mind that it was lopsided; I believed time would fix everything. I was sure, but I was wrong. It takes two people who want to be together; nothing can take the place of commitment.
I am still tending to the wounds, and the pain hits like waves, some big enough to consume me others small enough for me to see through to the beautiful moments we shared. In all, I am moving forward and embracing the woman that I am. I am proactively taking steps to relieve the pressure and give myself time to heal and to find the love that I desire.
My mentor and ‘big brother’ pulled away. I know it probably has less to do with me and more to do with more important things in his life taking precedence, but it hurt all the same. I have always wanted a big brother, someone more knowledgeable and experienced who is willing to guide and advise on areas I lack in skill, knowledge and experience. And at every point in my life, there has always been a prominent brother figure; this has been the longest. My relationship with him was one where I did not have to lead, the little girl in me came out to play knowing that he would always have my back and I took for granted that he would always be there, no matter what. However, he has been busy with life, obligations and responsibilities.
Maybe it is time for a new ‘big brother’ to emerge. Now that I am learning to fly, I will need a different type of support system for the space I am navigating. Even if it hurts to see this relationship change, I am thankful for the role it played in my life and my career.
The year was not all grim. I made some progress and achieved new feats that I will share in another article.
In the meantime, feel free to share with me the highlights as you reflect on how 2019 has been for you. Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org