Winter season can be breathtaking with its freshly fallen snow on bare trees. It’s also cold, harsh, and hauntingly frozen. Growing up in New York City, I associated winter with Christmas, one of my favorite holidays. I also identified it with snow days, which meant closed schools. Those times were the best. Snow days meant snowball fights in the circle. The circle is what we called the basketball court in the center of our neighborhood. We also played snow football and sled down the concrete stairs on cardboard boxes torn open and laid flat. We used hard plastic colorful crates as sleds, too. Sitting with our bottoms in the box and our legs and arms flailing off on the sides, we would slide down the snowy stairs. There was never a worry about the dangers in any of it. It was adventurous. All the children played in that first snow until our fingers tingled with a slight burning sensation. As a child winter embodied fun and adventure but as a woman, I discovered the darkness in the beauty, the harshness in the cold, the haunting fearfulness before the storms and the unpleasantness of the whiteness of the snow turned to gray slush with its bright yellowed patches and the brown blobs dog left behind.
"As a child winter embodied fun and adventure but as a woman, I discovered the darkness in the beauty, the harshness in the cold,"
I imagine most people wished for the warmth and sunlight of spring. Winter left me with perceptions of being shut in, stifled, frozen in time, and hopelessly waiting for the season to change. This is where I am now in my career. In a conflict with previous perceptions and a fierce desire for transformation. It can impede growth. It’s harsh and unforgiving when you settle in a place that you’ve outgrown or realized the fit was never suitable for you. When we are young, we can flitter from blossom to blossom like beautiful butterflies without recourse we don’t have obligations to concern us. But when we are older, strapped with responsibilities, children, mortgage/rent, electricity, water, gas, etc, did I mention, Children- those little buggers are utterly expensive. Whew! As an adult we can not flutter to another flower, to taste and see if it’s better, it’s irresponsible to put ourselves in a position where we may fall and can’t support ourselves… our families. Falling because something is beyond our doing is one thing, but to walk away from stable employment to pursue a career replete with inconsistencies is unwise and selfish. So, here I am grappling with knocking down these walls I have built over 20 years. To taste the sweet nectar of my dream. Yet I fear the results may be bittersweet. I realize I can’t remain in this wintry season so I must plan; count my coins, devise a getaway, put it into action, and leap. Leap into the Spring.
My initial step was to permit myself to step out of my box. As crazy as this may sound, we condition people from childhood to seek permission. We sought it from our parents and adults in authoritative positions. We seek it from our mates and employers. Interestingly enough, permitting yourself releases you in such an exhilarating way. It forces you to take ownership of your life. When you take ownership you will unlock its full potential. When you take ownership you’re not afraid of your successes or failures. When you are at peace with yourself all things are possible. The second step was to have an open and honest discussion with my family. If you have a responsibility to others and your choices will affect them, you owe it to them to be open and honest about the changes that will take place. You may find you have an exceptional cheering squad. The third was to examine the feasibility of pursuing my dream. I had to make sure we would be financially stable. Reviewing, planning, and budgeting the next several months was mandatory if I wanted to take a sabbatical for a year to pursue my goal. In permitting myself to live my best life, I planned before I leaped.
Are you ready to leap into your spring? If not what changes must you make to help you with this transition? Planning is an imperative step. So be thorough in your examination and leap into your new season.