Growing Whole

 Very appropriate to post this piece that I wrote back in November. This was the first major part of my recent journey where I felt like the person I want to be. Tuesday was my second day of working in a new position. Just being out in public and having one of those normal people routines: commute, lunch, tasks, commute feels amazing. Today certain tasks became easily automatic, and as a reward, I got to prove myself by taking on a couple of new ones. It felt good to contribute and it felt amazing to be able to show my skills and talents. Another piece of me settling in to where it needs to be.

I’m more whole now than when I woke up this morning.

The closer I drove to the bed and breakfast yesterday, the deeper I entered sacred retreat space. One by one, my closest friends joined me and we started the weekend with games and jokes, beer and conversation, and best of all, the joyfulness of being together again.

I started this morning early. No prayers or ritual, just coffee, some conversation and a whole lot of setting up workstations and tool stations and the store display. After breakfast it was more of the same with greeting new arrivals mixed in.

Then I set up my computer and checked some things online when I saw it.

Before I go any further, I should explain. For almost a decade, I was a Creative Memories Consultant. I taught people how to preserve their history through scrapbooking as well as carve out some precious “me time” by attending my workshops and retreats. This career choice became as vital a part of my identity as being John’s wife and Abby’s mom and Frank’s daughter. It was part of me just as playing the clarinet or owning a yellow Beetle or bleeding red. When the company declared bankruptcy twice and ultimately restructured into a new company with new products that I had no interest in selling, I was heartbroken. I ultimately left the company I loved for so long and that started this descent into not knowing and being lost that has been my current truth for the past two years.

At the end of the summer, rumors (and later facts) about a new version of my beloved company surfaced. Last month, final details were announced and I felt a stirring inside that has been missing for longer than I’m happy to admit. This morning, I logged on my computer to discover that I had the opportunity to join the new company. I excused myself from my fellow scrapbookers because my heart felt overflowing with what ifs and hope. I decided on a walk to the dock on the lake behind our bed and breakfast. When I got outside, tiny snow flurries were flying through the air adding to the sacredness of my retreat space and giving a sense of magic and fairyland to my journey. I ran down the hill in my bare feet, long pink skirt flowing like a bride’s, until I got to the dock. Walking out onto the dock, I could slow my pace down and reverently approached the water. I stretched. I wept. I prayed. And I ran back up the hill, carrying my shoes, and back into the lodge.

Overflowing with feeling, I sat down at my laptop and began the sign up process. When I was done, I printed off my confirmation page and addressed my group of ladies. They all knew what this meant to me, having helped me grieve the loss of the previous business and give me the support I needed to find my way to where I was meant to end up. I broke down and cried while I was making the announcement, and everyone took turns hugging me and affirming my choice to take my chances with the new company.

All morning, it felt like pieces of me, the essential Liz, were shifting and repositioning themselves. As the day went on, and I followed through on these choices, pieces settled into place, as a jigsaw puzzle piece snaps into place with it’s mate. I’m still crying these tears of joy because for the first time in this long dark time, I am beginning to feel like me rather grieving for the me who used to be.