A short intro before my guest blogger’s post: I find it uniquely intriguing how at the deepest core, all of us humans are all the same, yet we can experience and live such amazingly vast and varied lives with a million and one different perceptions. In the basic human experience, we all breathe, eat, live and die. We also witness other humans, with shared blood, pass on. Yet again, no two grieving humans have the same perception or express the same emotions. It fascinates me to learn of other peoples’ lives- in a deeper, more meaningful complex manner. I want to know what makes those I know function. I want to know what and who they live for, how they perceive this human experience, what their beliefs and values are and how they analyze and figure out where to go from their ever present moments. After all, we only have now. This moment. Not the next and not the one before it. We have the extraordinary ability to create the future we are living into. I thirst to know what motivates people to make the choices and decisions that they do; to know how and why they create their own distinctive future.
Everyone I meet teaches me a lesson that I was meant to know. Recently, I worked with a shining, motivated soul named Dwanna Cooper from New Mexico. When I edited her book about how to effectively read job ads, I never thought I’d develop an intricate connection with her…learn about her feelings, desires and values. I certainly never expected that she’d want to share a piece of her human experience with me. Now, I couldn’t be more blessed that she has. D. Cooper has an enormous treasure chest of insight that she is more than willing to share with others in order to help them learn, grow and transform! Here is a personal glimpse into this multi-faceted, talented, successful HR Professional’s life: Oh, by the way, she’s also been an expert ice skating instructor for over 15 years!! Pretty cool, right?
When I look back on my life I can most certainly pick out the beginnings and endings of new chapters in my life. There are certain events in my life that often mark new chapters such as new jobs, moving to new places, new friends, and new loves. There are also unfortunate events that trigger endings such as death of a loved one, loss of love, or friends, or jobs. But more often than not, I see the good that came from those changes in my life and those new chapters in my life and always grew as a person.
The funny thing about changes or new chapters though is we don’t always recognize them as they are happening. While hind sight is clear, seeing those transitions while they are occurring is not always obvious. And, even if we do recognize them, we’re still not prepared for the outcomes.
We all know that as children we will outlive our parents. However, I don’t think we are ever ready when that day comes. We see the illness or the event that triggers the beginning of the end and then we watch the decline and we still hold out hope against hope that they will still pull through. And, when they don’t we are still not prepared for that ending. I recently went through that ending with my father.
My father was my rock and my biggest supporter. He was my health guru, my confidant, my guide, my shoulder to cry on or share my frustrations with, and the first person to share my joys with. Most of all, he was my friend. He was just always there for me; there are very few people in my life that I can say that about. So I think this is why it’s just so hard to accept that he is no longer here. So, even though I know he is gone I still take my steps forward hoping he is still with me in some way.
So, this is my new chapter. I’m unsure of what will come next but I have in front of me a new job, a move to a new home and a different future—without him.
One of the things I am finding so far is that my friends are becoming my family. I have always had good friends but I am relying on them more and caring about them more. I think this is a good thing. I’m learning how to love more and to extend that love outward. And, I think they are feeling more needed and I think everyone needs to feel that from those that they care about.
Another thing I am finding is that I’m planning my future better. I’m thinking more carefully about my next steps and taking them with my eyes on the future. After all, I have only myself to rely on as lonely as that is at times. While I have a partner in my life, I have no one to look out for me unconditionally at least not like a parent. It’s different now and I am ultimately responsible for myself.
And, then I find that I am thinking about retirement. While it is still about 15 years away, I am taking more cautious steps and holding on to my money more. I’m also re-assessing the role of “things” in my life and moving out the unnecessary stuff and keeping only what is dear to me. It’s funny how we collect stuff. Right before my father died we went through his garage to get rid of what he no longer needed or wanted. The irony is that when he died, he couldn’t even take what was left with him. Stuff is irrelevant but yet we cling to it.
I am also thinking about alternative incomes that I can build so I have options, even when I have a job–something that I enjoy but will make me money in my spare time. It’s always good to have a backup. I think this is also because I have no parents as my backup. Not that I asked for money or needed it from my parents but they were always my safety net. Now, I am my own safety net.
All in all, my heart is still broken from losing my dad but I’m taking the next steps, moving on to the next chapter and most likely on to more transformation. It sometimes saddens me to think that even at my age I’m not too old to be an orphan. And, I’m not sure if losing both your parents has any upside but if there is I hope to find it. I’m sure I’ll become stronger and I know my heart will heal eventually. I’m open to what the next chapter brings. After all, nothing is for sure except change and if we pay attention, a new chapter that leads to amazing transformation.
Check out D. Cooper’s book about effectively deciphering job ads in order to find that perfect job you want! Easy to read, follow and put into practice!