I’ve come to realize that some of the most beneficial choices I’ve had to make in my life have been the absolute hardest ones to wrestle with. In fact, the ‘best’ choice in some situations is often the most heart-wrenching and it can lead to a lot feels. And, if you add in personality traits (especially those that may be driven from a place of childhood trauma) these big deals start to become the some incredibly big feels.
And that, my friends, is where I find myself today.
I try to not really talk too much about my profession in detail, because in essence my profession is one that is heavily regulated with discretion and ethical behavior. I am, by name, a social service worker, and by heart, a ‘helper’. For the last 11 years I have worked for an agency that has provided me with a world of opportunity to grow as a professional, specifically in policy and more specifically in public services for youth with mental health needs. I like to say I have a very precise set of skills that makes me valuable in a very, very explicit way. I have adored my job, my employer, and my team.
But remember Spongy? That little cube of sponge I carried around as a notice to the universe that I was open to whatever prospects it may want to throw my way? Well, let me serve as a lesson to be mindful what you signal to the universe because it is listening…and some way or another it will show up.
And it showed up, big, earlier this month. Without too much detail I will share that early on in July I was feeling at a loss with the world (weren’t we all?) and a conversation took place that opened a door-okay, it threw it open- and invited me to come in. And I did. And now, I’m two weeks from saying goodbye to my favorite job to step into an arena that is new and big and full of opportunity, or as my brain likes to process ‘REALLY SCARY THINGS’. And here I sit, full of really big feels.
I’m heartbroken to leave the journey I’ve been on for 11 years, I’m excited to enter a new one, I admittedly feel super guilty for causing a hole in the processes of my current employer. And I feel like I’m watching the hour glass drip way too fast and I can’t keep up. I also recognize that some of these feelings are normal, some are reactionary, and I’m trying to maintain balance of all of these Big Feels.
But how do we say goodbye, stay grounded, and welcome all the universe has to give? For me, it’s not an even balance-some days I spend most of my time processing just one emotion and then making amends to move forward. Some days I fight tears and fears all day long while being kind to myself and honest with others who dare to ask how I am (I rarely lie about my feelings when truly asked by others).
And during all of this, I’m normalizing the big feels rather than shrugging them off. The more I normalize and name the anxiety, the fear, the sadness, the ambiguities, the less time I spend drowning in them. And maybe this is signs of growth. Maybe this is emotional maturity showing up (finally!). And maybe, we all feel like this from time to time.
I share this to not only process my own feels, but to remind anyone reading this that you’re never alone in those complicated emotions related to changes in life. It doesn’t have to be capital B big changes, either. We as humans have a desire to ‘control’ the outcomes but when we surrender a piece of that control, and recognize we’re just along for the ride with our fellow humans, we can actually gain some peace. And I wish that to anyone who is also facing the big feels.
I haven’t written poetry since high school, but this little ditty came to mind last week and brought me some insight into my own heart.
WWPS (What Would Plants Say?)
I often wonder what plants would say,
Plants are always reaching forward, forever starting anew.