Change is scary, change is exciting, and no matter what happens change can be inevitable. Whether the change comes in the form of a new job, new school, new love, when facing these life changes we can either embrace them or fight them. Depending on the type of change I have been dealt with in my life determined my response.
Growing up I moved a lot I was not a military brat, but my mom and step dad took career changes and embraced them causing the family to move from Virginia when my parents divorced to Oklahoma, my mom getting re-married in Oklahoma. We moved from a small town in Oklahoma to Oklahoma City where I was born. From OKC we moved to Columbus, Ohio because my parents had great career opportunities, they were climbing the corporate ladders.
From Ohio we moved to Denver, Colorado to be closer to family and we stayed from my fifth grade to my senior year in high school. Despite being born in Oklahoma and loving my boomer sooners I will also claim Denver when people ask where are you from? I know others who moved throughout their childhood do this too, claim the place where they lived at the longest.
Why this trip down memory lane and explaining where I came from? These changes I experienced shaped how I would adapt to change in my adult life. When I graduated high school I knew I wanted to be independent and go to a college out of state, during my first semester at Metro State College of Denver majoring in Political Science (found out quickly this was not a good fit) I started to do my research and make the change to move out of state. I applied secretly I believe to the University of Nevada Las Vegas and qualified for their Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program, this was a huge discount to go to an out of state school. When the big envelop arrived in the mail I remember being scared, excited and surprised all at the same time, how was my mom going to accept this change? She was sad of course I was fleeing the nest, but ecstatic that I was moving to Las Vegas, who doesn't love Las Vegas right?
My college experience was a change I embraced, my decision to join the United States Coast Guard was a change I embraced, getting married and deciding to have kids was a change I embraced. However, there are some transitions I have fought.
When my bile duct was cut during a routine gallbladder surgery in 2013 and suffered complications for six years finding out I was going to be medically retired from the USCG was a shift in my delicately laid out career plans to become a Chief I fought. My plans were laid out in my mind and accepting the reality that these carefully laid plans would never come to fruition was devastating. After two years in medical board uncertainty, at some point I accepted the transition I was going to be a civilian again, which was okay I had obtained my Bachelors Degree and Master Degree while serving in the USCG and being a full time working mom. I could get job, and could go into the psychological field, I could have a career I loved. I did love my time in the USCG but with all jobs there are always some downfalls.
One transition I have fought since being retired is the role of stay at home mom. Many times I told my husband I NEED to WORK, I am going crazy. Scanning job site boards, applying to jobs and fighting the monotony of cleaning the house everyday, dishes three times a day, what am I going to do with the kiddos today? How do I keep these gremlins entertained for 12 hours without using the T.V., Ipad or cell phone six out of those 12 hours? The pressure was on being a stay at home mom felt like a dress that didn't quite fit right on myself or my personality.
However, as with other transitions that have happened in my life, eventually I came to accept the stay at home mom life (at least for now) and embrace this extra time with my girls. Yes cleaning the house, doing the laundry, cooking and keeping the kiddos entertained is a tough job. I have much love and respect for the men and women who choose this route, often the work we do seems invisible and appreciation on the low end. Despite the fact of little appreciation I have finally embraced and accepted this transition, I put a positive spin when I start to become negative. My girls are my world and now because of this extra time with them I get to share secrets, see their little personalities bloom and show them that even though this transition is hard, accepting the changes, even the hard ones, helps you grow as person.
I have always been more of type b personality and going with flow was my forte, expect for when the flow went against my image of how life should be. Every change a person goes through might not be the most pleasant but whether you fight or embrace the change, growth is bound to happen. I choose to embrace, not fight.
"Sometimes God brings times of transition to create transformation." - Lynn Cowell
My Gremlins Posing after a beauty day.