Change is the only constant.
It really is. Change sweeps us up and pushes us along.
It’s funny, after 45 I thought my identity was pretty much fully formed. I’ve been a wife, I am a Mom, a Friend, and an Artist, among many other things.
A big thing I’ve been over the past 10-ish years is an Education Assistant in the public school setting. I’ve had the privilege of working with a variety of students over that time, all of whom have taught me – and I’m not saying that to be trite. I’ve had my heart broken and mended over and over again in the service of students. Kids are so amazingly resilient…some living in hair-raising circumstances, triumphing over their own challenges, some railing against a system that was not built for them. It’s been an amazing front row seat to our community, to the families, teachers and allies in all forms that are out there changing the system and investing in the future every day in real and tangible ways.
That being said, I resigned the school board in June. I loved my job at school, but my time there had run its course, at least for now.
I’ve held 2 and sometimes 3 jobs for the past two years while wanting to build this business. There are days when I did none of it very well. It’s been grueling, and at times, exhausting. Much as I loved working in the school setting, it needed my full attention. It left me with less and less energy by the end of the day.
Going to France in the Spring helped me take a fresh, serious look at my life. It was absolutely evident that, if I want to make this work, that I need to make more time for it. To give Insightful Ink the space to breathe and to grow.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but I made it in May. With it, my identity shifted. No longer an Education Assistant.
Other shifts this year? My youngest graduated high school and, in the last two weeks, moved out on his own. I’m so proud of him, of his staunch independence, of his readiness and energy to take on the world. My eyes and heart fill when I think about him.
My oldest started College, after 2 years of working. He continues to grow into himself, complex and heartfelt.
And, with the boys seizing their independence, my identity shifted again. I didn’t expect it to, thought I knew who I was as a Mom.
Like leaving the schools, the definition of my life changed. I’m still Mom, but in this new way. I was unprepared for how big that felt, is feeling. How it turned me on my head for a while.
Tonight I finally had the energy and focus to start this next part. Tentatively, right now. Gaining my bearings. I took down the big paper from my wall and rolled out a new one. Spent a couple of hours looking between the old plan, most of it completed, and the new one as it developed on the wall.
It’s not finished, by any stretch. It’s a beginning. Again. An attempt at intention. Catching a wave of change, to steer it in directions I want.
And maybe, as the lines come into focus, I’ll find myself more clearly defined again.