I was watching Jane Fonda promote her HBO documentary on The View. One thing she said that I love is to “keep moving”. I think that’s a great value to hold in life to avoid feeling stuck, stagnant and even hopeless. I think we get into routines in our lives. We adhere to certain definitions of ourselves. And before we know it, we’ve gone years being in the same space, doing the same things, defining ourselves the same way. It doesn’t necessarily happen intentionally, but we get into a comfortable place and may not even know how to move forward in a new and different direction or even just a new frame of mind.
I have a friend who consistently refers to his history of struggles. I finally told him that he holds on to the difficulties in his life as an excuse to move forward. He agreed. I told him he needs to let it go and focus on the fact that he survived-literally. He beat cancer and a host of other challenges. And he has to keep moving – on to the next phase of life. I know I’ve needed change for a long time and have been completely unsure of how to create it. But I’ve allowed myself to keep moving and looking for it and it finally happened.
I’ve been at yet another dissatisfying job with a dysfunctional, toxic culture where I didn’t feel valued or at times even welcomed. I was working at a predominantly white, millennial startup and it was tough. I’d consistently experienced this frustration before in my work experiences. I knew the pattern was telling me I needed to find a different way to work, I just didn’t know what that was going to look like. Trying to sustain myself by working independently as a freelancer or consultant is difficult at best. But clearly the dynamics and politics of the traditional office space weren’t a good fit for me. I struggled for a long time trying to figure out how to find or create the right fit. I was tired of working in communications and had no idea of where I should look next. All I knew is I wanted to utilize the breadth of my skills in purposeful work. But through all the professional disappointments and upheavals I moved on and moved through. When something didn’t work out I decided to leave it behind. My latest move has me headed in a whole new direction.
I just got a job doing diversity and inclusion work. I’ve been an advocate for these issues personally and professionally but never, oddly, saw myself doing this work in an official capacity. My first opportunity to provide trainings on diversity and inclusion fell in my lap and I loved it. I felt authentic doing the work and believed I had a real knack for it. I decided to change up my professional road map and pursue more opportunities in this new space. I have no qualms about moving on from my former field. I’m happily embracing this change and feel it’s the right path for me. I’m looking forward to learning about an entirely new industry and am taking it as an opportunity to redefine myself, once again. I’m moving on from all the struggle and disappointment I’ve had in past jobs and crazy companies recognizing that I’ve gotten the chance to experience a refresh of the direction of my life.
Life will go forward with or without you. Things will change. We can hold tightly to our past, the challenges, the comforts, disappointments and hurts or keep moving. Or we can choose to try new things and stretch ourselves and invite change. This isn’t always easy, but I think it makes for a richer life. I think focusing on moving forward helps us to navigate life and even make it more interesting. Of course we’ll experience moments when we truly want to give up. That’s normal. But don’t. Do whatever you can to keep going.
Wishing you the courage and strength to keep moving!