The Year of 30 – Fear Facing

This morning I was sitting at my desk going through the stacks of cards I received for my birthday.

I hate my birthday, bad things happen, and this year was no different. As I reflected on this stack of cards, but more importantly who they came from and the words inside, I’m thankful. Often, when things are imploding around us, we tend to forget that we matter to people.

I had a really, really hard time turning 30. It felt like I was no longer “young”. I felt like I had accomplished so much between 20-25 and not so much between 26-30. I mean when you graduate 3 times in a 3 year span, it is kind of hard to beat such accomplishments again. 

So as I was turning 30, I reflected on the goals/aspirations I had that had not yet been obtained. My dream of being a nurse practitioner (yes, more school), has not yet been obtained. My dream of being a wife and mother has not yet come to fruition. I hadn’t traveled as much as I had planned. In many ways I still felt unsettled, a lack of stability. I also reflected on what the last half of my 20’s was, and what it was surprised me. It was a lot of healing from damaging relationship of all kinds in my early 20’s. It was also a lot of making a career for myself, which included surviving the night shift and the endless hours of anxiety a new nurse goes through. They were years of self discovery and self reflection. They were years that have brought me to where I am today, and for that I am thankful.

So last week as I faced turning 31 and parts of my life were in shambles around me, I actually didn’t struggle. Because if I’m honest, my 30’s have been off to a great start with loads of adventure. Also, I trust that my dreams will come to be when the time is ready, and with the right people and the right school programs. I have a peace about trusting in the timing to be right, and less of a need to get everything accomplished NOW.

Over the past year I went to Costa Rica and faced my fear of heights by jumping of the side of mountains to go zip-lining  and I would do it again in a heart beat.

I dated guys that are completely out of my normal and learned a great deal and have great memories as a result.

“Leadership isn’t a skill you have, it is a skill you learn”

After a great deal of wrestling over the decision and praying, I took on a management position at work. It hasn’t been easy, actually far from it, but as my wise little brother told me “Leadership isn’t a skill you have, it is a skill you learn”. And everyday, I am learning this more and more. But, I have to say, when someone says “my boss” in reference toe me, my immediate response is “that’s not me!”… and then I realize, actually technically, yes it is.

I faced a lot of fears this past year both personally and professionally. I feel like my word(s) for the year of 30 was fear facing and as I enter 31, grace is what resonates. Grace for others. Grace for myself. Grace for where I’ve been and where I’m going. But most importantly sitting in the beauty of the grace from my Heavenly Father – knowing that I will never be enough but through His grace, He is enough for me. There is a freedom in knowing I can’t reach the state of perfection I’ve longed to reach for so long, but in Him I am fulfilled. My job is simply to walk in His grace and be the best me I can be. So 31, let’s do this.

 

 

Why Inspiration Matters

Essentially the reason for the post is a lot of friends are frustrated in their current jobs. It’s like they have totally lost sight as to how or why they are where they are. The vision gets cloudy. Then they say…jumping ship to new job! But when I feel that way I have to begin looking for the inspiration that surrounds me. Sometimes it’s grim and other times it’s plenty and I’m just being dumb. I want to encourage others to see inspiration where they reside…I want to scream, “open your eyes! It’s there!” Before they say, “I’m out!”

There’s a reason you’re at where you are at. But don’t just give up so easily, you know? I think people get into a job and they say if this job isn’t what I want, well I can do better. Sometimes you do need new employment, but I think a lot of times it’s us missing open opportunities. I once knew a guy that worked with me at X-games. He was a higher up…but guess what? He started as a janitor! If he had said, “ahh screw this” he would have never been where he is now! (sigh) Hang in there!

Inspire

So I suppose that is really what I’m trying to say is Inspiration helps move the “I’m stuck” notion. It keeps the momentum moving slowly until the momentum starts to pick up again.

I’ve been there too…

“I am Catie Manning and I am going to be a Marketing Guru and a Hair Stylist. I am going to be a motivator and cheerleader!”

When I realized I was under appreciating my job roles – that a lack of acknowledgment of their lessons and values was holding me back – my perspective began to shift. I had to “take myself out of it” for a minute to “get it.” Does that make sense? I needed to remove myself from my situation and look at it critically to see that I was the one causing my pain. When I started assessing what I needed to feel satisfied in a career, I saw one missing piece. It was a big piece – one that led to my lack of fulfillment. Here it is: I was in a creative role without actually being creative in any way! How is that possible? A creative without a canvas is like a chef without food – it simply cannot be. That is what sparked a new take on inspiration. I learned why inspiration matters.

TheEagles

I have to be thankful for experience in cosmetology school and the lessons I learned there. I worked with clients on a daily basis, drudging along doing the same ole task (sort of…) – it can be really hard for someone who wants to be the go-to girl! It was the clients who gave me the inspiration to want to achieve more. The clients who show up regularly with their fires and rush requests – there insistent energy. The clients that kept me employed and keep a roof over my head. They inspired me be the best I could be and never to give up. I am forever thankful for that inspiration, as it has become the momentum behind my professional drive.

Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift is one of the classiest women in the entertainment business today. I heard that she finds inspiration in her fans. Recently, she noticed that one follower in particular, whom she usually finds very inspiring, was not doing well. She was down about her unpaid student loans so Taylor responded in a big way:”she painted her a picture, sent her some gifts, and shocked her with a check for $1,989 (the title of her album, how clever!) for her student loans. In general, she supported her. You see? Inspiration matters.

Inspiration and creating inspiration for others matters!  It affects how you view your job. It affects how you interact with your customers and clients. Inspiration is what gives you a  jump-start and builds momentum when it seems to be moving slowly.

When our career comes to a slow part, when we question every ounce of why we originally chose the direction we did, when we feel puny and small and that we simply Do. Not. Matter. That is when we must open our eyes, dig deep and find the inspiration to keep going. Keep pushing and driving for success. You can do it, I know you can!

Oncology Nursing Chose Me

This is a guest blog from Erin E. She currently resides in Grand Rapids, MI with her family where she works on an inpatient oncology unit. I (Erica) am honored to call her not only a colleague but one of my dear, dear friends. Your heart is an inspiration, Erin!

I didn't choose to bean oncology

People often ask how I chose to work in oncology. I usually tell them my story and what brought me to Grand Rapids and my oncology patients. The truth is, oncology chose me. As a new nurse, I was hungry to work. I was yearning to put all my nursing skills from school to use. Every area in nursing was new and exciting. I wasn’t fully sure where I would thrive and which area I would enjoy best.

Continue reading “Oncology Nursing Chose Me”

Today I Closed a Door

It was my last day at the job I’ve been at for the last year and a half today. It was a tough decision to leave, but I am so incredibly at peace about the decision it is kind of scary. But I’m sitting here tonight reflecting on all this job brought me. It brought me so much that I have to be thankful for, my heart is overwhelmed. I leave knowing I am leaving incredible coworkers behind, but that I will get to continue to have them as friends. I leave reflecting on all the patients who’s care I have been a part of. Some are in remission, some are still fighting a courageous battle, and some have moved on from this world. I leave this job a much better person because of all the people I came in contact during it.

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Change is never easy. Even good change is still hard.

I will be getting over an hour back of my day between commuting and a shorter shift. I will be able to learn more about many cancers that I don’t yet know about and chemos that I’m not familiar with. Overall it is a step to continue to advance in my career. It is a GOOD step. But with every new door there is an old door closing. There are the things I am looking at saying “I will never do that again”. This is how I process. This is how I work through things and move on. This is how I close doors.

I have the absolute joy and privilege of being a chemo nurse. This job provided that open door to me. This job set the foundation for me to step into the world I now call my career. It isn’t an easy one. And on some days let me tell you that it just plain sucks. 100%. There are days that I as a person with very little of a temper am so incredibly pissed off at cancer. There are days that I step out my front door and sprint as long as I can because I don’t understand it. I don’t get how so many amazing people are taken so young by such an awful disease.

But amid the trials, pain, and grief I get the privilege of seeing the beauty. Of seeing the love. And I am so beyond excited to step into the next step of my career. This new job will allow me to be happier, healthier, and more whole myself. And as a nurse that is one of the biggest gifts I can give my patients.

So even though the decision to switch jobs was hard. Even though in the middle of this transition I’m freaking out the majority of the time. I know it’s right.  So I’m taking this step for my health. For my sanity. Thankful for my experience, but ready to continue the job I love in a healthier environment. And reminding myself that even some of the best changes I will make in my life are still going to be hard. Change. It is one of the most beautiful and yet difficult aspects of life.

Career: Never Confuse Movement with Action

“Never confuse movement with action”  Ernest Hemingway

I have always been a calculated risk taker.  I have tried to make positive decisions about my school choices, career choices, and life decisions.  I have had to dig myself out of holes before and granted those were never too deep that I wasn’t able to get myself back out of it, but it is an uncomfortable position for me.  The fact is, no one likes putting themselves in the hole.

So far in my post high school career,  I have completed one college undergrad degree (in 4 years) and one professional certification (in 13 months).  Both have provided me with several opportunities for growth both personally and professionally.   The simple fact is I saw what I wanted and drove after it!  I had a vision and I pursued it…

Now, I think innately I have always known I was bound to end up doing hair.   I love it, but I now am faced with another dilemma and that is making a leap of faith into doing hair full-or part-time.  Right now, I don’t have to make that decision.  My vision, you see, isn’t so clear to me this round….

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With other jobs, I knew when the time was complete.  I worked X-games as an Independent Contractor for 6 years and I knew when that was through.  It was no fault of my own, it was a business decision.  Well the difference is that this is a personal decision!  I don’t feel like my work at my current job is complete either.  I think innately I needed to walk in this direction for a while though.  Vision still is unclear at this point.

Ernest Hemingway’s quote really spoke to me.  Was this career shift intentional or was it just movement?  Was it my initial intention to change jobs forever or continue to balance the both of them?  To that I am not sure…nor do I know those answers at this point.  Action is intentional, you see.  Movement is just the result or byproduct of gravity.  Moving is not necessarily intentional as it is constantly happening regardless of whether you want it to happen or not.

My stylist mentor Aimee has always encompassed the phrase “Do on purpose”.  Does this include life events though that happen to us and change our very circumstances?  Does it also take into account that paths may seem to wind before they wind up straight?  I think so, as long as you are actively doing it for a purpose and reason.  Don’t just do it to do it.  Do it with intention and do it well!

Live your life on Purpose
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And so a new chapter is opened….

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