In early January I announced the biggest change I have ever made in my career. I resigned from a company I started 12 years ago. I resigned from work that I love and people I love working with. To say that it was a tough decision is a huge understatement. That said, my body was telling me make the change or die…seriously! So, I made the change. Now as I transition the new President into place and help my team and our clients confidently adjust, I am starting to realize the full magnitude of the roller coaster ride that I set in motion. In fairness, my life has always been somewhat of a rollercoaster as I have a spontaneous and creative personality. I take risks, they are calculated but they are risks nonetheless. However, this rollercoaster ride is different. In this case the platform at the end of the ride does not yet exist.
I have often used the rollercoaster analogy in conversation but never before has it been so relevant. There is a build-up as you prep for the ride – the butterflies begin. Then as you get in your seat the butterflies are in full flutter. With the seat belt secure, the coaster leaves the platform and you are off – its too late to turn back. The track, full of twists and turns jars your body in all directions, including perhaps upside down. The force of the air stretches your smile/frown. Your stomach knots or not. You feel the rush of the wind, scream, close your eyes and either hold on for dear life or throw up your hands in reckless abandon!
What beckons us to get on the rollercoaster in the first place? The desire for a rush? The need for a burst of adrenaline? The need to tempt our senses and feel alive? Or sheer insanity??? In my case as I apply the rollercoaster analogy to my recent decision,…it is to make a drastic change with a lot butterflies and unknowns. This is not the first time I have used the rollercoaster analogy to explain my choices as my life has never been boring but, it is the first time I have boarded without a seat belt or a platform in sight.
But, the foundation that my rollercoaster ride sits on, or any rollercoaster ride for that matter, is very strong. My kids are healthy and thriving, my family is happy, my friendships are solid, my network vast, my reputation-humbly, solid and financially well, this ticket will buy me a few months of time…til I scream at which point the platform will appear! In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the ride. I plan to travel with my children and I have been offered the opportunity to tag along with some friends on their various trips so I am going to seize them – I have NEVER done that before. I am going to finish 1 of the 3 books I am working on, attend some courses and university lectures. Teach some classes. Start plotting out my next venture and … breathe. Just breathe!
There have already been a few twists and turns since I set it in motion and I am certain there will be more. but today the ride is smooth – even on this cold overcast day in Toronto the sun is shining! I am trying to embrace the fact that I can’t see the platform. I’m trusting in the foundation that I’ve built and I am just going to enjoy the ride…(at least until the butterflies set in!)