Friday, November 13, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Safety in Change

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power." ~ Alan Cohen

My friend, Rob, and I were talking about safety a few weeks ago. Rob talked to me about how we've conned ourselves into believing that a company, a job, can give us some feeling of security and stability when really it's a house of cards. I've seen it happen to so many of my friends - they are cranking along in their jobs, exhibiting exceptional performance and results, and then the pink slip. Rob's advice on my news of moving on: "
You've done the hard part: making the choice to step outside the box that hems one in, and keeps one from dreaming bigger dreams...know you are supported from many quadrants. More as it goes..."

I emailed some friends about my impending jump off the cliff. I told them that it feels great to have made this decision, though my friend, Eric, in his characteristic empathy sensed that I'm scared. And then in his continuing characteristic empathy, he responded : "
Don't worry, Christa - I already hit rock bottom underneath that cliff - so I'll be there to catch you!" Not at all surprising since Eric honestly saved my life as I muddled through my MBA. My friend Laura simply responded "I am 150000% behind you." My friend, Allan, said "You are very brave and thoughtful." These are the very messages I needed today to lift me up.

When I think about finding security and stability, I'm reminded that it's in our friends and family and in the chance we take on our own abilities that we can find a haven. The safest route for me is not to stand on that cliff hoping that it doesn't crumble beneath me; it's to jump, knowing that friends like Rob, Eric. Laura, and so many others are there to catch me if I need catching. They are the ones I can place my faith and trust in.

My friend, Jamie, finished up his last day at his job today. We went for a celebratory dinner, yummy cheap Thai food around the corner from my apartment at Sura. We toasted to our new adventures, to our choice to be free and to build the lives we want to live. And while there is still that underlying ripple of fear of the unknown, fear of what's next, there is also a tremendous sense of excitement, of realizing that we are on the edge of becoming more ourselves.

I was reminded all day today, through so many different channels, that in September I came very close to never getting a tomorrow. I stood on West 96th Street, watching smoke billow out of my building, realizing I was living a life of great comfort and little meaning. That great "what if" hangs over my head every day, and rather than being plagued by it, I am so grateful for it. What if I hadn't made it out of that building? What if that was the end? Could I have looked back on September 4th and said, "yes, I'm so glad that I was living that life?" No - not at all. In that moment, change became not an option, but an inevitability, and it's been driving me forward, upward, and onward toward a life lived with greater meaning, greater purpose, every day since.

The image above is not my own. It can be found here.


Nikita said...

Good for you Christa :) Your courage continues to inspire me !!

Christa said...

Thanks, Nikita. Every time I get a little bit scared, I keep reminding myself of all the good that will come of the steps I'm taking now. Would love to get up to Canada in the new year for your conference!