Fresh start? isn't that kind of a New Year's eve thing?
I have always admired women who have made a fresh start in their lives. The ones you read about, maybe hear about third hand or see in The Oprah Mag. These are the brave souls who give up their lives as they know them (much to the dismay of those around them, sometimes) and set off on new adventures, sometimes never to return to the way things were. What a fantasy! What a thrill, completely romanticized in my mind: to give up responsibilities and mortgages, pull a Thelma-and-Louise-style breakaway and seek new horizons and experiences. While I don't exactly envy those women, I do daydream (occasionally) about changes, imagining that no one I know would expect it of me or, possibly, of anyone in my immediate sphere.Then I look around at the women I know and realize there are more who have made fresh starts than haven't! One who has started and re-started her life after several rounds in the ring with cancer, and who is excitedly taking on a new job this Fall. One who was left alone with her 4-year-old son when her husband found someone he liked better; she went back to school and now owns a successful business, is happily married with three great kids. One who moved across the world and continues to show up for her family and her (new) community in beautiful, fulfilling ways. One who faced down mental health issues and her son's health challenges to become the version of herself she'd always dreamed of being. One who is in school thousands of miles from anyone familiar but who greets each day with the enthusiasm and passion of a fresh start. And even me... I have gone through multiple changes in my life, not always enthusiastically or willingly, but every single time I can look in life's rear view mirror and see that each change was one I needed to make, for my own growth and happiness.
Each one of them - each one of you - has a story worth telling, that very likely includes more than one "fresh start". While it is inspiring to look at others' journeys and aspire to be more like them, more adventurous, the truth is that each day we have the option to choose a fresh start... attitude change, new hairstyle, road trip, new recipe... and the joy of owning our decisions is even more delicious when we know we're heading in the right direction!
I recently had a conversation with someone very important to me, and he told me he was impressed with how I have reinvented myself in the past few years. He's known me a long time, and knows me well. I said that, while I appreciated the compliment, I feel my journey hasn't been so much a reinvention as a series of what I now recognize as learning experiences/opportunities (some, perhaps, known to others as "mistakes"). Showing up the way I do now in my life is intentional, and informed in a large part by the experiences I've had. I might not have had a lot of dramatic, "take a leap of faith" moments, but the fresh starts have shown up as many smaller choices and opportunities for growth and learning.
Perhaps my enjoyment of other women's stories of fresh starts is my way of living a little vicariously, when my own reinvention shows up in my life in smaller, but no less meaningful, ways. Happily, it's not a competition.
Keep making fresh starts, whenever you need to, whatever that looks like for you.
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love to you...
Life Coach, Yogi & lover of Meditation, mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, cookie baker, seeker of truth & laugher, volunteer. Passionate about women's stories and the women who share them.