This prompt is one of the ones on my short list of available prompts for this year. I am sure I curated it from prompts I didn’t use on some of last year’s lists, or maybe it is from 2010. Or maybe I made it up. I don’t really know.
Transitions: Over the past year, have you experienced any major/minor life transitions? How has your life changed? How have you changed?
Maybe I chose this prompt because I thought it would be easy to list all the changes that have happened this year. And when I think about how 2012 started, maybe I just really want to prove to
everyone myself that progress was made.
There were big changes. Like, whoa big changes. I was finally offered a full-time job. Then we got engaged and bought a house. Then we added a dog to our family.
Hidden inside each of these big changes are the little changes, like those Russian matryoshka nesting dolls. Just like those dolls, the smallest changes you have to make are the ones that sometimes feel closest to your center of self.
With all of my jobs previous to my current one, I knew my time was limited. I worked hard and wanted to be respected in my workplace, but mostly because I was hoping my position would get extended another 30 days or I could at least land a decent letter of recommendation at the end. I never had a serious desire to become a part of the organizational team, I never tried hard on behalf of the organization I was working for. It was an act of self-preservation. Understand, I loved my jobs. I loved what I was doing and it was for a cause I believe in with every single fiber of my being. But now, I have become a much more engaged employee. Sure, I still desire to be successful for myself, for my career trajectory, to earn myself a gold star. But I also value the success of my organization as a whole much higher. I feel like a team member with equal skin in the game and equal reward. Most importantly, I am able to focus on how my work brings me joy* and how I can strive to do it better without getting personal gain.
The biggest transition of the year is still In Progress– the transition from ‘happy lone lady-wolf, doing whatever she wants, whenever she wants’ to simultaneously ‘happy, engaged lady who is excited to find a balance between “us” time and “me” time’ AND ‘happy home-owning roommate, who’s former lone lady-wolf schedule, quirks, and habits are now foisted on to another human being with his own (different!) schedule, quirks, and habits.’ This is hard. And I fail at some aspect of it daily. Luckily, my pre-husband** and new roommate is patient and kind, even when I make figuring this transition out harder rather than easier. I am not terribly astute at remembering that there are really 3 (or more) transitions that are happening at once– my transition, his transition, and the transition our relationship is taking. And somewhere they all have to harmonize for this to work.
Other little changes? There have been many.
I feel like in the past 11 months I have become more aware and thankful for the things I have and so. much. smarter. about the difference between a want and need. I still spend too much money and have too many things (shirts, really. I have too many shirts.), but I am being more thoughtful.
I am more conscious of the gifts of our natural environment. Part of this is from work (I work in environmental health) and part from two vacations that reminded me that earth is full of awesome power and grace if you are adventurous enough to seek it and quiet enough to listen to it.
I am a pretty big believer in transition, in change, in continuing to be a learner and a teacher, in goal-setting and achieving. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. And it’s worth the effort.
*I mean, it’s still work. And with that comes all the sucky things about working– the traditional 8 to 5, pointless meetings, disagreeable or odd coworkers, etc.
**I just super-dislike the word fiance. Especially now that we are living together. Because I feel like October 7th (the Monday after our wedding) is going to feel a lot like most other Mondays. Hopefully our wedding does not shift our relationship in some monumental and unexpected way– so pre-husband seems a better fit.