New beginnings in life can be initiated by a new look, a new career, a new spouse, a new residence, a birth of a child, a death or a retirement. Our attitude and technique for handling changes are critical, and often the uncertainty of the future makes us act from a place of fear.
Like others, I have faced many life changes including marriage, divorce, a new marriage, the birth of children, and the loss of parents and relatives. However, aside from the sudden death of my mother, I rank two relocations as the hardest and most altering changes. First, as a teenager I migrated to America to learn a new language and culture - overwhelming events for some people. My first two years in America were particularly tough. However, I somehow found the ingenuity and determination to deal with new, unfamiliar situations and obstacles. My second life altering event occurred when my husband and I moved from Michigan to Arizona. This move also gave me a push into a new direction. I landed a new job for a company I admired, but as a side note, I also uncovered many creative talents. Both moves made me tap into personal resources I didn’t know I possessed and in the process I appreciated the changes.
These two moves involved leaving family and friends. As a teenager, I was particularly upset, but I also noticed many positive differences between my European life and my American life. I had my own room and access to a multitude of consumer items teenagers appreciate – clothes, makeup and shoes. But I also noticed the opportunities open to me. Movies, TV and music made mastery of English easier and more fun. When years later I moved to a new state, I also embraced the positive. My job eased the pain of saying good bye to family and friends and helped me make new friends. In my book, “Good Bye Job, Hello Life,” I write: “As I fought tears, I tried not to think about what I was leaving but about the nice opportunity awaiting me.”
Whether personal or professional, a new beginning requires courage, flexibility and open mindedness. A journey into the unknown demands a positive outlook and a willingness to leave a comfort level behind.