Our friend Tally closed up her season of First Day Back, a podcast chronicling her return to documentary film making, using a community backed burning-man-type of art project as her subject. All the while finding her stride as a working mother, questioning her place, her choices, her own values. It’s a touching story, a fun local listen that has wonderful production value and perfectly timed editing.
Sadly, the art project didn’t receive the funding, the whole thing went up in flames. And Tally went back to the drawing board, wondering how to move forward on her career trajectory, like so many of us. **Spoiler Alert** At the end of her final episode, she sends a call out for other similar stories of people facing a First Day Back. My mind started scanning and collecting the stories of the women who surround me, all of whom seem to be in the crux of giant life changes. From my own mother, to the casual sidewalk acquaintance…it seems like 2015 is sparing no body.
Taking a year off work to reset your physical self, or wondering if motherhood is right for you, facing a job that doesn’t light you up but pays the bills and supports your child, leaving a comfortable home life for the unknown, struggling through the loss of a spouse or facing your own physical limitations…. these are all your stories. And they are majestic. And there are so many more: you run restaurants, you save teens, you care for your aging parents, you teach, you support, you listen, you create, you make, you give, you care, you move, you change.
You are doing it.
While we all move through these big life shifts, the weight of each decision seems heavy and the energy we spend playing out scenarios is immense. “Did I do the right thing, did I write the wrong thing, should I have applied for that job, should we, should we not?”.
These Bermuda Triangles of doubt occupy so much mental space that we often don’t have much left for the things and people that surround us in the flesh. The usual compassion, understanding and love that we use to serve others is lacking. In these transitions, I know that I’m at my least life-giving: regular family scenarios flare up quickly, feelings are bruised, egos are picked apart.
You are never harnessed to a load without also having the subsequent strength you need to succeed it.
It’s not always easy to believe that, but seeing it live in action with my sister, it’s the one truth that I can call back to in these times.
So yes, 2015 has brought on so many changes. These have been devastating, inspiring, thought provoking, challenging, exhausting, refreshing, perspective inducing… all in our own backyard. As these changes happen, our awareness expands. Our conversations deepen and our capacity to be vulnerable to each other grows.
And that’s how we can, and do, support each other.
And because we all need a little Jim to tie things up…
Aaaaah, much better.