The four months since I quit my job have been some of the most liberating months of my life. It has been a time of exploration that has taken me to new horizons and unknown opportunities. I didn’t realize that when I made one leap, I was strengthening my muscles for more.
This willingness to take new risks has manifested itself in rather unexpected areas of my life:
I have always been a strict recipe follower, and lately, I’ve found myself taking the random-est things out of my fridge and experimenting. I’ve been amazed to discover that I can make decent food without a recipe!
Andy and I are reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I’m so excited to tidy our apartment and get rid of stuff, that I started KonMari-ing baby clothes this weekend. Our big cleaning weekend coming soon and I can’t wait!
For the first time in my life, I subjected myself to a food challenge. My brother did it – and survived! – first. He is literally the only person in the world who could inspire me to try this torture. Basically, I lived off of vegetables, fish, turkey jerky and almond milk for two weeks. And I didn’t die! For a fatty food loving, sweet-tooth like me, it was nothing short of a miracle. I think I’m actually eating differently as a result. Don’t panic, I’m not attempting some no-carb, no-sweets crazy-town endeavor; we all know I would not survive. But, it has expanded my understanding of tasty (and healthier) possibilities in my eating repertoire.
I’ve jumped headfirst into writing children’s books. Maybe it’s more of a belly flop; not super graceful, but in the deep end right away. I’ve attended conferences, webinars, adult education classes and just recently earned a little scholarship to the Children’s Book Academy’s picture book class. I’ve raided the children’s library and holed up at local bookstores, scouring their picture books. I’ve read books about writing books. I’ve joined critique groups. I’ve written and revised and revised and revised stories and have a growing list of ideas for more. I’m serious and excited about this journey.
On the professional front, I’ve explored dimensions of education I’ve never considered before. I’ve explored philanthropy, start-ups and even tech. I’ve explored progressive school models in different communities. I’ve looked into higher education. And it has been a tremendously rewarding experience. I’ve learned there are many different ways to make a significant impact in education. I’ve also learned that opportunities abound. I didn’t see them there before I leapt into the unknown.
This period of exploration has been a gift. I have cherished every moment. My world feels like it has grown. There is more to discover and more to learn and I am excited to unearth the possibilities.
In the Book Mormon, the prophet Lehi takes his family into the wilderness to obey God’s commandments. God gives them a ball, the Liahona, which “pointed the way whither [they] should go into the wilderness.” The Liahona worked according to the faith and diligence that was shown by Lehi’s family and it led them, “in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.” I don’t yet know where this journey will take me, but I have a stronger compass and a better idea of what matters. I know that I am being guided too. And I am so happy.
I am wandering, but I am certainly not lost.