Sliding Door Moment
Mid-August of last year, during a sneaky long weekend to Port Douglas, my life changed. I’d recently had an epiphany, one that forced me to reconsider the way I was living my life, one that required a complete overhaul of what I knew and what I thought. As I sat on the beach one day, watching my husband and children playing in the water, I felt a call to action. I knew I needed a change, I felt drawn to do something big, something that created awareness, I just didn’t know what.
My youngest daughter had fallen asleep on my mother in law, she and I sat together on the sand, the others having left for cold beer and food. Turning to me, she said she’d been wanting to say something to me for a while, something she’d wished was said to her when she was my age. “Darling,” she said, “Your 40s are the most powerful time in your life for a woman. Your kids are getting older, they’re less dependent than when they were tiny babies, now is the time to make things happen in your life.” I looked at her in disbelief at the timing. Here I was, all morning, contemplating what I needed to do with my life, and there laid before me was validation that I could and should follow my heart. The wheels were put into motion. I returned home from my vacation, found an incredible mentor who understood my passion, and we went on from there.
Then at the end of last year I experienced one of those sliding door moments. I had made a plan, one that consisted of me working away at my project in the background whilst I continued on in my well-paying job at a Private girl’s school. Being the transparent person that I am, I went and made my plans known, talking about my desire to start blogging in order to start getting my message out there. My Principal congratulated me on my plan, simultaneously shaking her head, as she let me know that I would be unable to pursue it, that as an employee, my views and ideas reflected that of the school and that it was in no way going to be feasible.
A million thoughts went through my mind, actually $100,000 worth of thoughts to be exact! My husband and I had agreed I would finish up at my job mid-way through 2018, however to be suddenly facing the prospect of no pay 6 months earlier than anticipated wasn’t part of the original plan!
I had to make a choice. Should I give up any chance I had of starting a movement for change, a movement with the potential to empower mothers from all over the world to overcome their issues around food and body image, a movement with the potential to create change for future generations of daughters? Or should I stay in my comfort zone and leave things the way they were? I felt torn between safety and a deep desire to follow a calling that felt greater than my fears, a calling too great to ignore. My mind swirled with what ifs.
I wrote my resignation letter that night. I cannot deny the initial sickness I felt after hitting the send button. What I also felt however, was a desire unlike any other I’d felt before to help women who had been where I’d been, woman who have struggled with food and with the image that looks back at them in the mirror. I felt compelled to create change, for one mother at a time for one daughter at a time.
I often think of how accustomed we are as a society to stick to what’s safe. To stay in a job that doesn’t satisfy us, to work 9-5 our whole lives, day in, day out, running on auto pilot, fulfilling someone else’s dream. That’s not what I want, that’s not what I’ve ever wanted. Many who know me know that I’m someone who gets easily excited about an idea, but that as quickly as the excitement comes it passes. For the first time in my life I can honestly say I have been consumed. I am filled with desire to create change, to make a difference, to share my story. My sliding door moment offered me two possibilities, the safe road or the one less travelled. I hope to live a life of no regrets. Whether I succeed in my goal or not, I will have given it my all.
In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take. What chances will you take?
To walk up a set of stairs, you don’t need to be able to see the top, you only need to take that first step. So come with me….