I am entering a time of great transition in my life. These are often times of uncertainty and unrest with added layers of the unknown for my present and future. Yet, these are invigorating and inspiring times of growth, reaching for/calling upon inner reserves of strength I hadn’t known existed until now.
It seems a propos that this time of change comes with the turning of the season – autumn to winter. An end of one phase leads to a quiet slumber and a new beginning with the arrival of spring months later. There is something symbolic and fitting to think of oneself as the trees and shrubs, shedding layers of dead leaves, thereby leaving oneself vulnerable and exposed to the elements and the cold, of winter. I find comfort in knowing I will be living in an insulated home with a wood stove during this time.
What is it that sparks transformation? Does it build gradually while our human minds process and process until we feel prepared and ready to make a decision? Is it at this point in time that a silent alarm goes off that allows our conscious to finally connect with our unconscious?
In thinking about my own transition and transformation, I hark back over the past year and recall seeds of concern over the sustainability of my professional life that began with the onset of the Prescott PhD program. In studying sustainability so closely as it relates to our professional lives, we cannot help but to look deeply into our inner selves and the sustainability of our personal lives. With time and study and personal reflection, I began the exercise of connecting the sustainability dots in my own life, and the synchronicity of energy I put out into the universe allowed me to leave the unsustainable nature of my professional career in the upper Skagit, which led to further transformation as I prepared to leave for Alaska and spent the summer in the north. Returning to Washington in the fall, I felt changed. A woman I know commented that I was different – more confident, calm, and clear in sense of self, thought, and purpose.
Only you can recognize the voice of your own inner synchronicity and sustainability, and you alone have to make the decision to listen and respond. I often joke that I am waiting for my final growth spurt; I appear to be experiencing one such spurt. However internal it may be, it is certainly painful and moving and invigorating all at once.
At once, I am both lost and found. The year I lived in Bellingham, I lived about a mile from the Alaska ferry terminal. Many days, I would walk my dog to the dog park across from the terminal and breathe a sigh, imagining what it would be like to board the ferry and travel north to Alaska and the unknown. Now, here I sit and write on board the Malaspina, bound first for Juneau and finally returning to Gustavus. In a flurry of activity and adrenalin, I packed up my belongings, loaded a U-haul in a day and a half (with much help from dear friends in Washington), and drove to Bellingham to board this ferry and realize a dream I never imagined possible – Alaska, and a new life.