I’m starting to realize I’m not the type that’s cut out for retirement. I say this not because I am even remotely near retirement age, but rather because after the completion of a big project a mere 24 hours ago, I’m already antsy because I don’t have another big project in the queue yet. It’s an unnerving, anxiety-ridden feeling.
The end of an era, the close of a chapter; however you want to say it, things are changing in my life. I’ve spent four years nurturing and building something near and dear to me, only to part ways in a very final manner. It’s like saying goodbye to an old friend with whom you’ve grown apart. There’s a point where you’ve got to just leave it alone, enjoy the memories, and accept that it is no longer something that should continue to be a part of your life. I’m excited about the prospect of a new adventure, but the limbo-time of the unknown has me on edge. I’m the kind of person that skips to the end of the book before going back and reading the story.
I can’t truly enjoy the ride unless I know the destination, but at the very least I can pick up a thing or two along the way. Although not everything has turned out the way that I wish it had, I’ve definitely grown and learned from the experience.
I’ve learned that I will never again allow myself to be put in situation where I feel the need, no the obligation, to apologize for things that were not my fault. I’ve learned that true friends, people that support you and have your back no matter what, actually exist in the world and they are amazing and wonderful. I’ve learned that there are people that will never value work ethic, and it’s pointless to try to convince them of the importance of it. Conversely, there are people that notice and appreciate all the work you do that you think no one sees. I’ve learned that hugs aren’t a bad thing if you’re embracing the right person. I’ve learned that I should respect my own right to be heard as much as I respect others’ right to be heard. I’ve learned that there are people that will never hear you, no matter how many different ways you try to approach a subject. I’ve learned that sometimes someone just offering to listen is the best thing in the world. I’ve learned that sometimes walking away is prioritizing your self-care for once, and that it doesn’t mean you’re a quitter or a failure.
Life is a series of twists and turns, ebbs and flows, ups and downs, darks and lights. Ernest Hemingway once said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” I may be a little down right now, I may need some time to grieve, to bleed, but I’ll come out on the other end stronger than before. I know there’s something bigger out there for me, I just need to figure out what it is.
Amanda Novotny is a blogger at Thinking Unenslaved and Godless rEvolution. She is also the South Dakota State Director for American Atheists. Amanda is a public speaker, activist, and advocate in the areas of atheism and mental health.