I've been given quite a lot of advice over the years, for some I'm forever grateful, for others I wish they would have held their tongue until I asked for it. But the greatest advice I have been given is to live in the moment when you are making a change or experiencing a life-changing event. Let me give you an example!
I went away to college across the country. I went from Texas to Virginia where I didn't know a soul. I really wanted to experience something new. Conversely, I spent most of my time wishing I was back in Texas and missing everything that was familiar. It took me until my sophomore year to hear the recommendation, "embrace this change because you won't ever get this again". A part of me thought that I didn't want to embrace the moment; I wanted to get back to Texas!
I, again, put myself in an uncomfortable position and went to work abroad in Hong Kong, and I finally heeded the advice! I embraced the new experience, the culture, the change, and I finally understood why that advice mattered. I lived in the moment and enjoyed the feeling of having to adjust, make new friends, and overall be on an adventure.
When I went back to school I finally learned to embrace my last year and a half of school and I was so sad I didn't embrace the experience from the beginning. I did end up moving back to Texas and I started to embrace a whole new life in my favorite city. I've made new friends, engaged in old friendships I didn't truly appreciate, and started my own life.
Fast forward to six years after moving back to Texas and I was looking at myself in the mirror after experiencing ageism, sexism, bullying, and harassment from an inexperienced boss. I made the decision to walk away from the job. I knew if I allowed that level of disrespect from someone who wasn't worthy to have an opinion about me, then how could I respect myself?
After walking away from what I thought was my future career, I spent months trying to create a new business. I was forcing myself to be interested in an industry I knew, but wasn't passionate about. I was hiking in my neighborhood greenbelt when I finally let myself accept that I wasn't passionate about the job I came from and I needed to give myself a chance to find what I really loved. It only took me a couple of weeks to discover what I was passionate about, nutrition.
I was scared to start something new, in an industry with extremely qualified people, with a degree that had nothing to do with nutrition! With the support of my husband, I embarked on my nutrition certification and I heard that little voice in the back of my head telling me to embrace the change, live in the moment, and enjoy this uncertain time, because it may never happen again.
I finished my certification and took another risk- I started my own company. It was daunting starting a company without guidance from anyone who had broken into this industry, but again I heard the voice telling me to embrace the risk, and enjoy the feeling of being uncertain, it doesn't come around often.
That voice has helped me get through a second certification in a controversial field- the plant based diet- and it has also helped me when I have failed in my business. Embracing and reveling in the change/risk and living in the moment makes you appreciate failures and uncomfortable situations. Those moments don't come around often, and they should be appreciated instead of feared. Those moments are the ones that shape where you are going next. When you embrace them you are choosing to take something that was uncomfortable and potentially negative and acknowledging that it's a learning experience that is positive, rare, and life changing.
I encourage anyone who is thinking about making a change, or is afraid of change to consider adjusting your mindset and embracing these moments. They don't come around often and they are bittersweet and special if you choose to recognize them.