This year has been full of life lessons. There are things I’ve learned that troubled my soul and others that gave me hope. Some things became life altering. Some gave me a push that I needed for years to do what my soul has been called to. God given purpose became clearer than ever and the actions followed.
I released all control. All. I gave it all to Him and I asked to grab my hand and just take me where I needed to be.
And just like that a door opened. And then another. I met some incredible people. I made decisions I never had guts to make (yes me – I sometimes get scared like everyone else).
Those changes wouldn’t be possible without growing pains (look out for another post on this).
And those changes brought some heartbreak.
Changes can be costly. One in particular hurts more than others.
I long for connections. So badly. In my nature I just want to be in people’s lives and unfortunately for both of us I expect the same. I expect that people will connect with me and we’ll create long lasting relationships, we’ll have a never ending kumbaya moment, and we’ll go through life holding hands.
I know it’s not realistic to hold million hands, but I can’t help myself and want to give myself to everyone and ask for the same in return. Pretty unrealistic expectation.
As I write it down, I go back to a conversation I had with my friends Wally and Marilyn who explained where that need for connections comes from for me and realization how destructive it can be. I agree. Yet, I still long for those connections.
Yesterday James and I were driving and as always I kept looking outside to say hi to strangers. Somewhere within my soul I believe that those strangers need a smile and it’s an easy thing for me to give. Some smile back, some look at me wondering if they know that crazy lady. I always thought that by doing this I bring a moment of joy into their lives. Until yesterday… I accidently flipped my camera to a selfie mode and took a random picture of myself before I moved onto switching and taking the picture I really wanted to take – of a car in front of us, to be more exact of their bumper sticker (yes – it was a heart!). Unaware of the selfie I took, I moved on with my day until the evening when I went back to look for the heart picture.
That’s when it hit me.
The joy in my eyes was so apparent. The smile was so bright and genuinely happy. I may be thinking that I make people smile but in fact I am making little connections with them without which my soul dries up.
Last night I was finally open to processing the grief of leaving my job. I really loved my job so leaving it was a big decision which surprisingly I made very easily. I thought that I was upset for losing the ability to do the job itself, or perhaps having that awarding feeling of accomplishment. But as I looked at that random selfie on a dimmed screen I realized that what I was grieving was losing all those incredible people on my team I got to meet and connect with in the past 6 years.
All of the sudden leaving my job didn’t feel like a right decision for my soul (although it was for my life). It felt more like an ugly divorce in which everyone else picked a side and decided to stay connected with Wells and not me. Mon whom they adored and shared mega hugs and life stories with was forgotten now and replaced by a memory of a girl that used to work there. One who did anythings she could to help everyone on the team in one way or another was just a girl that they had a few conversations here and there with in the past six years. You see, they did what everyone in a workplace does – moved on. Not me. I started feeling like I was an outsider unable to join the circle again. All the effort that my soul gave was no longer valid.
I visualized the scene and I saw myself standing in front of my office building with my head hung low and tears streaming down my face. I truly miss those folks. And they probably miss me too just in a different way. I miss the connections I’ve made, they miss the girl that spread the glitter all over the floors. I couldn’t understand why the people most likely to stay in my life cut me off while the ones I never thought I would ever speak to again kept pursuing me after I left.
I kept working through my feelings while the grief tormented my heart. I started with recalling every person’s name and face and telling them why I missed them and what they brought into my life. It made it for a very long night since there were close to 200 people, but it was such a good night. At the end my head was up, I was no longer looking down. In fact, the picture I had in my mind was of me walking away from the building, smiling, holding all the memories and short lived connections in a special pocket in my heart.
Today I woke up refreshed, no longer feeling like I divorced my team. No longer feeling hurt and forgotten. No longer waiting for an email invite to a happy hour. I realized that they may miss me as much as I miss them but in a different way. I ‘need’ a connection, they may not. Appreciation for the most fulfilling 6 years of my career life filled my soul.
And let’s face it, I can make some effort to reconnect with some or all of them again.
As I laid quietly in the dark room, relieved and somewhat renewed, listening to all three of my boys breathing peacefully, I started exploring the connections I had with them. For the first time I let myself feel the great love that Bud and Kade have for me. Pure and unconditional. James’s snore made me laugh through the tears. How in the world can I feel so connected to that snoring man?! I didn’t make those connections, they were given to me the moment those boys were born and the moment I met James. While I kept chasing connections all over the world I had 3 right below my nose that deserved to be cultivated more than others.
Our souls have different needs. My longs for connections. Reciprocated connections.
My love language is touch.
My soul’s is connection.