Embracing the Next Step


I don’t like large shifts and changes. I especially don’t like not knowing the next step in front of me. Waiting on the universe to unfold the next stair while my foot already dangles mid air. No thank you, sir. And sometimes. This general resistance toward change can lead to a not so great thought process.

In mid June my contract at my current position is ending and I’ve chosen to not attempt to renew it. I’ve known for awhile this season was passing through, but now that it’s coming to a close I’m wanting to stay on this page instead of turning to a new chapter. I want to write a few more pages into something already ending because choosing to stay means not having to feel stuck, unsure, or afraid the next move won’t present itself. My instinct as of late has been to avoid the uncomfortable nature of being stuck and the following changes.

I became frozen with the indecision of staying where I am or moving forward because not having it all figured out felt unnatural, irresponsible, and a wee bit nerve wracking (read: makes my heart clench cause PLANS ARE THE BEST EVER). I was ready to stay in a season that had passed in order to avoid feeling unsure and afraid of not being able to figure it all out.

But here’s the thing: You do not have to have it all figured out to move forward. You just don’t.

Let’s be honest: Change is hard. Even when it’s good change, it’s hard. Just like stress is a bell curve so is change. It’s good up until you hit your max and then it starts to wear you down.

And dammit. I’m tired of change. Since I began college it has felt constant. However many years later I am in grad school and change still beckons with it’s knobby old finger. People who think spontaneity is sexy are smoking something because consistency is the real head turner if you ask me. I like rhythms and familiar things. Knowing what to do when and where. But that just hasn’t been the road for me. I look to my left and right at friends who went to college and graduated to get normal jobs, and feel envious of the routine they already have in their lives. And then I look back at what’s in front of my own two feet. And I know they’re planted right where they need to be and I’ve been making the hard choices to move forward even when I’m not sure how it’s going to pan out.

Maybe you feel this too. Stuck. Not wanting to move forward for fear of what it will mean to take those next steps. And I really get it. But what scares me more than change and not knowing the next step is staying somewhere I’m not supposed to be anymore. Somewhere where I’ve learned my lessons and left behind my own good things.

All that said… Now I get to choose if I want to keep walking along resisting each tiny step forward. Or if I would like to embrace the new opportunities that I know are silently on their way. As stubborn of a person as I am, I think I would like to let go of the fear and say hello to the new good things on their way. I’m not saying I won’t feel the weight of the change because I know I will. I’m saying that I’m choosing to trust myself that this is for the best and I’ll be happy I didn’t choose to stay.


12 thoughts on “Embracing the Next Step

  1. The idea of change excites me at first, but when the actual moment of change comes, I’m usually terrified! Best of luck with everything that’s coming in the future! 🙂

  2. Well said. I too get very anxious about big changes, I like knowing the plan but it’s important to recognize that isn’t the only way to live. Thanks for the encouraging words!

  3. I go back and forth with this whole change thing. Sometimes, I embrace it. I walk straight into change. But most of the time, I run from it. The anxiety I feel from impending change always manifests into physical sensations. I just started my first “real” job this week, and have been working on writing a post about this big change — graduating from grad school and assimilating into what they call “the real world” — the same real world that my friends got to enter with their structured lives and I envied. But I haven’t grasped the appropriate words yet, because it’s all so overwhelming to me. But when I look at the big picture, any big change in my life has led me to somewhere great. Even the toughest ones. Even the most heartbreaking ones. I never see it when it’s coming, but in retrospect, all of the bumps and curves and change has led me right where I am now. And I think that’s what we have to remember when we are crippled by the fear of closing one chapter and moving onto the next one. If we don’t make room for the turning of the page, we are stunting our own growth and could miss out on some really important opportunities. So here’s to hoping that you look fear straight in the face and walk right into this next change. And here’s to knowing that even though it’s scary, and even though it can be stressful, the end result will be beautiful.

    xo Jackie

  4. Jackie!! You’re back! I just met with my field advisor yesterday and outlined all the exams / licensure things and felt completely overwhelmed hahah. So congrats to you on being DONEEE! Ohh I so get the physical manifestations part – even when I’m welcoming the change I can feel it taking a toll on me physically.

    “I never see it when it’s coming, but in retrospect, all of the bumps and curves and change has led me right where I am now. ” – Absolutely this. I’ve been trying to focus on exactly this perspective as I’m about to end my current job and plunge into fulltime school / practicum/ find a new job hahah.

    Alsooooo. Can’t wait to see you posting some new beautiful words now that your life is *hopefully* winding down a little bit!! 🙂

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