By Sara E Walker
It has been just three weeks since I took the first official step that will change my life forever. I believe it goes without words that stepping away from an established career was a task not easy to undertake; however, the decision itself was more than a singular notation. Leading up to Thursday, February 2, 2017, was two years of planning, praying, thinking, talking, discussing, second guessing and questioning. Along with those actions came the daily roller coaster of flooding emotions that had me invincibly confident at one moment and then terrified the next.
The more I allowed myself to recognize the discontent I felt within my professional life, the easier it was to accept that I needed to make a change. I have heard Dave Ramsey say on several occasions that it is the person in the mirror that must make the change. No one else can do it for them. The pivotal point was when I finally let myself be "OK" with my feelings and acknowledge that I was permitted to want a change. That moment was very empowering.
This is a picture of me (1980, which happens to be my favorite decade) that I found when I was at home two week's ago visiting my folks in Nashville. It jumped out at me because I remember this being a time when I was so confident that I could do anything. I am reclaiming that mindset and I am ready to conquer the world. Wait, I need my headband...
Two years is a long time to plan something, to be dedicated to something so far in the future. As the date was so far removed, it almost felt like a hollow decision and one that may never arrive. There were weeks at a time where I never thought about what was to come. People ask me how I could plan a life changing event without more details nailed down. All I can say is that it was faith. Once I made the final determination, there was an inner peace that held me up and helped to guide me through the string of days and decisions left to be made. Have you ever had to do something that you know you must do, but it seemed impossible? Well, this was mine. I didn't know the exact details nor if it would work out (hence this human experiment), but I had to find a way to make the seemingly impossible, possible.
Leaving my friends and my work family of almost 10 years was heart-wrenching. My HR position at work allowed me to have a working family of 650 employees who are some of the most remarkably dedicated people I have met. The honor to advocate on their behalf was both inspiring and tough to leave.
It is fascinating how the brain processes events we are living. I had not yet had "the moment" when I honestly felt what was transpiring for me. I thought it would be a few weeks before it hit me, but I was wrong. On that Thursday when I was heading out, I left the hotel where I had stayed my final two nights in the DC area and had lunch with one of my best friends. As we departed, I cozied up in my car and realized I had no idea where I was going. As I entered "Nashville" into my GPS, the weight of my decision hit me like a ton of bricks. Needless to say, the next several miles were quite emotional. As I drove away from where I spent, arguably, the most formidable decade I will ever experience, tears streamed down my face; a moment that will stick in my heart forever.