Shifting Into Second Gear – April 7

Picture this: a determined fifteen year-old girl with three older siblings, learning to drive on a manual transmission. Between vehicle instruction by my mother and brother Kevin, I soon learned to ease off the clutch as I leaned on the gas. There was a lot of lurching and killing the engine. How the clutch survived five teenage drivers, I’ll never know.

What I remember most is the feeling of relief when I finally got to fifth gear. The destination was known, directions were set, and I could let my mind wander to the scenery or sing along to the radio. Of course, being mindful of traffic. (Just in case my mom’s reading.)

When my administrative role came to a sudden stop last year, my work engine sputtered many times as I tried to figure how to find a new way to continue doing work that was so important to me. There was a few lurches of energy, but as my confidence sputtered, I killed the engine. I had to relearn how to drive my passion for arts integration and cultural community engagement.

Job loss is not easy for anyone. It is as hard as death and divorce for a family. There are five stages of grief for job loss, according to a few articles I read. I’m getting through this with an incredibly loving and patient support system. And I’ve learned to surround myself with great human beings, and avoid the toxic situations. (Thinking of writing more about toxicity but for now, I’ll just leave it there.)

My life is about to shift into higher gears next week. Tomorrow I’ll be making an announcement about a new venture. I hope you’ll celebrate with me in some way.

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