A newly swathed ship leaves the harbor

As a child, springtime found us running alongside ditches gushing with water; my cousins and I loved nothing more than launching our boats and racing to see how far they’d go.  Armed with rubber boots and wind-breakers, we’d suffer boot-fulls of icy water and, more than once, we fell in trying to retrieve our crafts from the currents.

Life’s like that, you know.  We sail along on our comfortable routes, confident we understand the stream enough to relax into it.  Jobs become stale, but we don’t do anything because, well, we have a job.  It pays the bills and maybe even a bit more.  We don’t complain but secretly, secretly we miss what it feels like to race alongside the current.

And then once, once in a great while, an opportunity arises that makes us think about venturing out onto unfamiliar ground, sticking a toe in the water, and we wonder if we can even make it to the other side.

We have a choice: go with what we know or go for it.

I went for it.

A company restructuring occurred and I launched my boat into the churning waters of corporate mayhem. It was stressful yet invigorating beyond description.  I’ve had many meetings with many people, gulped down my shyness, talked up past accomplishments and then had to do something I’m not used to doing …  I had to sell it.  I had to make sure they knew how much I wanted it and how appointing anyone but me would be a mistake.

But I did it and, after many weeks, I got it:  I got the job I’ve worked years to get and Monday … I start.   And, on top of that, I’ll still do my old job until I find a replacement.  Still, I’m ready to take on what wasn’t done, learn what I don’t know, and navigate the new structure.

And then yesterday something hit me, something I hadn’t had time to consider:  in my new role, I’m going to be in front of a lot of more people.  Important people: Legislators, Department Heads, Vice Presidents.  I need new clothes and this is a girl who hates to shop.   Exercising and eating better changed my shape; that old stuff no longer fits.  And it isn’t just that the old wardrobe doesn’t  fit my hips or my waist, it’s that they don’t  fit me.    They fit who I was, but not who I am today.

Now, I have a voice and an opportunity to use it.   I will be swathed in some new duds, in colors and styles that fit and flatter and my intention is to carry myself in a way that says, “If you don’t like being a doormat then get off the floor.“*

 * * * *

How ’bout you?  Thought about launching your ship lately? What’s stopping you?

I have to give a special shout-out to the Hubbs (who will never read this but I’ll be sure to tell him):  Over the course of all these weeks, we shared many late night chats, lots of “what-ifs” and a heckuva lotta “you deserve this, go for it.”

You were right and I couldn’t have done it without you.

..::  XO ::..

*doormat quote belongs to Amelia Earhart

Categories: fear, Growth, Joy, Men, Personal, Relationships, Uncategorized, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “A newly swathed ship leaves the harbor

  1. Congratulations MJ!
    Change is in the air!
    God Bless your new journey and new job

    • Thank you so much, Susie. I am very excited about the change(s) ahead. This was a large part of what’s been weighing on me of late … the wondering. Augh! Thank Goodness that is finally over 🙂 MJ

  2. Many happy congrats on the new job, and the energy and self confidence it is giving you. Sail that ship into the wild seas, dressed in gorgeous outfits. Keep an eye out for salt stains, OK? 😉

  3. So you bought some new duds and you want to make a lasting first impression? I hope that your new wardrobe included a snazzy new COWGIRL HAT!! 😉

    Congratulations MJ!! It’s not an easy thing to do to “prove your self-worth” since it kind of involves self congratulatory types of talk about ones self…but as they say “it ain’t braggin’ if it’s TRUE.”

    You’ve had a “full plate” these past six months or so. Your youngest son leaves for college, your mother and her health, Frankie’s vet visit and now the career thing. Many folks might have dailed up the “WHHHAAAAAAMMMMBULANCE” but you put your goal in the crosshairs and NAILED IT. I’m proud of you! 🙂 (and probably so are your Dad and brother).

    Go get ’em MJ!!

    • Thank you, RR 🙂 I hadn’t planned on a cowgirl hat but I love the image it conjures up.

      You ‘get’ it – we’re not conditioned to promote ourselves, at least I sure wasn’t, so having to do that feels a little inauthentic for me. With the support of the Hubbs and a few close friends, I did it anyways. And you’re right – between the kid graduating and going to college, my Mom’s health challenges, oldest’s relationship traumas and then old dog’s issues, I’ve had more on my plate than I usually do.

      One thing I learned through all this is that no one is going to change your life but you … and as stressful as this experience was, to get to the finish line and Win was nothing short of wonderful.

      Thank you for your kind words of support,

  4. Congratulations, MJ! That’s awesome news! Hope you’re able to find the wardrobe that fits the “new” you.

    • Thank you very much; I’ve donated a lot of clothes to Goodwill and even though my closet looks a little empty, I’m going to take it slow and only purchase what works, not just what’s on sale. Bests! MJ

  5. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…”Wordpress needs a LOVE button”!!! Congratulations MJ…awesome! Best of the best to you.
    p.s. The quote rocks.

    • Thank you, Dee. I wrote the post before I found that quote but as soon as I read it, I knew I had to incorporate it. Cheers! MJ

  6. Woo hoo and way to go!!! Good for you. I hope your new job brings lots of fulfillment.

  7. Congratulations!

  8. Dee had the same thought I did: we need a LOVE option for this post.
    Congrats to you, my dear friend! (If I had known this was in the works, I would have told you that I knew beyond a doubt that you would land this new job.) Wishing you all the best, and a quick replacement for your old job, so you won’t have so much to balance!

    • Aww, thank you, Dianna. The thing is, I knew I could do the job and I knew I had the background to be a good fit .. but it was the process and some office politics that were tough to deal with. Thank you for your kind words and sweet wishes, I sure do appreciate them.

  9. cooper

    Congrats!!! I haven’t written about it but I just went through the same thing and took a permanent job in corporate america after being a consultant for twenty some odd years. Scary at first but at this stage of my life it is a perfect fit.

    You’ll do fine, I know. And I’m sorry, but I can’t read about kids playing with paper boats without thinking of the first chapter of Stephen King’s IT. Gives me the chills….

    • Good for you, Coop! I’ll bet that was a big change to make from one “world” to another.

      Stephen King’s “IT” was one of the scariest books I ever read and I can trace my dislike for clowns back to that book. (Pennywise … shudder).


  10. Congratulations, MJ!! May your new role be everything you dreamed it would be!

  11. I am so thrilled for you, I know this took extremely hard work, success always comes with a price and you were determined to pay it. The words are many so let me just say how incredible you are, your hubby is, your company is, your closet is. (smile).

    “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning – Gloria Steinhem”.

    Listening to India Arie, A Beautiful Day, captures your essence. Listen to the song, it is magical and hopeful and well…you. xo

    “Early in the morning
    It’s the dawn of a new day
    New hopes new dreams new ways
    I open up my eyes and
    I open up my mind and
    I wonder how life will surprise me today
    Early in the morning
    It’s the dawn of a new day
    New hopes new dreams new ways
    I open up my heart and
    I’m gon’ do my part and
    Make this a positively beautiful day” – India Arie, A Beautiful Day

  12. Woo hoo!! Go MJ! Congratulations on stepping up and making it happen. Well done!
    Sorry ’bout having to shop. I hate shopping. Hate it. I hope you find some fabulous new duds.

    • Thank you, LD. I’m a little smarter this time & am going to take my time, not just buy the first thing I see just so I can get out of the store 🙂


  13. Oh, congratulations, MJ. I couldn’t be more thrilled for you. Can’t wait to hear how the shopping goes!

    • Thank you, Kathy. I’m going to take it slow and strategic; I’ll be doing both jobs for a while so I don’t expect to have much free time anyways 🙂 MJ

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