About a month ago, I realized we are ending a decade. I guess when you get to a certain age you don’t look at the years the same, especially when they are grouped in 10s. Let’s face it. Moving from 2019 to 2020 isn’t the same as the craze of moving from 1999 to 2000. I still remember all the Y2K buzz. If anything, in the last 20 years since 1999, I have seen greater resiliency amid chaos and hardships. And there have been hardships and chaos on many fronts, from global to my personal lows. But guess what? We are still standing and ready to face what 2020 and beyond will bring.
I started this current decade in another country. In December 2009, it never crossed my mind that 10 years later I would be back in the US as I entered the year 2020.
How did I get here?
Some of the things I remember from early in the decade revolve around career and layoffs. Between 2010 and 2019, I experienced three. What I learned is that layoffs are challenging but don’t have to be limiting.
Going through a layoff can have you attacking your self-worth (I did) but it doesn’t define you and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Layoffs happen. While it’s the end of that job, it is not “the” end. It’s often the beginning of something new.
During this decade I turned 50. I know, I know. I don’t look 50. Thank you for thinking it. Y’all, I’m not going to say 50 is the new 30 or 40 but I will say the 50’s have been pretty good, so far. Yes, there are changes in the body (expected), but the mindset is the kicker. I love this place of having experience and wisdom but also being open to experience new things. I no longer worry, like I did when I was younger, about what other people think.
Friendship and Faith
Two areas that have grown immensely for me in the last ten years is in friendship and faith. I have an amazing circle of friends. I have been able to reconnect with friends from high school and previous jobs I have held. I am extremely grateful for the friends that have stuck with me as I have moved from place to place, and the ones I don’t get a chance to talk to very often (due to life) but are tried and true because the friendships started on such a firm foundation.
During the decade, I have also gained a greater circle of friends that are like family. A lot of the time, you don’t know what you need until you get it. The job played a big part in this area. One great connection led me to others. And my friends are what I needed. I have a sister-friend circle in SoCal that is legit. I am excited for how the laughter continues into 2020. And I won’t leave out the other friends I’ve made that are incredible. Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It’s the law of averages, baby!
Now about faith… I moved to SoCal on December 30, 2013. I was laid off from an agency position earlier that year, January 2nd to be exact, and I couldn’t find a job. So, in October, I let go of the shame and sent a broadcast for open opportunities and the chance to move. By that time, I knew I would have to leave Vancouver. My lease was up in December and it was clear my time there was ending. Then opportunity presented itself, and I prayed a simple prayer:
“Lord, if you open this door, I will be present in building a greater relationship with you. I will find a church home and be committed to that place.”
The door opened and I have kept that promise. But prayers are funny because they don’t always work out the way we think but the outcome is so much greater. I got the job and 18 months later, I experienced my 3rd layoff in the decade. Had I not been committed to my church and the people there, it would have lost it. But they held me up. Like my friends, they constantly affirmed me, reminding me who I am and Whose I am. Church was my refuge and it gave me an outlet to serve. If you are ever feeling low, the antidote is to serve others. It changes your heart.
The prayer I prayed in Vancouver for the open door to a job, was for so much more and way beyond my mental capacity. When the job was gone, what was left helped sustain me. And it led to what I am calling my renaissance.
If you told me in 2009 that I would be where I am today, I wouldn’t have called you crazy because I am polite like that, but I would have thought it. After many years/decades, I returned to school and got my B.A. in Organizational Leadership in December 2018. I started an online business, Nichole’s Nuggets, in May. I kicked up my coaching business which is at the heart of my passion and purpose. I became a board member for the Conservation Corps of Long Beach. Plus, I wrote a book. What?!?!
Let me be honest. I would have never believed this was possible for me. But know, I didn’t do it alone. Faith and my community got me through. And I am looking to both to walk with me through my next chapter, pursuing my Master’s in Organizational Leadership beginning in January.
Yes, I feel strongly I am experiencing my own, personal renaissance. I think most people are and those that aren’t may not be looking in that direction. A little pivot will make the difference in how you view the last 10 years and how you anticipate the years to come.