lightbulb moments

This morning I saw a quote in one of my emails that said:

“It is when we are in transition that we are most completely alive.”

That’s so true.

But holy cow is it hard.

It promoted me to pull out William Bridges’ book Transitions and as I skimmed through, it occurred to me that some of the hardest times in my life have also been the most meaningful.

The times of change.

Then why I am so wary of change? Are you?

Even if I know that change is a moment, transition is a process.

Change prompts transition and it’s hard because it always begins with the END of something.

Then comes a period of time that can either be neutral…or brutal.

But that third phase? It’s always the beginning of something new. Something else.

Often it’s something BETTER.

Case in point.

After college, I began in earnest, working my way up the ladder of production at NBC News in New York.

I loved my job, spent years producing stories, and dreamed of one day becoming an on-air news correspondent.

At the time, I babysat for Katie Couric’s kids and I wanted to be just like her.

Then all of a sudden I was hit by what I call one of my “lightbulb moments.”

It’s when I get a brief flash of clarity about something else I want or need.

It’s often related to life’s purpose.

I was working on a story about the women living under the Taliban regime (this was in 1996) and all of a sudden I felt pulled to work with the refugee women and children I was interviewing.

I couldn’t stop thinking about working with them, but I had no idea how to do it and I was afraid to leave a good thing.

That brief flash is what propelled me to leave NBC News. I got my Master’s in Public Policy at Princeton and, after relentless networking and interviewing, I dove into the next phase of my career: my dream job at UNICEF.

When I look back at that time, it was the clarity in wanting something more that was my lightbulb moment.

The actual transition?

It took years.

It took YEARS to find my way to my new identity and purpose.

It took work. It took self-reflection. It took time.

It was hard to leave such an incredible thing that I loved so much.

I encourage you to reflect on your lightbulb moments and see if you can follow those flashes of clarity toward your own greater purpose.

Maybe you can use the turn of the season (it’s the first day of September!!), the start of this school year, or the changes in routine as a time to rediscover YOU.

Remembering that change is simply an event.

It’s in the transition that we do the work and find ourselves again.

With fierce love,

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