Navigating the Unknown

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To Change or Not To Change

In the past, I’ve always embraced change because I felt it made you a better person for learning how to cope and adapt.  Our brains are wired to do the same things over and over again, whether it be good or bad, tedious or fun.

It’s never an easy task to handle but it pushes you out of your comfort zone and tests your strength and mettle. I thrived in the face of change because it snapped me out of my rut. It was different, it was new and I got to think outside the box.

Currently I’ve made a life changing decision to resign from my job of 12 years to work for a non-profit organization.  I was absolutely excited for the opportunity to do something that was both rewarding and satisfying at the same time.

Now I’m counting down my final days at my current work place, feeling nostalgic in the process.  My co-workers are sad but happy that I’ll be moving on to something better.

As I wait for the unknown, I find it quite difficult to accept the change that’s about to occur.  Thoughts of doubt creep into my mind.  “Am I making a mistake?” is all that is echoing throughout my conscious.

To do something for 12 years and then starting over from scratch is a terrifying thought…especially at my age.  This is truly overwhelming for me to handle.  I’m not going to lie, I’ve had sleepless nights this past week and will probably get even more in the coming days to follow.

My therapy was to confide in my co-workers about what I’m feeling; free psychological advice from people with various life experiences.

All exude positivity which help to sort of subdue what I’m feeling.  It was helping for a moment until I asked a co-worker who I found work for the same organization (for only 6 months)that I’m off to start a new career in.

Her experience was not pleasant, more like toxic.  “WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” was my first response.  Then “OH MY GOD! DID I JUST MAKE A HUGE MISTAKE!” blared like an EMS siren in my head.

She assured me that it was 10 years ago that she had worked there and her experience wasn’t pleasant because of the type of person she is.  She insisted that my experience might not be like that, so I needn’t worry.

Too late, the seeds of doubt had been planted and could not be shaken.  When I confided in my other co-workers of her experience, they echoed the same sentiment that it might not be like that for me.

So here I am now with conflicting emotions, wondering what I will encounter in the next chapter of my life.  The battle between experiencing a great opportunity versus making a huge mistake will continue until I walk through the doors of my new job.

Until then, I just need to try and live in the moment; soak up as much good memories as I can with the friends that I’ve made and take that feeling on into the unknown.

Chloe’s Stage Fright

Chloe was the only student in third grade that loved to dance. It didn’t matter where, it didn’t matter how, it didn’t even matter if there was music playing or not Chloe just loved dancing. Her dancing involved a lot of twirling, skipping, hopping, jumping, swaying, and prancing.

Chloe’s teacher, Miss Keegan, noticed Chloe’s fondness for dancing and thought she was the perfect choice for the part of the dancing princess in their third grade play. Miss Keegan walked up to Chloe and asked, “Hey Chloe, we’re having a play this Friday night and I was wondering if you would like to be in it?”

Dancing away, Chloe replied “I dunno.”

“I think you would be perfect as the lead character” said Miss Keegan, “the dancing princess.”

She stopped and looked at Miss Keegan.  “Dancing?” said Chloe.

“Yes, you like to dance right?” asked Miss Keegan.

“All the time” exclaimed Chloe.

“So do you want to be the dancing princess in our play?” asked Miss Keegan.

“Yes!” said an excited Chloe.

“Great. The play is going to be in four days so we’ll be rehearsing for a short while afterschool.” said Miss Keegan. “Okay” answered Chloe. And with that, Chloe danced away with a hop, skip, and a twirl.

Afterschool, for the next four days, Chloe rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed with Miss Keegan and a few of her classmates. Miss Keegan was pleased at the way her students practiced, “I’m proud of you all. And especially you Chloe, you dance very well. You’re all going to do just fine for tonight’s play. See you later tonight.” Chloe was so happy to be in a play that involved the one thing she loved the most…dancing. Chloe gathered her things and proceeded to walk home. She was joined by two of her friends, Sarah and Kevin, who were also in the play.

As they were walking home Chloe said “Isn’t it great that we’re in a play?”

“I guess so” replied Sarah, “but I’m kind of scared.”

“Yeah, me too” said Kevin. Chloe was a bit puzzled and asked “What are you scared of?” “Performing in front of all those people” said Kevin.

“Yeah, all those people staring at you. I hope I don’t trip or fall. Everybody would laugh at me.” Sarah added. Chloe was a bit concerned at what Sarah said.

“I hope I don’t forget what to say” said Kevin, “that’s even more scarier.” Chloe started to look a little scared.

“I’m glad I’m not you Chloe” said Sarah. Kevin said the same, “Yeah, I’m glad I’m not you.”

“Why?” asked a puzzled Chloe.

“Because you’re the main character” said Kevin, “you have to dance and talk.” Sarah added, “Yeah, all those people will be watching you. What if you trip and fall or forget your lines?” “Everyone will laugh at you” said Kevin.

Chloe was now scared.

Sarah and Kevin waved Chloe goodbye as she headed into her house. Chloe ran up to her room and sat on her bed. “I wish I wasn’t in the play” said Chloe.

Just then, her mom entered the room, “Are you ready for the play tonight?”

“No” answered Chloe.

“Why not? Didn’t you rehearse all this week with Miss Keegan?” asked her mom.

“Yeah” said Chloe, “but I’m scared.”

“What are you scared of?” asked her mom.

“What if I trip and fall or forget what to say, everyone will laugh at me. I’m scared.” said Chloe.

“Don’t be, everybody gets a little stage fright when they have to speak or perform in front of people.” said her mom. Chloe was puzzled at what her mom said, “Stage fright? What’s that?”

Her mom looked at her, “That’s when you get nervous. You’re worried about every little that could go wrong, like tripping, falling, or forgetting what to say. But if you practiced hard enough that won’t happen.” “You practiced hard didn’t you” stated her mom.

“Yes” said Chloe.

“You dance all the time and you never forget a step right” said her mom. “Yeah” said Chloe. “So don’t worry so much” said her mom, “you’re only doing what you love to do except it’s on a stage. You dance all the time in front of your dad and I, your brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, and cousins.”

Chloe listened to every word her mom said. Her mom added, “When you go on the stage tonight, just pretend that your dad and I, your brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, and cousins are the only ones in the audience okay?”

Chloe thought for a second and smiled, “I can do that.”

That night Chloe remembered what her mom said. She never forgot what to say and she twirled, hopped, skipped, swayed, and pranced with ease. Everyone cheered and clapped when the play was done. Chloe took a bow and smiled.

“I did it!” Chloe proudly said, “Let’s do this again!”

Mark Kaneshige