Every time there is a major shift in our lives, and in the past couple years since I was regularly posting here on Montana Ranch Girl there have been a few, we have to take control of who we will choose to be because of the shifts. Change means reinvention.
I think myself, as well as many of us, struggle with embracing change. And it seems like the more I resist the roller coaster of change in my life, that the more change comes my way.
Dramatic changes bring with them fear, loneliness, and anxiety. While we cope the best and the only way we know how, we often isolate ourselves, when what we really need most is to be embraced by others.
When first diagnosed with cancer, for the longest time, I refused to believe that change was in the realm of possibility. I’ve since learned that change can happen quickly and at any point, especially when it’s not convenient. Before cancer everything in my life seemed to be just about perfect and I couldn’t accept that my life soon could and would be very different. I had to learn that acknowledging change is allowing it to happen as it unfolds instead of approaching it from a place of fight or flight, either through denial or resistance.
Like most adults I’ve reinvented myself several times before. I’ve never been happy waiting for my future to find me. But after cancer I had forgotten that I had to choose reinvention.
I finished chemo in January of 2014 and radiation in March and was supposed to take a pill form of chemo until September. The pill form of chemo created other health issues, including severe blood clots and cysts. After getting a second opinion from a dear friend of mine who happens to be an oncologist, I went against my oncologist wishes and stopped taking the drug in July.
My treatments put my mind in a chemical haze making it hard to write or string sentences together. Physically depleted I could not go back to work at the ranch so I took a job in town that made me miserable.
And then I turned 40. I didn’t take this birthday gracefully. I was certainly not where I wanted to be in my life at this age.
I quit my job in town and went back to work at the ranch, but still had this nagging feeling that I was not reaching my full potential and physically no longer wanted to work so hard.
Another year goes by and I’m still waiting for my future to find me, lost in my own grief, loss, confusion, and sadness. And then after a particularly stressful spring and fall here at the ranch we had a devastating hay fire.
It was literally a baptism by fire, I had my first panic attack and realized my life had to change and change now! I realized that I was having so much trouble moving forward because I had no idea what it was that I wanted to move towards. I was thinking about my past, but not what I wanted for my future.
“You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis
I started a new business, Agri-Marketing Solutions and started working in the office at the ranch. And what I’m really excited to announce is that I am now launching a second business Cowgirl Grit and Grace and future blog posts can be seen there.
Please bare with me, the website is not yet complete, but I promised you, my readers, that I would make this announcement this week, and it’s the last day of the week.
Reinvention is neither easy nor always smooth. We often encounter resistance from those around us who can’t see us in new roles. And resistance from ourselves, it’s often hard to let go of what’s familiar and comfortable, even when those things cause us pain. We often struggle with limiting beliefs or stories about ourselves that hold us back from trying new things.
But, as John Wayne said, “courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” I hope you choose courage instead of letting your fear choose your future for you.