Certainly, a gender transition is probably the most significant re-invention that I can imagine. But as I've said before, once you've been down that path you find that it becomes more difficult to simply accept things in your life that you'd change for one reason or another if you could. Whether they're pain-points, you've outgrown things based on current life circumstance, or you want to head in a new direction it's far easier to simply accept constraints as being boundaries than it taking the risk involved in letting go of the familiar for the possibility of something more.
I've talked about that here before. I can't say that everyone thinks as I do, but this kind of an approach has proved itself to be both a blessing and a curse. When things in my life don't align with my overall life-plan I have a hard time just accepting that and growing comfortable with it. For someone like myself who truly embraces the sentiments expressed in Serenity Prayer they're more like life rules than guidelines. Change is good, especially when you're the one creating the change.....
Recently I have alluded to some changes in my world. The difficulty of aligning my career (more specifically, the income that it provides) and my deep need to set some roots and settle down have been pretty much at odds for quite a while now. I have no doubt about where the roots are growing, and I absolutely refuse to shape my world around my career. I've lessened the burden by seeking out opportunities within arm's reach of Charleston but in reality that's not something I can or will sustain long-term. Changes need to be made.
After almost 35 years I ask myself - What is a career? It doesn't mean the same thing to me today that it did when I was just starting it, or starting a family, or at early formative stages. It is now
For me, it's something that I've done for over 30 years now. Do I enjoy what I do at this stage of the game? Not particularly. Does it provide fulfillment? I suppose it does - to a certain degree. Can I see myself doing it for another dozen years? No. My career provides good income, insurance, and some of the other need-to-have elements of life but if I had options to change lanes at this point I'd seriously consider them.
Well, I do. I have made some.
I should preface some of this by saying that I learned a long time ago the any time you trust that "luck", "hope", or "circumstance" will be instrumental elements to change things in your life it means two things. First, you're willing to settle for whatever happens since you're not directing things in any particular direction. Second, you're willing to sit and suffer for a prolonged period of time since you're not taking the initiative to make change happen. That has never been my style, perhaps even to a fault. I have a very hard time simply accepting when important things suck in my life given the realization that they'll continue to suck unless I take steps to stop it.
As of this past week I am one of South Carolina's newest Real Estate agent licensees. I've been taking the necessary coursework and working through the hoops to get licensed to buy and sell property in the state. I am now doing the work necessary to obtain a license in North Carolina, as well. I've joined an established nationwide agency and am looking forward to gradually setting sail in this new life direction.
This is all new ground for me. The process thus far has been an interesting one. Much of it is backwards to anything I've known before. For example, when I'm looking for a job I'm used to having to interview so someone can make a decision whether or not to "hire" me. Well, as a real estate licensee you interview with local brokers but in reality you're interviewing them, not the other way around. Agents are independent businesses so getting hired isn't difficult. It's actually producing once you've found a broker that's the hurdle.
Anyway - there will be more coming on this. I wish I could just change lanes now and give my new opportunity my full time and attention but I can't. The allure of breaking free from my cubicle-bound corporate life is strong, but there are practical realities that need to be considered and managed. I can't simply close my eyes and jump, hoping to land safely. It's more complicated than that.
One of the other people in my class is very similar to me. She's roughly my age and has a very successful consultant position with a top company, but has grown tired of all the travel. She did exactly what I'm doing. The big difference is that she has quit her old job to focus on the new one. I can't do that yet. For me, it's difficult to try to straddle two worlds (any two worlds) but the goal is to keep that period as short as possible. I'm trying to do that...
Here are some photos from my world over this past week. Nothing special - just things I do and see.
|An evening stroll on the Four Mile Creek Greenway boardwalk|
|Spring color in the Low Country|
|Almost time to consider a dip in the pool at my apartments|
|Early morning on the Don Holt Bridge - I just like the tilted perspective|
|Pretty sunset over the Isle of Palms Marina|
|Selfie on my way to work. I often wear my hair up when it gets warm outside - I'm much "cooler" that way.|
Starting new things can be unnerving and exciting both at the same time. I've had enough new "beginnings" to grow comfortable with both of them. However, I especially enjoy the excitement aspects. Despite all the challenges and question marks, this truly is an exciting time. For many reasons.
All that said - stay tuned as I gear up the new career. This should be interesting....