When I was divorced, 7 years ago, I eventually bought a condo for the boys and I. All I wanted was a place to rest. I saw my condo as my cocoon. I felt peace for the first time in a long time. Without consciously deciding to do so, I painted the entire condo a brown/gray color that reminded me of a cocoon. Those five years were in every way a time of healing and transformation. From the outside, it didn’t look like I was doing all that much. The change was very much an inside job. I was figuring out how I wanted to live and who I was going to become in what felt like an entirely new life. I was starting over from scratch with two boys along for the ride. What did the future look like? I had at least eight jobs in five years, sometimes four at once. Weekends, evenings, daytime, sales….you name it. What felt right, what did not, what direction was I gravitating toward…..
I’m sure it looked like I was floundering from the outside. And, I was in some ways. It was a necessary part of the process though. It was like being in high school again and people asking me when I was 16 what I wanted to major in, in college. How should I know? I didn’t even know all that was possible at that age, how was I going to pick something like that without trying on different hats? Then, in the college years and twenties I did try on different hats; bohemian, artist, business woman, earth mama…..What persona felt right? How do you know until you try?
Which brings me back to my cocoon years. After spending 25 years married, I had to figure out how to be now that I was not. So, I tried many different things. One of my major criteria was that I wanted to be available to my boys. The idea of taking a traditional corporate job did not appeal to me at all. They needed me. I needed them. So, I did work that I could work around them and not vice versa. Then, my lifelong entrepreneurial spirit kicked back in.
Most of my life I’ve worked for myself. For many years I was a freelance artist, graphic designer and eventually had my own home based design business. It suits me to be my own boss. I love the autonomy it gives me. I love variety. I love being the captain of my ship. So, I started to move in that direction again. Only, instead of design, it began to look like catering and cooking was the direction that was pulling me. I wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t taken on catering work during this transitional phase of my life. I took catering work, in part, because the hours could be worked around my boys schedule. One thing led to another until the shape of how my new life was going to look began to take some shape. I was incubating change. My old life had dissolved and I was in my cocoon transforming it into something new.
We have to be willing to try new things, maybe take on jobs that aren’t “ideal” or may seem “beneath” us, not up to our background and education, etc. In short, you have to stop worrying about how things look from the outside and just do what you need to do to figure out where you want to go. It can be a scary time in life, but it can be very exciting and fun as well. You are creating something new and it’s all up to you! You can take on jobs and directions without the idea that it will be not something permanent. It’s freeing. Give yourself permission to fail or look ridiculous too. So what. This is your life. Don’t be afraid of change, embrace the challenge and pay attention to what begins to feel right.
Now, I am undergoing another process of transformation in my business. I started a cleaning business out of necessity and it workout out great for the lifestyle I wanted; flexible, tranquil, self directed, easy cash flow, etc….It moved into new directions naturally; catering, turnkey entertaining, etc.. I began to feel the pull to offer workshops for women in transition and have begun moving in that direction because I truly feel called to reach out to women making big life changes, wanting direction, momentum and support. Women began contacting me to take my workshops before they existed. I was contacted to create an online version for women in shelters. Lightbulbs began popping off in my head. This was what I wanted to do. I want to help other women recreating their lives.
I stopped writing blog posts. I stopped actively marketing certain areas of my business. I wanted to see where this change was headed. It looks like nothing was happening if you look on this site, but my vision for my life and my business was undergoing transformation. So, I backed off and began to incubate the changes I saw forming in my mind. What sustained me and excited me when I first started my business began to feel like stagnation. I knew I was ready for more.
So, for today, I’m going to leave it at this. The next few posts will deal with the transitions I have been experiencing and the “aha” moments that helped me form a new plan. I am also going to roll out my summer schedule for workshops and coaching opportunities. It’s incubating……and I cannot wait to share what I have in store…..