Help with changes

Two years ago I left my job in accounting and decided to find what else was out "there". I had worked in accounting for the previous decade and I was ready for a change. I enjoyed parts of accounting; getting corporate tax returns to balance was exciting (and sometimes very difficult), heading out to visit nonprofit audit clients was interesting (and sometimes very frustrating) and the salaries were more than adequate. However, there were many moments of "is this it?" as I sat for 40+ hours a week in front of computers housed in cubicles under fluorescent lights.

I read This Time I Dance in the months leading up to my departure and I was pretty certain that I too would make an effortless transition from the corporate world to a more heart based, artistic life...complete with work I loved (that provided amazing amounts of money). I watched The Secret, read Louise Hay and prayed; knowing that this combination was unbeatable!

I have not stumbled upon amazing amounts of money and I have not yet found the work that makes me feel completely alive and full of purpose. I have worked with a vibrant girl who experiences cerebral palsy and have had my heart cracked open by her authenticity and genuine love of people (even the ones who drive me crazy). I have joined online art projects and allowed myself to accept comments on this blog and comment on others'. I have created a very simple life in a small town, where I can easily walk to the grocery store, the bank, the coffee shop. I have stopped spending days in cubicles.

In a couple weeks I am moving out of the small town and into Portland. I have lived outside of Portland for the past 3.5 years and in some ways returning is a no brainer...I have relatives and a church family in town, favorite shops and cultural events to get caught up on and friends to spend time with. However, I also have apprehension about making changes as I wonder if I will continue to pursue work outside of accounting or if I will return to it for a time. I wonder if my friends will be happy I'm back in town and want to spend time together. I wonder if I will find a way to connect with my community or if my past love of volunteering has left me for someone more consistent. I know it is time to make changes and I alternate between feeling very excited and very nervous.

I have found the following to be encouraging, helpful and/or funny during this round of changes:
* how to build a Soultribe
* jealousy map
* the black hole between okay and fantastic
* trapped in a reality show
* release the pain of saying goodbye
* butterflies

Change always comes bearing gifts. ~Price Pritchett

After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over. ~Alfred Edward Perlman, New York Times, 3 July 1958


  1. Familiar is safe. Change is brave. You are brave. You inspire me to be brave.

  2. I am thrilled that I was in any way encouraging, helpful and/or funny with my little essay.

    Of course, I hope it was all three, but any one would be more than enough to satisfy.

    Keep up your lovely and important work.

  3. You will find what you are looking for, i promise you - sometimes it takes longer than you'd like (like in my case) but it does come in the end, and the journey is filled with enough stuff to keep you on your toes in the meantime :) x

  4. Jen, I like your candor here - I appreciate you showing vulnerability and coping strategies as well.

    Plus, the NYT quote is perfection. I will re-evaluate some things...

    We will talk more later, but your continual search for encouragement and change is one of my Top Things About Jen.

  5. there is so much i can relate to in this wonderfully open much change in my own life over the last three much anxiety and concern over what to much of my heart put out there in hope...

    thank you for opening your heart so wide in this post and for being such an inspiration...your transparency reaches out to others and makes a very big difference to those you connect with in sharing your own uncertainties and longings of your heart...


  6. Anonymous25.2.09

    Dear Jen,

    Change is always hard--even change you want. I agree that it is filled with excitement and fear. I'm sure the economic landscape adds to the anxiety.

    I would be really surprised if your Portland friends and aquaintances did not welcome you with open arms. But, you will probably find that you fit into a different spot in the circle.

    I hope your new changes bring you lots of unexpected joys. And don't forget to give us your new address!


  7. What a courageous move to leave your cubicle for the wide open world. I truly commend you for it.

    I so wish you all the best on this next big move. I so hope that so much goodness finds you there.


Sparklepoints to you for sharing!