During this time of the year, Taos weather tends to be full of surprises. A few days ago the weather was warm enough to sit outside and give thanks for a majestic sunset, yet today I awoke to snow steadily falling and accumulating on my pots of geraniums. If my coral flowers could speak, I’m sure they were screaming, “Wait! Just give us a few more days to enjoy the sun! There’s more color left inside of us!”
Although I absolutely love fall, there are some women that feel just like my geraniums. They see this time of year as extremely depressing. My friend Kim is one of those people. She likes balmy temperatures at all times. In her mindset, leaves fall, gardens turn brown, and chilly temperatures sink into one's bones. It all depends on our genetic makeup and our perspective. Some people experience a very real disorder called SAD, seasonal affective disorder, and find great benefit in being exposed to some type of artificial light to boost their dopamine levels. Feel free to ask your doctor about it.
In contrast, I adore Fall. I love digging out boots and sweaters, the quaking of the aspens and the smell of pinon wood burning in my fireplace. I am not a big fan of summer, as I don’t enjoy humid weather, mosquitoes and sunburns on my fair skin. Alas, we are all different.
The changing of the seasons can be symbolic of our own lives as well. I remember when I turned thirteen, I could hardly wait to be sixteen and get my driver’s license. Ah, sweet freedom! Of course I then longed for all the perks associated with turning eighteen and then twenty-one. What we don’t see at those ages, are all the problems which soon follow, as if it's some sort of package deal. Sheesh. Mortgage payments, health scares, tuition bills, and responsibilities of every kind are all hidden in the fine print. If only we needed those darn reading glasses in our 20’s, we might not have looked upon this age milestones with such anticipation!
But as we get older, our longings morph into another form, almost like a caterpillar weaving it’s cocoon, becoming a chrysalis and taking flight with new wings. Depending on the level of difficulty of the path we chose to venture, our footsteps may have taken us into a deep pit, straight up a mountain, or down a road so curvy we grew nauseous. We may repeatedly tell ourselves the familiar phrase, “If only I’d done things differently.” But sweet friend, who says it’s too late to change? Who makes these rules to which you’ve automatically surrendered?
As a high school history teacher of over twelve years, I decided, with great trepidation, to enter into the arena of pharmaceutical sales for one of the biggest companies in the world. Was I terrified of starting over? Totally. While in training, I often cried on my hotel room floor in New York, wondering about my sanity in making such a drastic move at my age. I’d even convinced one of my best friends to leave the classroom as well, and she became my partner in selling block buster products to physicians. Needless to say I felt a great deal of responsibility on my shoulders. But I can now say with complete certainty, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Although I was injured in a car accident that ended my over ten year pharmaceutical career, I don’t regret my decision for a second. I got introduced to the corporate world, discovered I loved selling life-changing medicines, and enjoyed using my marketing skills. God knew all that before I opened my first training manual. He also knew I’d use these skills later in life and in an entirely different manner...
My pharma partner took her desires one step further. After gaining confidence in educating physicians, she decided she wanted to become a doctor herself. She applied for medical school and with her husband and daughter's blessing, she aced medical school and is now an excellent physician. I’m so proud of her!
But she had to take the first step.
I can’t imagine being in my mid-30’s, sitting amongst “kids” in their twenties, and trying to keep up with my studies while making sure my kid had their homework completed. But Laura did just that. Her longing was so strong that she knew she had to go for it or be filled with regret later.
What about you? What things leave you longing for more, yet you’re too scared to go after them? Almost all of us wrestle with something, the difference is the level to which we choose to keep it hidden. We question whether our longings are selfish, unrealistic and if they might hurt others, including ourselves. Yours truly struggled when writing my first children’s book. I questioned if I had the stamina and self-confidence to actually open my laptop and prepare for the flood of rejection letters than would most certainly trickle in. I now shake my head in amazement when I receive emails from kids all over the world, telling me how much they love The Desperate Diva Diaries. I thank God every day for instilling in my heart the longing to write books.
Of course, longings aren’t just limited to career choices. They could be related to something as simple as food cravings that affect our physical well-being, or matters of the heart that affect our need to be loved. We all have needs and I suggest you talk to God about them. None are too crazy, unrealistic or scary to your loving Father. Go to Him for guidance and then BE BRAVE.
One of my most favorite quotes is, “A Dream Without A Plan is Just a Wish.” Reread that. Let it sink in. If you have a longing in your heart that you simply can’t ignore, read God’s word for guidance, talk to a trustworthy confidante, and surround yourself with thoughtful people who have your back regardless of the outcome.
Leaves may fall off trees and gardens may appear dead, but be rest assured, they WILL bloom again. The wind may carry seeds to places you didn’t anticipate, but dear one, God knows exactly where each one will land. He’ll do the same for you. Simply trust the gardener and GROW. I can’t wait to hear from you in the amazing new ways you’re blooming!
Brightest of Blessings,