Life can throw curve balls at us when we least expect it. In 2016, I was thrown completely off the rails and set adrift in a life I had never imagined. For 28 years I worked for a company I believed in so much I encouraged my children to work there, and then one day I was caught up in a Rif and escorted out the back gate and the bottom fell out of my existence. If I had been paying closer attention would I have noticed signs that this might be my fate? I don’t know. I remember feeling hollow as I pulled away from the place I had invested so much of my life and self worth into.
Over the next few months I sank into a dark place. I struggled to find some kind of purchase and right myself as I careened around a world that looked the same in many ways but wasn’t the same. My brain had a hard time wrapping around my change in circumstance. I found a job that didn’t suit and tried my hardest to do something I wasn’t cut out for. I worried about a future that looked nothing like the one I had envisioned for so long from the security of my well paying job.
Eventually, I lost the job I wasn’t suited for and found one more in line with my skill set and slowly began to adjust. One morning, I was walking out the driveway and as the sun rose it caught my imagination and I took the above photo with my iPhone. I took a deep breath and realized that I was all right. My story wasn’t over. A chapter had ended badly but I had not. My self worth and future were mine. They didn’t belong to anyone else to determine. I breathed in the clean country air, and stood in the rays of the rising sun, the gentle heat warming my skin as it rose and I chose to see the beauty in the day.
There is beauty in every day and each one of us has the opportunity to embrace that beauty. We are sold a tale of fear and darkness on a daily basis. But the sun rises, every day we draw breath, and everyday we draw breath we get to choose what we dwell upon. As long as we are breathing we can embrace hope. The story isn’t over.
In fact, here, at the Original Neanderthal, it is just beginning. Don’t let circumstances define you, my friends. Live Free of doubt and fear. You have more influence over your path forward than any other force. Circumstances won’t always be great. Things will happen that change your world in unexpected ways. Know in your heart that you are more than anyone dared to believe you could be. Step out, embrace the beauty in each and every day!