I love the quote “Be truthful, gentle and fearless” by Mahatma Gandhi. Through Gandhi’s straightforward request, I have found so many challenges – especially in the last year. But, by taking this simple approach head-on over the past few weeks with a goal to turn things around before my birthday, I have certainly turned things around. What I really wanted for my birthday, was a sense of calm.
I have been reluctant to share the details of my story into motherhood, as it has been truly amazing, but also equally terrifying. At 9 months pregnant, I left a job that I truly enjoyed, but it became clear that it was time for me to move on. Unemployed a week before my due date was beyond scary to me. I immediately began interviewing up until 3 days before my due date and again 3 weeks post-partum (terrible idea after a c-section). It was challenging and I went with the first option that I could find. This was not being truthful to myself of what I was able to handle nor what was a good fit for me. Thus began a few more months of happiness at home, but was met with challenges of newborn and infant parenting were met with equal parts unhappiness in the work place. Without any real break for maternity leave, I stretched myself way too thin – and was often too proud to ask for the help that I needed.
A few weeks ago I decided to be fearless – and go for exactly what I wanted and needed. I made connections, put myself out there, and took a truthful inventory of what I needed to be the best parent, mother, partner, and professional. What I found was that I needed flexibility for my family, goal-oriented responsibility at work, and time to figure out what I needed to do next. I gently and truthfully shared the truth with my employer why it wouldn’t work out, and accepted a new position that is less pay, but more challenging and flexible. Additionally, it’s a long-term temp position, so it buys me that time that I need to figure my next move.
I had an awesome birthday this past weekend – one of my best, yet – as I did have a sense of peace and calm. It was all the more satisfying that I was able to achieve this by being truthful, gentle, and fearless over the past few weeks. It did take some hard work and lots of compromise and the fear of rejection when putting yourself out there so truthfully may be one of the toughest fears to overcome.
I want to continue my year by continuing to be honest with myself and those I love about what I need and am able to give. I need lots of professional challenge and responsibility to be happy, but also the flexibility to work around my family’s schedule to also be 100% available and happy to them during family time. Also, with gentleness and truthfulness comes sincere kindness, and doesn’t the world need just a bit more of that?