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But I can't.
Most people that know me well will tell you that I am hopelessly optimistic. I have learned to fail forward, to embrace my flaws, to see problems as opportunities, and to make the sweetest lemonade out of the tartest of lemons. But we all go through rough times and for me, it was last year. While I have grown tremendously both professionally and personally through all this, I have to say that my faith and my optimism have been tested.
My decision to move districts to what I perceived as a growth opportunity, didn't turn out to be what I expected. I then tried to return to my former post but was not able to do so. On the bright side, a casual conversation with a colleague led to my current role. And while I'm still growing in my new position, I feel I am heading in the right direction and believe things are going to work out for the best.
I'm not going to share the details of my professional journey on this forum. However, through all this, I've learned some important life lessons and I'll share them below in the hopes that others will learn from them too.
Speak up when you think someone is about to make a wrong move.
Don't tell people what they want to hear, tell them what you know. Only after I made my move and expressed my regret did colleagues come out of the woodwork and agreed that my previous district was a better fit for me. But rather than sharing insight prior to my leap, they kept it to themselves because they didn't want to step on my toes. They could have spoken, but they didn't.
Listen carefully to those that do speak up.
Professional changes have personal and family implications. When people who know you well, express their hesitations, don't dismiss their comments. Rather talk with them and listen intently to their concerns. Family and close friends often see things we miss in the midst of the excitement and sense when things are not quite right. I should have listened when my daughter told me to not make the jump, but I didn't.
When in doubt, don't do it.
Risk is always scary and it's expected to feel uneasy before taking any leap, but if you are more nervous than excited, trust your instincts. If only I would have followed my gut, but I didn't.
Choose to reflect, not regret.
My head has been spinning with all the coulda, woulda, shoulda. But rather than drowning in my regret, I choose to reflect and move forward. Undoubtedly, I could have made different choices. I should have talked to and listened to more people. If only I would have thought about my decisions more carefully, I would have avoided some speed bumps. But I didn't and what's done is done. Looking back will not make my ride any smoother.
All I can do now and is get back on the road and keep moving forward believing that God will work all of this together for my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). And so my word for 2018 is "forward."
May 2018 be our best year yet!
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