Looking for a Sign to Change Your Life, Consider This to Be Your Sign

 
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For every beginning, there was an ending.

The Big Bang signaled the end to the darkness.

Adam and Eve signaled the end of innocence.

The peek of the golden sun in the early morning signals the end of the night.


If we only began with the beginnings, I don’t think we’d ever appreciate what we took from the endings. We’d see the beginning as a siloed moment of a storybook, rather than one wave of many in the sea of evolutions we go through in our lives.

Today, I quit my job.

It signaled an end to a two year phase of my life - one that I thought would extend far beyond this day. That job had been a new beginning for me at the time, after all. It made me realize that sometimes, the hardest of endings are those that aren’t clear. When we choose when an ending comes, we often pause, wondering if we’re making the right choice.

I don’t think anyone talks enough about the amount of courage required to push ourselves into a new beginning. The word itself rings of blooming flowers as the sun peeks out after the long winter. But, beginnings mean shedding parts of ourselves - however useless we deem them, or however we see we’ve outgrown them - to grow again.

My new beginning sets me forth on a path that’s unpaved. I’m an Ivy League graduate who has spoken to dozens of recruiters, who has fine tuned her resume, and has always thought of career growth in terms of upward mobility within a prestigious corporation. But, I’m following my heart as I realize that crafting a path authentic to me means honoring my own calling, as challenging as it is, and recognizing when that calling is being stifled. And, that means I’m focusing solely on my entrepreneurial ventures.

It began on a bike.

I have asthma, but I only use my inhaler a few times a day. I can often work out with just a puff or two of Albuterol to alleviate the heaviness in my chest from exertion. But, over the past few weeks, every push to go faster or harder in spin class felt like it required more than my body could give. I gave up more often. I grabbed my inhaler so many times I was lightheaded. I could hardly catch my breath to drink a desperate gulp of water.

And then, when I decided to quit my job, the elephant sitting on my shoulders ran away.

My endurance peaked. My strength astounded me. And most peculiarly, my athletically induced asthma - what doctors have diagnosed me with - vanished.

I haven’t used my inhaler since I decided to quit.

I sat with this odd happening, knowing that I could chock it up to coincidence. I could say it’s the warmer weather (even though there’s still snow on the ground), or that my lungs finally strengthened. But I knew what it meant.

I literally stopped suffocating myself when I made the choice to call this portion of my life an ending. The new beginning brought nourishment. I actually felt that I could breathe again. The beginning was marked by a physical reaction, an actual manifestation of a choice to liberate myself. It was here that I felt the power of a beginning.

I’m propelled forward by what I left behind. I know that my life shouldn’t be counted by the number of stable paychecks, but by the moments that the audience lines up to speak to me after my talk. It shouldn’t be counted by the number in my bank account, but by the moments I feel the writing flow, the words come, and I know I’m free enough to stand in my own creativity. Marking the period between this ending and this beginning may have come as a new breath of air, but I’ll continue to feel the nourishment of that new oxygen through the course of this new beginning. It is here that I know that I’ll always find the strength to begin again.

Signs that you are ready for a new beginning

  • You find yourself daydreaming “what if.” We often know what we want subconsciously, but keep it below the surface, because it’s scary to imagine pursuing it now.

  • You have a clear vision of what you would do next, if you could.

  • You feel frustrated and easily agitated with current circumstances.

  • You have nightmares in which you feel stuck or in danger.

  • You find yourself seeking new inspiration, or looking for a sign.

  • You receive a sign. If you’re looking for one, I hereby deem this your sign!

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