Lessons in Loss. A year in reflection.
In a span of about six months, I lost my dog, my job, and my dad. In that order. All three I loved with a passion. If you’ve ever experienced any kind of loss, you know how it can shake you up a bit. Ponder life’s meaning, and if you’re lucky, reflect and then act on it.
For me the job loss was sudden. An opportunity of a lifetime, one with so much promise, that losing it in a moment was literally like pulling the rug out from under me. It wasn’t that I just loved the job, but the opportunity to allow me to see a future that was full of excitement. The wonderful “what if’s” that give you the good kind of butterflies.
Losing my dog was also sudden. 5 years old, after a beautiful walk getting ice cream and playing in the park. He never made it home.
My dad was different. His road was long. Painful. And full of sleepless nights and worry. The “what ifs” here were not the good kind.
During this time I did work. I took on projects that I loved, created some of my best work, and really thought about what I wanted. I was offered opportunities with great titles, good money, and big names.
And I said no. My dad always said to do what you love because you’ll be doing it your whole life. And when he passed I happened to be on the phone about a position, that made my soul hurt. I could hear my dad’s voice asking me if that would make me happy.
So instead, I took the other route. I was given the opportunity to teach branding and design as an adjunct. Something I always wanted to do. Something I truly planned as part of my “end of my career” plan. But life’s what happens when you’re busy making plans. And if I’ve learned anything during my career, you can plan all you want. But life has a way of taking its own path.