Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fear in the Path of Change

I am currently in a bit of a crisis mode. Just a teeny one.

You see... for the first time in my entire career (and as a student), I will be working part time, not by choice. Today was my first day of working parttime.

Although I knew this was coming (and there are appropriate circumstances in this situation where a reduction was expected), logistically and financially I will admit it's a little bit frightening. Andrew is still in university, paying tuition and working as much as he humanly can to help out. Nevertheless, a 50% reduction in my pay will have a huge impact in our ability to live in the city.

I know we'll make it work (we have budgets for that)... but the journey to today has been long. We've had to accept that our down payment for our first home savings may have to go towards keeping afloat over the next few months. I have to consider opening a private practice for the first time. And tonight I had to accept that I may have to apply for other jobs not in my ideal population.

When I think back to my time straight out of graduate school applying for jobs, I was fearless. Of course, I wasn't tied to any one place and was pretty darn confident in the awesomeness of my skills and professional ability. Oh, that confidence is still there (I do love my job), but now I have the added complication of assuring my place as 'francophone'.

I'm finding it surprising how our stories about who we are may get stuck, reloop in our heads and struggle to evolve. It's difficult to let go of old hurts, of how we used to see ourselves... and to accept who we are in this moment while allowing space for who we could be. I really want there to be space for who I could be.

Je suis une acadienne, je pense en acadien, j'écris en français et je vois le monde différemment qu'une francophone du Québec ou de la France. Ma culture acadienne me définie et m'enrichie.

I'm also bilingual. I think in English, I write in English and having both English and French as part of my identity allows an even richer and more colourful view of how my world works.

Right now I'm scared about failing as a francophone, as a homeowner, as a wife, as a potential mother to be, as a yogini, as an environmentalist.

But without fear, how do we advance past complacency?

Change is scary, and this fear must be the result of change and uncertainty. Out of this will come growth... which in the end will make me a better, stronger person. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.


  1. You will be fine - it's scary, but all I can say from someone who's been through it is to a) open yourself up to new horizons (don't move immediately - look at temp jobs and other part time work to supplement your income), and b) trust that you will be taken care of. I know it's easier said than done but as a recruiter and a career coach - and someone who's lost jobs before - it truly is the opportunity of one door closing, another opening.

    Hang in there, and email me if you need to bounce anything off me OK? - A.

  2. Sweet Lisa, welcome to what might be one of your biggest life lessons to date.

    Fear is our teacher, it provides us with information about what we value and what we are determined to do...

    The only time we fail in the face of fear is when we fail to act at all.

    Feeling like you might be failing means that you care about the various aspects of your life that you're worried about. I wish I knew why fear operates this way!

    But like you say, the best and only thing to do is to keep going! Keep being real with your own heart and emotions and keep on breathing. Don't give up! xx

  3. "I really want there to be space for who I could be."

    I can completely relate to this right now at this exact moment. I feel what you are saying and I feel the fear of that too. I am there. Perhaps all of us are tuned in to each other in some way as I just wrote a post about something similar. I'm sorry that you will be working part-time, but perhaps that space will allow for something beautiful to be born. Change and fear always present us with the greatest opportunities...at least that's what I also keep telling myself. All the best to you! I have a feeling it will all turn out much better than you expected!

  4. I wish you the best of luck. Taking fear and making it an opportunity for growth is hard (even though it often happens whether we accept it gracefully or are led kicking and screaming). I have been struggling with my own professional version of this over the past few months and can appreciate that no matter how "prepared" you are for something, it is always a challenge when the idea of something becomes a reality.

    And I don't believe that there is failure, rather longer and shorter paths to a destination. :) Trust me, I've taken some rather LONG routes to a destination... but the scenery has been worth it in the end. I don't know that you can't fail as a francophone, wife, home owner, etc.... Sometimes the goals get redefined along the way, sometimes it takes us longer to get where we expected, but in the end, if those things are still important to us, we find our way to them in some way or form. And reading between the lines here.... maybe the vision you have of yourself as a professional francophone (or as a francophone) will alter because it needs to, but then again, maybe how you share your culture and language become different, but the core identity that you share with the world still remains. As a west coaster living in Qc, I've never quite honestly, given much thought to French Acadian culture/language issues until you made me stop and think about them (much as that might shame me to admit). Just a thought in the midst of a chaotic sea of change...

  5. Dearest Lisa. This will be a big challenge for you and Andrew but like you said it will bring about change and growth. We lived for a year on one salary, where Diego worked but didn't get paid, I have also gone through the fear and uncertainty with my current job and Diego still jumps from job to job. It is difficult and scary but also stimulates creativity. I am hoping this time will do the same for you. Maybe you will make your own space within society to be who you are and want to be (like you said starting your own practice or something else completely!). Just know that you do have the support of your friends! We are here for you anytime!

  6. You are supported! We're all behind you, girl! <3 I can imagine how hard this is, but in my opinion, it is just an opportunity for you to reach a new career height. You are so talented and so obviously passionate about what you do. I see great things in your immediate future! :)

  7. I'm right where you are gal. Reflect upon the path you'd like life to take and carve out a way to make that happen. What I'm finding is that sometimes we have to take what feels like a big step back, in order to eventually take steps forward.


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