“The most important journey you will take in your life will usually be the one of self-transformation. Often, this is the scariest because it requires the greatest changes in your life”
– Shannon L. Alder
I never knew how true these words would ring until 2019 became the year of ME. Not just me, but my family as well. I guess it’s true what they say, “good things come to those who wait.” Wait, we did. The years 2017 and 2018 are a blur. We experienced so much trauma and heartache that I couldn’t see 2019 turning out any differently. Thankfully, I was wrong, so VERY wrong. Victories and accomplishments came in all forms for the members of the Martin household.
The first half of the year brought good fortune for everyone BUT me. I felt like a selfish child, thinking, “When is it going to be my turn?” At the beginning of September, I was feeling down, so I decided to make my own fortune. Through the social media Facebook page we started when my daughter was going through her medical journey, we began a campaign for The Ronald McDonald House of St. Louis. We collected food and personal hygiene items to donate to the houses where so many families are currently living while their children receive medical treatment at area hospitals. The response was overwhelming. My living room was overtaken by new deliveries and Amazon boxes full of donations. My heart exploded. I was overjoyed knowing how many families we were going to help as they received these items. From here I could only go up, I was determined to finish out the year strong.
The next month would bring an unexpected but welcome change in my professional life. After 18 years of working in the same kind of position, an opportunity came along for me to apply for my dream job. The interview process was long and tedious, as a panel of four of my would-be superiors evaluated me. After a month-long process, I was offered the position. I was overcome by a flood of emotions over the next few weeks while I prepared to leave my existing job. I had never known anything else. I had the same routine every day, five and a half days a week. I worked with the same customers for literally all of my adult life. They watched me grow up and watched my family grow. I also saw their families grow. I saw them become grandparents. If I had to make a comparison, it would be similar to a long- term relationship ending with no contact after the break-up. As emotional as this change was, it was time to do something for me. This promotion was one I had been working toward for my entire career.
From the outside looking in, some people may think I had a 1/3 life crisis. Not only did I take this leap in my professional life, but I also I cut off 9+ inches of my hair into a pixie cut, and my family adopted a puppy all within two weeks. Really on the inside, the only thing that happened was that I finally decided to focus on me. It felt like the stars aligned. There is not a single moment when I have regretted any decisions I have made over the past few months. In the words of the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I’m done missing shots. From now on, I’m taking 100% of the shots. My aim might not always be on target, but accuracy cannot improve without attempts.