The Emotional Journey of Change: From Ideation to Evolution

woman looking at sky off balcony

I have recently made a promise to myself to be present in all aspects of my life by trying to not think too far ahead—nor mulling over past decisions, ideas, or experiences—but by being fully present in whatever emotion I currently feel. This comes with the need for a great amount of honesty with oneself.

I realized when first writing this that I have not been completely honest with myself, which also means that I have not been completely honest with others. Many of us keep our disappointments and worries buried deep inside and we hold onto them until we feel like we can emerge back into the world once again. Unhealthy hibernation.

This habit is hard to break from, as you don’t want to see yourself as a failure, nor do you want others to see you as a failure. You want to wake up in the morning knowing where it is that you are going, and where it is that you’d like to go. You want your passions, interests, and skills to be properly utilized, thus reaching this unseen platform of contentment and fulfillment. You want to know that you are moving the world and that your decisions are bringing about some positive change and emotion.

There was no excuse for me to not attempt to improve my situation.

I first realized that I needed to make a change around a year ago. I started to feel myself fade from who I was, my interests, my motivations… I was doing all that I could possibly do to bring about progression, new ideas, and a positive, organized path—but heard myself whisper, “God, I feel stuck. Please help.” I said this while realizing that there weren’t any physical restraints holding me back, so there was no excuse for me to not attempt to improve my situation. I was fed up with this continuous outer-body-like experience—looking down onto myself in awe of how willing I was to make myself small for others.

Too many times are we as women, are we as African Americans, are we as 30-somethings asked to make ourselves smaller for the comfort of others, so that we are not a threat. This was the moment that I told myself that I wouldn’t progress by standing in one place feeling miserable, hurt, or drained by the circumstances. Hope can only get you so far, but soon action needs to come into play. It was time to stand back up and remind myself to never stay down for that long. The advice that I had given to others, specifically related to not diminishing oneself, was the same dose of truth that I needed to actively apply within my life.

Too many times are we asked to make ourselves smaller for the comfort of others.

Change houses many stages. It first begins when you finally make the decision, after going back and forth in your mind for longer than necessary, that it’s long overdue. The idea sits heavily in the back of your mind, and that weight is what you use to propel yourself forward. You then enter the stage where you must finally act. You are center stage and there is a bright, hot, light shining down on a shiny, scuffed, black floor, and YOU need your courage to move forward. YOU need your courage to speak. This is where you apply that boost of motivation.

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I began 2019 in spaces that were unfamiliar to me. At the end of 2018, I resigned from my full-time position and embraced the continuation of my professional journey. I accepted two part-time positions where I am currently assisting two nonprofits that are doing great work within the community. I took a minute to pause and ask for (and claim) continuous guidance, and I felt myself *inhale* accept all the newness, and *exhale* let go of the circling, anxiety-induced thoughts.

Change can be exciting, fascinating, frightening, overwhelming, emotional…

You find yourself questioning your many skills that you have worked for years to expand. You feel like a stranger, trying to convince yourself, more than others, that you are worthy of something great.

When the shock wears off, you can walk away with your past roles tucked deep inside your mind, knowing that you have done your absolute best. They have provided you with a great amount of knowledge, a great network of individuals, and a solid base as you continue to advance, research, strategize, administer, learn, lead, and move forward. Every decision that I have made has led me to where I am now, and I can only imagine that I am headed to great places and spaces.

Here I am, walking down this path—created and written specifically for me—and continuing my professional and life journey without a map in hand. I am looking forward to gaining new knowledge, to pushing myself, to refusing to diminish myself, and to continuing to stack, not only cash, but skills and experience while evolving and advancing.

erin hanson poem

Taeli Reistad

Taeli has an arts, business, and strategy background and is the creator of Attention to Detail Blog. She is a world traveler, professional, art & design lover & do-er, and a self-proclaimed foodie. She’s passionate about wellness, self-care, creativity, and exploring new experiences, places, and spaces. When she’s not tending to her professional life, you can find her writing, watching rom-coms, camped out in a nearby sauna, or planning her next adventure.

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