I sat in the lobby with my hands tingling from the long walk in.  The same feeling of muscles falling into slumber and waking up abruptly happens when the cold, Minnesota, air, overtakes the skin. It was all emotion to me: tingling excitement over sitting in the chairs I had earlier dreamed of the color, or shape. Emotion mostly, at realizing: I have been found.

It’s seemed like light years since I walked out the doors at the corporation for which I worked, and onto the streets below. I remember the day distinctly- I carried my bag, and my lunch out the door and sat on Nicollet Mall and waited for a friend. I watched everyone else, like moths to the corporate flame- flitter around, meetings and statuses, rushed lunches and self-doubt filled their lives. I didn’t feel lost as much as angry; not anger as much as fear. The fear buried deeper in the upcoming weeks. Not knowing how I’d pay for the regular cancer screenings that ruled my life, or the fear that my daughter would get sick and I would have no way to pay for her to be well. I feared mostly: That in losing this part of myself, I had become a total, failure.

Thank GOD for failure.

When I tell people in my classes, or when I speak to groups: I see myself. I had so much to learn six months ago about how life can change in an instant: and until you decide that doesn’t change WHO you are: failure is omnipresent.

I found the humor in losing my job and a part of myself. I started seeing my life for what it was and how unhappy I had become. I was settling to be a part of something bigger and I realized: That, was the story of my life. After my college days, I had serious relationship after serious relationship and never gave myself the time to breathe, to float and to feel.

I let go of everything. My dreams at rising up in corporate America and the loft downtown. The dreams of coming home to a man who’s recognize my abilities and cherish the values I held. In all reality, I just let go.

Something happened then- because I took the time for the first time in my life to focus not on someone else’s ideals, or power, or wants: But my own. In waking up and realizing that I was bigger than being laid off, or someone’s fiance, or even: a friend/mom/daughter/sister- I found that the moments of high school graduation where the world simply rolled out under your feet? Still happened. Only: This was better. These moments not only held the hope and passion for more, but encompassed decades of knowledge and enough ‘life-lessons’ to fuel a completely different perspective.

When I sat down to write exactly what I was thankful for: I couldn’t pinpoint it. But I know, part of it started in walking out those corporate doors and continued in sitting in my favorite newspaper building and hearing, “I found you with Social Media.”

Being found doesn’t happen by waiting. This I’ve learned in anguish and fear. When I interviewed for the career I hold now, I remember sitting in the room and praying, “Let them see me shine.” I had never wanted anything so much. I waited weeks for the call, “We want you!” And I cried- with powerful tears of relief.  I thought I lost everything  in walking out those large, glass, doors.

When I was a little girl, I always ran first to the diving board at the pool we went to. You could jump a million ways off, and the cold, run back up to the starting point was always filled with excitement. There were spin jumps, or silly jumps: but the best ones were where I closed my eyes and leaped. Jumping in- has been the best part of my last year. Today, you give thanks and tomorrow? Jump with me. Find happiness, and look back next year and realize: You’re on your way to another step in finding exactly what you want to be. Don’t shortchange yourself by not getting back up to that board. You’re worth it.
I’m beyond-words-thankful for the job I have: To inspire and lead, to work with amazing counselors and government. To see the values that Minnesota does hold: and the passion to help it’s people. When I tell you where I work: It’s because I’m proud and humbled and full of joy. To my entire work team: It’s never hard to go into work. This is my first experience of this. I look forward to your insight and working along side you. We are blessed with minimal politics and an amazing atmosphere. Thank you.

Thank you past employer for letting me go. Thank you for cutting me free of a pre-packaged existence; to which I’d never glow the way I do now. Thank you for the pain and anger and embarrassment: It’s made me who I am.  Thank you for showing me that I could choose my own failure: It doesn’t have to choose me.

To my mentors, Alan, John and those I’ve connected with? I love you all. You’ve sometimes helped push me when the jump was too scary. John for always finding the kindest words, and Alan for always taking my ideas and presence with him. We’re a team. Thank you.

To my Ava: I will never stop being amazed or absolutely delighted in WHO YOU ARE. Our house is a home because of your giggles and ideas and I thank goodness I finally have someone to dance with me in the aisles of Target when we press all the animated characters. Let’s dance always, my little love!

For all the friends and family, (of whom I could never name them all:) those that come to the monthly drink and finger food fests, and those that simply call on the phone to say, “I’m thinking of you too.” I love you. I have the kind of friends who hear the ‘i love you’s’ a lot: and we’re entirely blessed. I’ll never stop being thankful for you, your presence or the amazing margaritas we make. In a world where we sometimes float? You’re my current.

To the exes that have broken my heart or my stride this past year? Thank you. When the anger dwindles, or the feeling of tightness in my chest dissipates, what’s left is me- and this past year has proven that it doesn’t matter who leaves, or whom stays: What matters is how you treat yourself in the meantime. From tears: enlightenment.

And finally: To all my clients, or those I’ve met in office, or on the town? Thank you for grieving with me, for being honest about your fears and giving yourself the opportunity to say, “I’m scared and I need help.” I wish more people could do this. It takes strength and emotion to find power. You are all doing it.

Happy Thanksgiving.