I was both wrestling and restless.
I was wrestling with who I was becoming and what was changing inside me; being stretched and uncomfortable. Significant growth opportunities were knocking at my door on a regular basis. In retrospect, I was learning how to think differently, how to strategize more effectively and communicate more clearly. I was learning how to go deeper, and choose more intently the principle of curiosity and wonder. I was awakened to see more brilliantly the everyday world surrounding me. I guess things felt heightened inside me. But that sounds so flighty. It wasn’t flighty. It was hard. It was causing me to wrestle with who I was becoming. It created a yearning and a longing in me for something. What was it? Why wouldn’t it leave me alone? What was unsettling me? There was no need to be unsettled.
This internal wrestling match created a restlessness.
I was becoming restless with my purpose in life, the location I was living, and my contribution within the business world.
I read a book in November: 30 Lessons For Living by Karl Pillemer, PHD. It provoked me. It stirred me and profoundly impacted me. It was the beginning of the tides turning. I called my friend, “I miss my coaching business. I wish I could focus only on people and leaders. That’s where my heart is. That is my purpose. That is what I long to do.” Her immediate response was, “Yes, yes, yes! Finally! Yes, Karen! Everything in me is shouting yes!”
The restlessness intensified. Unbeknownst to me, my heart knew what was going on but my mind had not caught up yet.
Until March 7, 2015.
I was having a phone conversation with another close friend. He said, “Follow your heart, Karen. It’s always done well for you.” I hung up the phone and knew immediately what that meant. Five days later I went for a long walk on the Vancouver seawall with John Fluevog (my boss, owner, designer, CEO, president, colleague, mentor, comrade… and through these last 7 years, is now also my friend.) and I shared with him what was happening within me. I told him I needed to embark on this journey. I needed to give my notice and move to San Diego. I wanted to pursue my coaching career again. I wanted to try and see if I can do it. I told him that I have a barometer I measure decisions on: When I’m 96 years old, if I don’t do this, will I regret it? Yes, I would look back with regret.
John gets it. He knows what it’s like to chase after a dream. It was actually John who was the first to say to me in 2008, “What do you want, Karen? You have to know what you want. You know what you don’t want. But you have to know what you want. What do you want…”
7 years later, here I am.
The wrestling match has silenced. The restlessness is over. I write this article, sipping my Earl Grey tea, enjoying the blue skies…of San Diego.
I took the leap. I walked off my map. I am here. I am beginning a new chapter.
Thank you, restlessness. Thank you, wrestling match. You are kind to me.
– Karen Thrall