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Just take the next step

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

The only thing that is consistent in life is change. Isn't that great?!


Especially if you find yourself sitting next to that obnoxiously loud open-mouth breather on an overnight flight. Or, you're babysitting your 8 month old niece and she gets that suspicious look of relief on her tiny face and suddenly you...catch a whiff.

 

If whatever situation you're in that you find a lil' hard to endure or that stinks, rest assured that we don't have to endure it forever. Time marches on. The plane will eventually land and we take the necessary and albeit uncomfortable steps to roll up our sleeves and change the stinky diaper. (Literally or metaphorically speaking). These little situations, by the nature of time or by our own two hands, can change.




I worked for a great company for almost 7 years. Ever since I shook hands with the President and VP of Sales on the day of my interview, I knew they were men I could A) Get along well with, and B) Trust. I accepted the job and was thrown into an industry I knew nothing about. To say my learning curve was like hiking to Everest Base Camp in flip-flops is a colossal understatement. Imagine being carried over the ocean by helicopter and you're dropped into the eye of the storm! Spoiler Alert: The ONLY thing you have to keep you afloat is an inflatable Unicorn pool toy. 


Bombs Away! 


Yet, I kept going. Kept learning and growing in my knowledge and my skill set. Day in and day out brought a lot of good times and a lot of frustrations. There were set-backs and slamming of doors. There was laughter and high-fives. There were days I was so busy I would just sit back and stare at it all; frozen, not knowing what to tackle first. There were days the company faced tragedy and days I was happily distracted by 90's R&B or running through the sprinklers. (Hey, we all let off a little steam at work in our own way, okay?!)

 Some days were just on-point and I was walking on water. The pool floaty had turned into a speed boat and I was the Captain! 


This job helped me discover just how fast time could go by and how I was constantly racing the clock to get my long list of tasks done. I would look at the clock and it would say: Monday 9:17 am. I would then take a sip of Diet Coke, blink and look down at the clock again: Thursday 4:45 pm!

 

It's the only job I had that I wished time would slow down. Weird!


Be that as it may, I was now part of a family. A strange, dedicated, mismatched family. I created professional relationships with people I normally would never have found. And for that I am forever grateful. They are some of the smartest, weirdest, most loyal people I have ever rubbed shoulders with.


It was because of this company, I had the opportunity to move to Colorado. Ahh, yes. Colorful Colorado! Home of flannel shirts, the Rocky Mountains and the Denver Broncos! 

Colorado, from the get go was something I knew was a good idea. You know that feeling you get deep down in your gut that is so unmistakable you can't deny it? You literally can see the stars aligning right before you? Man, I love that. That was this move to Colorado. Never a doubt in my mind. From the moment I said, "Yes" to the universe unfolding opportunity in front of me- to a short six week later when I opened the door to my new downtown apartment, I knew that this was going to be a grand adventure! 

 

I also knew that my job transfer was merely the vehicle to get me to Colorado. Not the reason. I knew the reason was so much bigger than an 8 to 5 gig. I didn't know how, but I knew it would eventually become clear. One small step at a time.


 Did I roll into town as the newest inhabitant of Colorado on that hot day in June, and see a banner of glitter letters stretched across Mile High Stadium that said, "Welcome To Denver, Ms. Worlton! Enjoy your stay!?"


Nope.


I was scared, overwhelmed and completely turned around. And to top it off, I got chased by a homeless man in a flooded parking lot my first day!

 

It felt like someone had taken my life that was settled and secure inside a cute little gift shop snow globe and gave it a right good shake up! The snowflakes were spinning and the weather forecast showed hazardous blizzard conditions of biblical proportions. Gusts of wind and snowfall were coming down from the Rockies at very uncomfortable speeds. Record ice and sleet were beating down in unpredictable patterns. Snow tires as well as hefty amounts of Diet Coke and calls to my Mom were recommended for survival!


It all had to figure out where to land again. The snowflakes that needed to find a new place to land were my job, my friends, church, neighborhood, dating, grocery stores and street names. All of it. And let me tell ya, that took a lot longer than I wanted it to. 

Hang on! I felt it down in my gut that this was the right change to make! Didn't that mean I was setting myself up for endless sunshine and rainbows?

 

Oh, Sarah. You're funny!


In time, I found my tribe. You know who you are! The reset in the Rockies has created several chances for me to take new steps in new places with new wonderful people. 

New Years Eve spent at a Thai restaurant in the little town of Ouray made me laugh harder than I thought was humanly possible. A meltdown due to sheer physical exhaustion on the side of a mountain caused tears to fall with more intense emotion than I knew I had the capacity to release. I spent time at the theater and time around a camp fire. All of these moments and discoveries were all part of the process of settling in and finding ME again. It took two solid years for that damn snow to find its new normal. 


(Queue John Denver and turn it up nice and loud!) 


I worked for my company for over two years here in Mile High. It truly was a great experience now that I had made it to Base Camp and could breathe again. I loved working with all men and I loved having puppies come into the office everyday. On a rare occasion the dogs would out-number the humans and that was just silly! Still, I felt comfortable, respected and trusted....not just by the Labradoodle named Curly, but by my cherished Denver colleagues.  

And life continues to do its thing, doesn't it? It senses that you're maybe a little too comfortable. I started to get the sense that the snow globe was due for another shake up. This time, I had my Columbia puffy coat zipped up and Mom was on speed dial. I was ready for it!


 It was through a major change in our company structure and culture that caused me to take a nice long look at my position there. Was I happy? Truly happy in my heart? Could I see myself working there for the next 5 months? 5 weeks? 5 days? After a lot of time on my knees and talks with trusted family members and friends, I knew that the answer across the board was No.

 

I met an individual during this personal "Come to Jesus" time who has reached the summit of all 58 of the mountain peaks here in Colorado that are known as 14'ers. My Colorado readers know what I'm talking about and know what a big deal this is. It's a right of passage here to climb a 14'er. And, hold your applause, I've hiked a grand total of ONE 14'er. And I about died.

  

To meet someone who has climbed them all, my hat goes off. He said that there was one phrase that he would tell his fellow climbers at the beginning of each big hike. He would tell them to "just take the next step."

 

As simple as that sounds, that was the phrase that I needed to hear during this critical time. Those simple words were driven directly to my soul and filled it with light. Sarah, don't take the next 27 steps. That is way too overwhelming. Just take the next step. And after that, take the next step. It gave me courage to do what I needed to do.

 

It was time to start fully showing up for myself and find the next layer of who I really am. I had some pretty profound moments of transformation that made it clear that I needed to step onto a new career path. One that helped my true voice be heard. To find the next big reason why I was here in Colorado, I needed to embrace and lean into change. And that meant saying goodbye to these remarkable men (even years later) I trusted, the puppies, the late night jam sessions to 90's R&B. It meant saying goodbye to the weirdos I had worked with who were now my family. I needed to just take the next step.

 

So, I took a deep breath and I did it. I quit. I left with my head held high and the world of opportunities open before me. Was it brave? Was it foolish? You can be the judge of that. All I know is that life requires you to dare greatly and to be true to yourself. 

 

Does this mean that my path is magically lit all the way to retirement? Not a chance. There are stones yet to be overturned. There are lights still to be turned on.  There are walks that will be taken in the dark. The unknown and change can be scary. But, the discovery. Oh, it can be so sweet. 

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