Our lives are complicated and complex with many stops, starts, and turns along the way. A combination of your decisions and fate interacting to form every moment of every day. So often we get on one certain path, and time takes over. If this path is one that doesn’t satisfy, it can be challenging to step off of it and try to seek another one that might make us more content, fulfilled and whole. But turning the page to the next chapter might be exactly what we need to lead a life that is on our own terms. A life that is dictated by our own definition of success and not one that was placed on us by someone else or the larger society in which we live.
“Chapter B” is a term used by psychologists to identify when an individual enters into a new stage of their life – whether that is a new relationship, job, city, mental state, etc. A moment, step or leap when you actively chose to change something that isn’t making you happy and start to explore what might be a better fit for you and your life.
“To be” is defined simply as “to exist in actuality; have life or reality,” and synonyms include to act, be alive, breathe, continue, do, endure and prevail. If we all chose for our “Chapter B” to be about being rather than having, then we might find that the world itself would be more alive and a healthier place. Every single person’s “being” or existence is different – and, likewise, what makes us be alive, breathe, continue and endure is different. We have a personal responsibility to decide what makes us “be.”
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Howard Thurman
So, how do you identify what it is that you really want to do while living in the every day realities? Chapter Be will examine this through interviewing people who have taken the risk, changed their careers or created something new in order to follow what they love. By telling their open and true stories, which will include the trials, tribulations and successes along the way, the goal is to create an open and honest dialogue about what it means to change your route later in life or re-direct it. As the author embarks on a new path herself, she will highlight her journey as well as the people and things that inspire her along the way.
Kïrsten Blake was working in public education reform when in 2011 she made the decision to leave her nine-to-five desk job in pursuit of something new. Realizing that sitting at a desk, in a cubicle under florescent lights, for 40+ hours a week was slowly and painfully sucking the life out of her, she came to see that in order for things to change, she had to make a change. Since then she has been on the journey to find what it is that makes her heart glow, realizing that it might take a lot of change, creativity, patience and time to get there. The experience is proving that it is a process of relearning how to play, since we seem to forget how to do that as adults, and in a sense returning to an earlier and simpler reality. It is redefining words like “job,” “work,” and “success,” with a considerable amount of time spent unlearning many of the things that had become so ingrained in her while being in the workforce. As someone who processes through talking, she came to learn that speaking to others and hearing about their own journeys was one of the most valuable learning tools. As a trained educator, she understands that sometimes you learn best from those around you and that listening and sharing can get you further than isolation and privacy. She hopes that her next chapter is a continuation of the chapters that came before – not throwing them away, but instead using them as a foundation to make the next one even more exciting, enriching and real.
*Top Image via hairbrainedschemes