April in Transition

As I sit here staring out my bedroom window at the sliver of Minnesota sky I can see, I'm noticing a trend in my life over the last several years. April, for me, has always been a time of terrible and challenging and wonderful transition that naturally forces contemplation.

Do you ever feel like you have those times? My year seems so seasonal. I'm always giddy in December and content in August and short-tempered in November. April always forces me to take a hard knock or two and learn a good lesson. 

My beloved boss, Seth, is leaving my company...his last day is Friday, but our last day in the office together is tomorrow, due to my upcoming trip. He's been offered a professional opportunity he would be a fool not to pursue, and I'm ecstatic for him and his family to start a totally exciting new chapter. Selfishly, though, I'm devastated. Like, cry-in-the-bathroom-at-least-twice-daily devastated. My role with my company has changed so much already in the last four months--with him out the door, the ambiguity and uncertainty that I thought had cleared from my professional future is only amplified, instead. I'm losing my favorite companion and a mentor that I truly didn't appreciate until I knew he was going to be gone. 

This time last year, the "career" tenet of my life couldn't have looked more different. It was stable, peaceful, and satisfying in a way I had never really known as an adult. Instead, last April, my personal life was a shambles. I got dumped by the guy I thought I was going to marry, and the entire trajectory of my life shifted. I guess it's payback for the three separate Aprils in college when I was the one ending relationships...

The April before Jon dumped me, I had to face the hard truth that I absolutely hated and would never be happy in my job at Ernst & Young. Given I had started that job planning to make it my professional home for life, that realization rocked and shifted my world as well. And before that, all the other Aprils of undergrad and high school, just seem to me to be replete with stress and struggle and studying for finals. 

So what is it, April? Maybe it's something to do with spring...a spring-cleaning for the soul, of sorts. Maybe it's that, every winter, I hunker myself down and hibernate for awhile and let my dreams and plans and future take shape. I get complacent and comfortable with where my life is going. And it feels like the second I do that, those dreams of the future come crumbling down, blown away by spring wind, washed down the drain by April showers. I always find myself learning lessons, this time of year. To value my friends and family more. To speak up for myself. To be unafraid to admit my own unhappiness. To maybe skip fewer classes or take better notes in Managerial Economics. To accept the love I know I deserve but to be fair when I know I can't give others the love they deserve. 

And with Seth's imminent departure, I'm sure that I have more hard lessons around the corner. I'm going to hold his role in the interim, and possibly longer, if I can prove myself worthy and capable. I'm going to face more challenges in an effort to be taken seriously and respected and treated as an equal. I'm going to have to re-assert my desire and need and craving for balance in life and work. Most significantly, I'm going to have to adapt to a work environment lacking in his IM witticisms, companionable, unmotivated-to-actually-work coffee runs and cute children popping by every so often. It's weird for me to think that when I get back from Paris, he'll just be gone.

I guess I have to keep reminding myself that every year without fail, I've found that the adage holds true and April showers bring May (or, at any rate, eventual) flowers. My challenges always yield something worthwhile. Here's to 2015 proving the adage right yet again.