In early February, I gave a three month update of Living the Dream after moving from Kansas City to La Jolla, CA. Since moving in October, it feels like I’m living my life in 3 month increments. My first three months were spent getting settled and acclimated to a community that is very different from where I’d lived. (Your can read about it here)
The next three months have been very different in unexpected ways.
The Oprah Effect
I recently read that when Oprah ended her television show in 2011, she felt ” off unbalance.” She said she wasn’t depressed, but was in a major inquiry: “How do I now create a life based on what I want?” she said in a People Magazine interview. “I didn’t know what I wanted, so it took me a while to figure that out.”
I totally understand that feeling.
After 25 years in a familiar community, 10 as a corporate executive and 15 as an entrepreneur and community volunteer leader, I had a rhythm and flow to my life. I was “known.” I could go anywhere in the region and I would know people and people would know me. I had a reputation for my work and for my contributions to the community.
Now, in the San Diego community – I’m like wallpaper. No one knows me and I don’t know a lot of people. The last three months, the thrill of the move had subsided and reality was setting in. I wasn’t depressed, but I did feel out of balance. Finding my groove has been challenging.
And as with any community – finding the networking groups that are a good fit can be hit or miss no matter where you live.
The good news is that most people came here from someplace else. Occasionally you meet someone who grew up in the San Diego area, but that is rare. So people extend themselves and are welcoming. In essence, we’ve all had to re-create ourselves and adapt to a new business culture and make new friends.
I have learned that when it comes to networking and meeting new people – just say YES. When you’re new to a community, you often times have no idea what groups will work and what ones won’t. My mantra has been “I want to meet people who can help me make money and help me make friends.”
The downside of “Saying Yes” is that it can be exhausting. Most times, I have no idea where I’m going, how long it will take to get there or where to park, which are major considerations that can add 30-60 minutes to any routine drive! Then upon arrival … I don’t know anyone – which requires additional energy to be charming and engaging!
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t . I remember walking into a networking event and thinking “how fast can I get out of here?” I actually did an about-face within 5 minutes and drove home!
Reflections on Change
Just as Oprah and I are figuring out what we want in the next stages of our lives, please remember that you get to do the same thing. Interestingly, a lot of people think they don’t have a choice about what they do in life or take the time to think about what they want. I recently heard a young man, under 40 years old, talk about his new house and was happy that it was on one floor because “it will be the last place he lives.” Predictable and planned for the next 40-50 years.
For some reason, I felt sad hearing that.
I Want To Be A Slacker
As our life stages, circumstances or situations change, we all have the opportunity to determine the how we want to align the next stage or segment of our life. Some people choose the next phase of their life through volunteering, raising kids or caring for family members. Others may choose a new career, take up new hobbies or create adventure through travel.
I recently spent time with a friend who admitted that at this stage in life, she was learning to be “a slacker.” I was fascinated by this worthy endeavor. You see, for years she was an organizer and planner at work, at home, at church, in the schools, neighborhoods and with friends. Everyone relied on her to plan things. And she admitted to liking being in control. And now – she’s purposely learning to let others take the lead, be a follower and enjoy the process.
Be Curious. Be Bold. Say Yes.
What I love about my friend’s goal is that she’s curious. She’s being bold by giving up old patterns and exploring new ways to be in relationship with others. And she doesn’t have to move or spend a dime!
For me – moving to the ocean has quelled my heart. Yet I remember thinking “I didn’t move here to do the same thing or live the same life I had in Kansas City. I came here to “build skyscrapers.” While I don’t quite know yet what that means, I’ll keep you posted.
My question is: How are you curious? How are you being bold? How are you saying yes – to life?
Marty Stanley, CSP, speaks about, writes, coaches, trains and practices personal and organizational change. Most people hate change. If you want to say yes to change – at work or at home and have no idea how to do it, somewhat gracefully, call Marty today. She’ll help you create a plan that works for you or your company. She’s been doing this all her life. Trust her. 858-432-6764 firstname.lastname@example.org
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