I love your energy.
I haven't heard that a lot in my life. When I was young, I heard a lot of, "boy you have a lot of energy!" When I worked as a phone agent right out of college I heard, "give me more energy." And, I heard a heck of a lot of "calm down" when I started down the management path. I had a lot of nervous energy.
But when I sat down with a very pleasant man at my first job fair earlier this week, this is what he told me after only a few minutes. He liked my energy.
This stuck with me all week. It was a great interview, a great conversation. But my mind keeps returning to this energy statement.
Thirteen years ago today, my life trajectory changed dramatically. I was one last class from graduating from college. I was a bartender. I had no long-term life plan. I had dreams, but no idea or plan on how to reach them. I lived shift-to-shift.
Then my dad died.
It was sudden. He went into the hospital for a fairly routine procedure on Mother's Day. Two days later he was gone. Shock reverberated through our family. I left my job. I moved into my family's home. We spent that time together in grief. In shock. Struggling the slippery slope of this new trajectory. In time, we began to heal, became calloused to the grief. It never disappears, but the callouses do grow. Dad was a gravitational force. Without him, we felt like drifting planets. Everyone searching for their role, their place in the universe. The path that would provide some stability.
We forged new relationship dynamics. Found paths to follow. We reformed as a family through laughter and shared grief. We became a stronger unit. I developed relationships with my sisters that didn't exist before. In many ways, we were strangers before that day. We are no longer strangers. No matter the time or distance that separates us, we are the Jones sisters. In many ways, we are better than what we were before that tragedy. Would we have gotten here without it? I honestly don't know.
Dad taught me a lot of things in life. Never take shit from anyone. I may have applied this with more gusto than necessary in my younger years. If you don't like the hand you're dealt, change tables. I've obviously taken this to heart as well. The list could go on. He was always a teacher at heart. His last act was to teach me one final lesson. Actually, two. Never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them. And change is going to happen - it's up to you what you do with it.
Whether via a decision or unexpected life event, a dramatic change in trajectory rocks the surface on which we stand. It changes our energy. How we relate to people. At least, it has for me. This time as in the last. Losing dad was tough. It's still tough. But it did usher in some changes that were undeniably positive. I'm seeing small differences in all of us. My interview answers have changed. My priorities have changed. As has, apparently, my energy. Or, perhaps, I found a location where my energy is more in sync with my environment. Whatever the case, things in our environment seem to fit much better than before. We fit much better.
This week brought a whole round of challenges and new experiences. Nothing a good laugh together couldn't erase. A good laugh and a working shower. Yes, I'd say we have good energy. We're in a good place and even better is on the horizon. Change may have shaken our solid ground, but we see it as an opportunity to dance.