In my ‘new life’, I am on sabbatical. I can’t say it’s entirely of my own choosing, as there are factors at play that are out of my control. We are essentially at the whim of ‘the system’, jumping through many hoops, and waiting (somewhat) patiently to be given the green light to move forward with our plans to open up my new practice.
Although I knew that there would be a period of time between leaving my life in Ontario, and creating a new one here in Nova Scotia, the imposed sabbatical has shown me that I like to be in control far more than I was aware of. I may be a thinker, but I am also a do-er. Apparently I like to be the one calling the shots (yes, friends, you can laugh here – I am aware that I like to be the leader). But I wasn’t aware of how hard it can be to let go and trust. Giving into that – trusting that things will all work out – is giving up a whole different kind of control. And that one’s been an eye opener for me. Despite evidence to the contrary, and the fact that everything is turning out exactly as I wish it to be – albeit more slowly – isn’t always enough to keep me in a state of trust.
I want to lean into this, and trust wholeheartedly that everything is turning out exactly as it should. The truth is that I have to constantly quell the voices of fear and doubt. I have to accept that there are some things that are not in my control. And that oftentimes, life moves along at a speed that is different than what I want. (Funny how life’s challenges show you sides of yourself that you were not fully aware of.)
It’s been over two months since we left our life in Ontario to move home to Nova Scotia. And in the quirky way that time flows, it simultaneously feels like light years in the past, and just yesterday that I left. One of the hardest things I ever did was to walk away from the hundreds of families I had come to know and love in my chiropractic practice there. While I am happy to know that they were left in very capable hands, it doesn’t change the fact that I miss them. Facebook pictures of babies and kids only go so far. The ten years of history and connection I had with the people there were deep and very real – and if I were fully honest, I’d have to say that when the fears or doubts come up – they are about whether I will be able to create the same level of connection and community here that I did there. Realistically I know I can and I will. But the doubts still creep in.
It’s a lot like when Ethan laments the friendships he left in our little town of Beeton. While he plays with kids at school, and generally is happy, we know it will take a while to forge new connections like those he had with the kids he knew for over five years. It would be nice if we could just jump right in – but time can’t be rushed – in his case, or in mine. I have to take the advice we give to him – to be himself and know that the friendships will come. From my perspective as an adult, I know that he has yet to make the friends that will likely stay with him for a lifetime.
So, in the light of listening to the same wisdom – I have to trust that I will be able to build a new practice full of people and families who I will come to know and love – just like I did in Ontario (Is it possible for it to be more?!… I don’t know.)
What I am missing is the opportunity to build relationships with people, to remind them that they are designed to be extra-ordinary, and to help them through the hands-on power of chiropractic, and guidance in creating a lifestyle around them and their families that will allow them to truly thrive. I miss feeling like I am making a difference. In my current bubble, my influence is small, my ability to reach and inspire people is unknown. I feel like I am hibernating.
It is scary starting over.
The funny thing is that now I have the family support around me that I never had in Ontario – the one thing that I could’t create there is inherently part of our lives here. Family and friends have been instrumental in holding me up or helping out when I’ve most needed it.
What I miss is knowing that I play an important role in families’ lives. I miss the people that we left in Ontario. I miss knowing that I make a difference in my community.
On the good days, I am excited for what is yet to come, for the relationships that I am yet to build, and the connections that are yet to be created.
I guess what it comes down to is perspective. (Isn’t it always?) I can’t force life to move faster, just because I am impatient to start building a new practice here. I can either moan and complain – or suck it up, and keep taking action to prepare. I can treat this sabbatical like my time to process and heal – like a snake shedding its skin – so that when the time comes, I am ready to fully embrace my new life here.
It is, after all, where we are finally putting our roots down. It is where my heart has always been. Maybe what I need to remind myself of is this: we had a great life and great friends in Ontario, and I created an amazing practice there. But there is a deeper question here – perhaps what I should be asking myself is this:
What am I capable of now that I am in the place where my heart has always been?