Listen, Linda, listen. Things have been changing in my life faster than I can keep up.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you know one of my favorite quotes by Zora Neale Hurston is “there are years that ask questions and years that answer.” Well, 2016 was a year where questions were answered, and 2017 is shaping up to be more of the same.
I am not working for the company I had worked for since November 2008. After nearly eight years, I was canned. Yep. Don’t get me wrong; I was ready to go and was looking into other opportunities, but they were quicker on the draw than I was. I saw the writing on the wall, though. When they called me to the office, I didn’t have to do the walk of shame where they escort you to your desk while you pack your things up and then walk you from the building; I had already taken my personal effects home and took my purse to the meeting.
I’m not going to bash the company. At some points I loved working there. They gave me a lot of opportunities, paid me a fair wage and provided me with great benefits. But in the end, while it was a “good” job, they position I landed in wasn’t right for me. My only regret is I didn’t get to leave of my own accord, not because I wanted to show out when I quit, but because it makes finding a new position a lot harder when you have to check the box that you’ve been fired from a position.
Out with the old and in with the new, right? Except there is no new yet. I’ve had ample time to work on new books and products for Serious Season Press, but I haven’t found a full time job yet. Luckily I had some money I could use in the interim, but the interim needs to end soon. I’ve had the opportunity to do things I never thought I would be able to do with my extra time, and I’ve committed to making the most of it.
Another major life change is I’m single. After nearly nine years, Mr. Perfect and I have broken up. I can imagine your shock, but it’s been coming for a while. It’s been over two months ago now, and I’m doing fine. I’m getting back the bits of myself I lost in my relationship.
People have noticed some changes in me. “You just look so happy.” “Your skin is looking really good!” “You look like you are losing weight.” “You’re glowing.” “You seem more like yourself.” I’ve made a lot of positive changes which have resulted in many of these good developments people are noticing aside from breaking up, but the break up was…freeing. I don’t have the pressure of when are we going to move forward or why aren’t we moving forward hanging over my head. I don’t have to police being me to suit someone or consider someone. I haven’t been single since I was 22/23, and I’m definitely not that girl-woman anymore.
Another major life change (I know, you’re like really Erica? We can’t stand any more) is I’m moving–again. Somewhere. As yet to be determined. But in the new few months. You see, my roommate is getting married in April (congrats Tasha!) and doesn’t want my team Super Single self underfoot when her boothang moves in (I totally made that up. I knew I’d be moving long before I was Super Single, but it might be true now). So I have to move.
It’s going to be super weird to be single, at a new job, in a new place. Weird but exciting.
There have been some positive changes, too. My relationship with God has grown so much in the past year or so. I have been praying more (using my Serious Prayer Journal which I’ve redesigned), using a quiet time journal (this awesome Give Me Jesus Journal from Life Lived Beautifully), and listening to Christian podcasts, music, and sermons. It may sound weird, but my own book, The Season for Getting Serious, has been a big help to me in this season, especially the chapter on grief, “Bitter, Broken, but Blessed” and the chapter “On the Run”. I’m pumped to dive back in to Altered before the Altar with a fresh perspective, and I’m working on the follow up, which is going to be refining in a way you may not expect!
I’ve gotten more writing and business planning done. I have a mission statement for Serious Season Press. I created a few prints which have been really popular. I have some exciting releases lined up for this year. I’ve been able to focus on what’s next with my writing in a new way. I have an accountability partner I trade writing with again. My pen has been moving swiftly.
I’ve traveled on my own. I have gotten in my car, thrown on a playlist or podcast, and covered hundreds of miles to share my work with other women who want a deeper relationship with Christ. I’ve heard some inspiring, convicting messages and connected with some women who are just as on fire for what God is doing in their lives. I’ve wanted to travel more for a long time, and it’s happening.
Maybe I’m just weird, but this has been a great season to me. Not for nothing. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone and I would rather have not gone through ALL THE THINGS, much less at the same time. But for a long time, I’ve seen what many call failure as opportunity. I now have the opportunity to find a career instead of a job, a man who is just as exciting about marrying me and building with me as I am about it, and a place I can make into my home. I have the opportunity to discover who Erica Denise, 32 (in a month and ten days!), Christian, single, no kids, is. I have a feeling this is going to be a wild ride, and I’ve never shied away from that.
Hands Up (lap bar down,