I appear to be in the midst of a major career shift with my writing, and one of the natural things that happens is to question the past. Did I wait too long to make this shift? Am I doing the right thing at the right time? Did I waste time not doing this a decade ago? Does my past in any way benefit this shift?
Whether it's a career shift, a change of relationship status, a big move or a goal of achieving health after a long period of lousy living, those questions pop up and make us wish we would have moved or acted sooner. Regret can haunt us like nothing else can. Regret can keep us immobilized, trapped in the idea that we shouldn't even be THINKING of making major changes at this point in our lives for all sorts of reasons (those are called "excuses"). Regret can keep us stuck in places we should have moved from before, but hey, the truth is...WE WEREN'T QUITE READY YET. Think back to a time when you really wanted to do something, but it felt forced and you had to push so much to make it happen, it was exhausting. Then think about a time when it all fell into place naturally, without you having to force the issue. Timing is everything (but you still do the prep work to be ready when the time is right!).
The past can serve us in all kinds of powerful and positive ways if we realize that everything we did got us here, to this point, and this decision, and this sense of READINESS. In my case, my past as a writer could indeed be a huge jumping point and foundation for the new direction I was forging. It actually took my literary manager, Italia Gandolfo, to get that through my head, because I was SURE all the years I had wasted not starting this transition sooner were, well, a waste. They weren't. They were a part of a brilliant and important career that I could now leverage into something new, something even bigger and something that really dovetailed my true passions and goals into the perfect place to be. For me. NOW!
There are things that we want that can only happen when they happen. There are dreams that will take detours and morph into new dreams and there are goals we will suddenly drop along the way and find ourselves picking up new ones we never imagined we would. There are situations that will work out JUST the way we planned, but mostly a lot of them that will work out quite differently. The thing is...IT ALL WORKS TOGETHER TO GET US READY.
Ready to move. Ready to jump. Ready to dive. Think about it. You cannot dive into a pool without a place to dive FROM. That place is the entirety of your past work, your past relationships, your past choices and it is THE perfect place to dive in and get started on something grand and awesome.
I knew all this. I always know. WE always know. But often it takes someone telling us at the right time for us to finally GET IT and embrace it. I've noticed this happening to me a lot lately. People saying things to me that are profound, that I'd heard a million times before. But I hadn't then been ready to really hear it. The timing wasn't right.
Timing is everything, and so is the time we spent doing what we did, in order to set us up perfectly for what is to come. No regrets.