By: Eric Hodgdon
Transitions are tough. Throughout our lifetime, we will pass through the membrane of transition several times – albeit through ceremony, through our actions, or simply as natural transitions occur. These transitions indicate that our body, mind and/or soul is ready for the next step in our existence here on this planet. Most importantly, they build resilience in us. Often times, these transitions show up when we least expect them to, and usually when we don’t want them to.
I have gone through such a transition in the last couple of months. In late August of this year, I made the decision to step away from a 25-year career in Information Technology. This career presented itself to me when I least expected it to in 1992. I had just moved from Maine to Memphis, TN and had been looking for work in another area of technology, but not having much success. My father, Walt, came through Memphis on his way back from a business trip. I was quickly wearing out my welcome at my friend Scott’s house, in what was supposed to be a 1 month stay that had turned into 3 months. My father sat down at the kitchen table and told me to get the newspaper so he could look for jobs. I told him that I had already looked that day, but Dad just gave me the dad look and I got the paper. Within two minutes, Dad looked up and said “Here, computer sales. Call them.” I said “Dad, I don’t want to do computer sales.” And in the only way my father could get through to me, he said “Son, you have two weeks to get a job, or you are moving back to Maine!” I called.
The interview went well and instead of landing the sales job, they offered me to be a computer technician. 60+ hours a week and minimal salary, but I LOVED every aspect of that role! And, over the last 25 years, I’ve transitioned from role to role and company to company with the expert knowledge that could sustain me until I retire.
However, life doesn’t always go the way you expect it to. Just 4 years ago, I lost my 15-year-old daughter Zoi to suicide. Suddenly, my world was upside down and I had a very deep chasm of questions, unknowns and struggles to cross. The path to cross that chasm emerged as one of service towards others who are stuck in struggle or grief. Through story, deep connection, and wanting to leave indelible imprints on this earth, I chose to transition away from my secure career in IT and walk the path that serves others in their struggle. It spoke to me, like the day I landed the role as a computer technician in Memphis.
In the last few months, what I have experienced is nothing short of incredible. Incredible fear, incredible opportunity, and most of all, incredible impact on those around me. It has taught me that transitions in life are there for us to grow. They are not meant to tear us down, but rather show us that resilience is birthed from our push forward through those membranes. Transitions are tough, but necessary.