11 October 2008

a bend in the road

winding tracks

As a personal rule, I don't talk about my work in this space. But now, it's not just work. It is personal, and I can't discuss this without talking a bit about my job.

I learned a little over two weeks ago that my department is being relocated to our office in the greater Seattle area. You can check it on a map; it's not terribly far from where I live now -- roughly 100 miles. But it is away, nonetheless.

I was alternately frozen and shaking as they delivered the news and we were presented with a variety of options. This can't be happening. Within the first few days of hearing the news, I experienced an array of different emotions: anger, betrayal, excitement, hope, sadness, elation. One moment I was hopeful and ready to explore my options, and the next I was a puddle of tears. We learned in the change management workshop following the announcement that it was normal to zig-zag all over the emotional map. And so I gave a chance for the shock to wear off and just two days ago, made my decision official.

When friends and family initially heard the news, there were a variety of opinions expressed and solutions offered. Take the severance. Just get a new job. Time to start something new anyway. And I quickly understood that I didn't care to hear any of them -- this was my life and my decision -- one I had to make on my own.

This is not just a job for me; it's about the relationships I've developed over the past several years of working with some of the most highly-tenured and highly-skilled people in the company. I had to consider those relationships, the state of our economy, my benefits package, the job market in my current town (difficult even in healthy economic circumstances), and so on. As I considered these things, I likewise felt my heart pull toward family, church, friends, and the doctors that I have such good relationships with and whom I have come to depend upon for my physical well-being. All these things are Bellingham and home to me. And so I realized that no matter what I chose, my ship of safety was rocked. Nothing about this was going to be easy.

So here it is: I'm moving to Seattle. I'm keeping my job. And while there is still some lingering sadness over what I'll be giving up by moving, there is also excitement beginning to bubble up about those things I cannot yet see waiting for me beyond this bend.

winding tracks photo by kirsten.michelle


  1. Yay for you. Not because you're moving, but because you chose and you did it well. So often, it seems like people do what they do because it just sort of happens, or they don't have a choice, but I sense that you're really choosing this, that you're embracing it, not necessarily as the fulfillment of any deep desire (which I know it's not), but as something that is your choice, that is the best you can see for you in this situation. I see you trusting both God and the person he made you to be. And huzzah for that! It's beautiful.

  2. oh my goodness. i really feel the heaviness of this. the fear and the expectation and the sadness and the excitement and the resentment and how tangled and confusing all of that is. i also hear a deep and profound wisdom and i'm proud to be your friend. i'm trusting that all of the things you need will be provided in this new place. peace little sister...

  3. i always find i have more than i thought i had when it comes to packing it up and moving it all.

    amazing how much we can collect.

    i have a freind that has moved several times in the last few years and has really gotten rid of a lot of things.

    she just bought a tiny house in hood river, so maybe she will stay put for a little while.

    we have been in this house since 1990. just put on a new roof.

    seattle is a pretty cool place.
    give it a shot...they have plenty of coffee places there.

  4. I applaud you! Intentional choice is so healthy! Hoping some of that maturity rubs off on me. (I guess just read Sarah's comment again....)

  5. i respect your process kirsten.

    John O'Donohue had something to say which i would like to share with you ... it is for the traveler ... which you are even now as you live inside your decision to move ... which you are every day of your life as a pilgrim .....

    "A journey can become a sacred thing:
    Make sure, before you go,
    To take the time
    To bless your going forth,
    To free your heart of ballast
    So that the compass of your soul
    Might direct you toward
    The territories of spirit
    Where you will discover
    More of your hidden life,
    And the urgencies
    That deserve to claim you."

    i pray that your courage will lead you into a powerful encounter with peace.


  6. Hi, friend. So good to hear your voice here, to hear you speak about this process, to claim what is your life and your truth. I'm proud of you for walking through this time of decision with a clear sense of what you need from those around you -- the freedom to inhabit all the emotions and the freedom to make your own decision.

    You're moving to Seattle. In reading that, I smiled. That town is so, so cool. (As you know much better than any of us!)

  7. sarah - it is something to have made a choice in the midst of this situation. i'm not a victim of chance, but i'm making the decision. thanks for being here, friend. i love you.

    terri - thank you so much for being here. i love you. there is so much sadness attending this move, but i know God is in it. i know that there are good things in store for me that i just cannot anticipate right now.

    nancy - i have moved plenty also!! it's a great way to purge oneself of those unnecessary items of clutter. seattle is a fun city with plenty of coffee (and good food) to be had.

    laure - thank you for sharing this poem with me. i've only recently been made aware of john o'donohue and his poetry and in every piece of his writing, i find i need to pay attention to every word: nothing is wasted or extraneous -- every word is deliberate and has meaning. this is so true of this piece that you've shared with me (thank you, by the way). thank you also for your peace-filled wishes in this time of transition.

    christianne - thank you for being here with me during this decision-making process. you know as well as i do how this upset me. but i'm so excited to be sharing in the journey and to see what is in store in that uber-cool city that will soon become my home. ;o)

  8. Wow! That's big!! I'm excited for you, Kirsten. I'll look forward to hearing more about the transition. :)

  9. K~ you should be proud of yourself! This choice was made by you dear friend! And it will be a positive one too because you choose it! Good luck and I will say a little prayer for you to find new good doctors and a good church also! Friends aren't going to change they will tag along...lol!

  10. I say yay for you completely selfishly - we are going to get to hang out! Yay for moving south and embracing the opportunities. YAYAYAYAY!!!! I'm definitely cheering, and so happy. But also know about all that goes along with moving - and the emotions that go along with it. So, I'm praying for you as well.

    Love you friend.

  11. This is exciting!
    And hard.
    I'm so glad you're trusting God with all this. I can't wait to see what he'll teach you in this, how he'll be a comforter and adventure partner.
    Also, a friend of mine's daughter and son-in-law live in Seattle. They're amazing people and have an amazing band. If you're interested, I can see if there's a way for a cyber-introduction.
    They may also know of a good church or something--I know that's going to be one of the hardest transitions. I adore my church now. It would be extremely difficult to leave it and find another.
    Also, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law might be moving to the Seattle area in January. If they do, I may see if you can show them around a little. (She just had twins on Friday--yay!)

  12. Growth is good, and nothing but growth is the byproduct of change.

  13. oh. wow. definitely something to turn a person upside down. i pray that you will find adventure, spirit, comfort, unexpected blessing. i picture you now... a kite on a high breeze.

  14. Right on!!! What an adventure!!!! I'm excited to hear about how the move goes and about how Seattle life treats you. I'll talk to you soon.

  15. jodi - i'm finally getting excited about it, too. home-hunting is an exhausting process, but i'm looking forward to what this change will bring. :o)

    robyn - thanks for your well-wishes and prayers!! i need them more than i can say. i trust that the lord will provide what we need in all this -- from a place to live to a good doctor. something we also need prayer for is for a new roommate to take my place in the house where i live right now. yikes!! so much to think of.

    ilse - i'm really excited that we'll probably have a chance to see each other more than 2-3 times a year!! yeay!! i'm thrilled that i'll be living closer to you, friend!!

    heather - exciting and hard is such a good way to describe it. just the thought of trying to find a new church makes me cry. it's like: don't worry about leaving your cherished and dearly loved family behind. you'll find a new one! i'm sure i'll be making the commute for awhile since my current church is very much my family, but i also know there will likely come a time when God will ask me to make the transition.

    i'd be excited to meet any friend & relations of your that might come to the area (does that mean you might come visit yourself??)!! there is plenty to do and see in the area. i think i'm going to love it. ;o)

    carl - growth, schmoth. why does growing have to hurt so much. bleh!! you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?! ;o)

    l.l. - my prayer is the same. here's to the adventure!!

    caleb - there you are!! i was wondering where you had gone, my friend. it will be an adventure. i just wish there didn't have to be so much sadness in the going out. but perhaps that is the part of adventure that we don't think of: there is a going out, a leaving implied there. and in leaving, there is sometimes a measure of sadness to leave what you know in order to pursue what you don't know yet.

    thanks for the love & prayers & wishes, my friends. here's to the adventure!!

  16. ohh, do I understand! I'm in a somewhat similar place, though the circumstances surrounding my move are different. Next month, I'll be moving to Boston from east Texas and starting a new job. Though the move and location are of my own choosing, I've still been vacillating between excitement one minute and anxiety the next. Change isn't the easiest thing for me to embrace, but I'm praying for God's help in seeing his hand in this new opportunity. Here's hoping that he'll continue to give you grace to do the same. :)

  17. This will be a big move, and to the east side no less. Mrs. CSI and I (Mini CSI too) live in Bellevue. Just know you have buddies here, and we would be delighted to share some Starbucks once you get settled in.