Change. They say the only thing that is constant is change. When change happens we likely cannot predict it’s depth of disruption or timing, we can only control our reaction.

More than half of my life time ago a big change happened in my life. It could have been foretold by any onlooker and unfortunately not by me. The reality was that I had disconnected from the life I was leading in order to not feel the physical and emotional abuse that was my environment. Disconnecting allowed me to survive but only at the shallowest level. I showed up for a job and my dog, who was a wonderful source of unconditional love. Everything else was lived through a motorized flow of action with the intention to not attract any unwanted attention.

Through a moment of grace and connection I agreed to take action facilitated by my family, removing me from this toxic environment. That moment of empowerment still resonates in my DNA and feeds an energy that encourages me almost daily to take action, do the right thing and live a courageous life. This was one of the biggest life “change”ing events of my adult life.

This change involved a metamorphosis from being a wife to college student. Yes, I was lucky enough to get a second chance in building a life through higher education. This was a blessing and there weren’t many days that my gratitude wasn’t sent to the heavens for my life, freedom and education. Although awkward to be a divorced sophomore, not many of us on campus in the late 80’s, it wasn’t something that I had to share in day to day interactions thank goodness.

Assimilating to my new life was gradual, as was the healing process. I’d seen a lot of the world already and had had more responsibility than many of my peers. As I look back to those tender days of safety, ensuring that my location was kept secret, and how I gradually got my feet back under me I remember appreciating the blank slate with colored chalk that I’d been gifted. The world was mine again to define and embrace without limits of someone else’s judgement or control.

What I knew for sure as I walked out of a North Dakota court house, after being granted a divorce, was that “life is good” and it was all mine to define. And while it might have been daunting to be standing in front of a hypothetical blank slate, it was mine to write on and it felt freer than any other day of my life. I proclaim to you that while change can disrupt absolutely everything in your life, it is up to you how you live through the opportunity. And when we react by welcoming change into our lives it’s not because known how deep the change will affect us, but rather that we know that the more we participate the better the outcome.