Change, Fear, and Opportunity

May 3, 2017

I’ve got some news, and, in typical Emily form, I’m going to spin it into a story. Hopefully, you stay hooked until the end.

Have you ever stopped to think about what you might do if you weren’t afraid? Skydive? Bungee jump? Ride a roller coaster? Sing? Start a ____? Go back to school? Move?

Surely, each of you can think of SOMETHING!

The thing is, fear is limiting. In relation to life, it allows us to become “set in our ways”. Why would I do something different if what I’ve always done seems to be working-out just fine?

For me, it’s usually around the time that I’m feeling very content and happy that Change creeps in the backdoor and brings along his faithful friend Fear, just for kicks. They’re uninvited, messy, and loud. They’re houseguests that just won’t leave. “Embrace Change” we hear! Ha! Change is no cake walk, friends.

However, what if Opportunity stopped by for a surprise visit first? Come on in, Opportunity, stay a while! Boy, Opportunity is a good time, exciting, and challenging! Everyone wants Opportunity to visit! In fact, sometimes Opportunity is such an intriguing guest that Fear and Change are sent outside to wrestle, so the house can be quiet and all attention can be placed on Opportunity who has just decided to pull up a chair and discuss the benefits of embracing Change and facing Fear.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? What if change found you in the form of a really great opportunity? What if you weren’t even looking for change, yet IT FOUND YOU and you actually allowed yourself to realize that too many pieces of the puzzle were falling into place not to stand-up and take notice?

With that being said, my news is this. A door opened for me. The fact that I wasn’t searching for change made it harder to trust my faith, face my fears, and leave my comfort zone. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared to leave WOSC, what I’m good at, what I know how to do, where my friends are. Yet, as a good friend and colleague said, “God challenges us with our fear, so we will learn to trust him.”

Therefore, next month, I will begin training for a new career with Edward Jones. I’m excited, scared, happy, sad…you name it! That’s the thing about change. Change is H-A-R-D! It’s tough to put faith in the unknown. As well, those that know me best know how hard this has been for me, not only because of the fear and change, but because of my loyalty to a position, to people, to an institution.

I am forever grateful for the opportunities that WOSC has granted me. I was first hired in 2009 as an assistant rodeo coach. From that position grew an opportunity to enter the classroom as an adjunct instructor. Then, colleagues encouraged me to pursue my Master’s degree, and I was eventually hired as a full-time mathematics instructor, which is the position I currently hold. I would not be the person I am today without the encouragement of those who gave me a chance at WOSC – from the first position I held, to the last, and all of the training and guidance in between.

The last 8 years have been amazing, and I’m forever changed by the colleagues, mentors, students, and parents that have come into my life through the positions I’ve held at Western.

Thank you, Western, for the opportunity.

Thank you, colleagues, for always supporting my crazy ideas and becoming my friends in the process.

Thank you, WOSC rodeo teams from 2007-2017, I have so enjoyed watching you succeed in the arena and in life.

Thank you, math students, for the chance to try to make you love my subject…even if you didn’t enjoy the topic, I hope you enjoyed my classroom.

What more to say?! Here I go, embracing Change, facing Fear, and grabbing Opportunity! Onward and Upward!

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”.

 

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