Sunday, October 20, 2013

Shedding Old Skin (Again)

Periodically I have arrived at places in my life when I shed my old skin and emerge with new skin. Even though they have a bad rep, snakes are superb creatures and I have no problem comparing myself to one. The way they shed their skin and emerge anew from time to time is awesome. As for me, I feel grateful for the shake-up and change of the transitions in my life.

As a young woman I worked as a “techie,” doing scenic art and scenic carpentry in the Bay Area. My career culminated in several years of carving large sculptures out of bead Styrofoam at the San Francisco Opera Association. When I shed that skin, I went into the publishing business. First I wrote a few books for an educational publishing company and then I landed a job as an editorial assistant and later as the managing editor at a magazine. Another huge transition in my life was when my daughter was born and I became a mom. It was a big transformational experience when Ron and I moved our family from the city to the country. I refer to our move to the Ranch as “shooting the moon.” I reinvented myself again, creating an entirely new life of raising children in a forest, growing fruits and vegetables, and living close to nature. For many years I worked a nine-to-five outside the home as an administrator. I eventually shook things up again when I took the leap and became self-employed as a writer. Even though I was mostly writing grants, I still got to put “writer” as my profession on my taxes (and I loved working at home and having flexible hours). I zipped myself into a new skin when I took the plunge and published a book, embarking on the Mount Everest of learning curves as I became an author and publisher.

Now I’m shedding my old skin yet again as I reinvent myself to pursue a new profession. This week I will begin a two-year distance learning course to earn my Holistic Nutritionist Certification through Bauman College. I have had a lifelong passion for healthy eating and I believe I can turn that passion into a retirement profession as a nutritionist. My goal is to establish myself in the healthcare field and provide individual consultations to patients through a clinic or doctor’s office. Bauman’s holistic and visionary approach to nutrition is a perfect fit for me and I can’t wait to start learning.

As ever, football informs my life. A few weeks ago, I heard an interview with the quarterback Peyton Manning, one of football’s giants. For those of you who don’t follow football, Manning was the QB for the Indianapolis Colts for years. He took them to a Super Bowl win. A couple of years ago he suffered a neck injury that took him out of the game for an entire season, during which the team crashed and burned without him. The Colts picked up a terrific young QB for the following year and they cut Manning loose. He resurfaced when his neck had healed and he signed a contract with the Denver Broncos. He had a stupendous season as the Broncos’ QB last year and so far this year he is carrying the team through an undefeated season. He’s obviously back and better than before. In the interview, Manning said that even though it was difficult for him to leave the Colts and make a new life with the Broncos, he is grateful that it happened. He says the change got him out of old habits, challenged him, made him use more of his brain again, and caused him to become “fresh” all over again. It transformed him. He shed his old skin and took on new skin.

I agree with Manning, it’s good to shake things up from time to time. We’ll see who I am when I emerge from this time of transformation in my life. I look forward eagerly to the discovery and to reinventing myself yet again. Farewell old skin.

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