I used to hate the term “re-invent yourself.” My original context for hearing it was mostly about Madonna changing her hair color, her country & donning a faux English accent. It seemed so distinctly, annoyingly American & 1st world. i.e. “We’re so rich & bored that we don’t have anything better to do than sit around & think up ways to ‘re-invent ourselves.'”
Now, I get it. It’s yet another fancy way of saying one is starting over….trying something new…branching out…going after the dream, the career, the hope for newness & clarity, joy and happiness.
Or is it?
Could it also be the absolute necessity to start again…the demand for change before rock-bottom meets certain death?
I’m in a heavy re-invention process myself, hence the first post on a new blog. My new grace for the term perhaps emerging from my very own ashes. I’ve recently had more than one ugly cry over the scariness of reinvention, the loss that promotes the change. My job, for example, is loosely related to what I’ve done before but it’s the first career-oriented position in for-profit work I’ve had in 15 years. Career-wise, I have no choice but to -BaDoomChing- reinvent.
What is a 2nd marriage if NOT the opportunity to reinvent the asshattery you brought to the 1st one? And when in the span of just a few years you lose a marriage, close ‘friends,’ a church, 3 major communities (work, church & mutual friends), a significant chunk of change, a house & face an unexpected battle to parent your kids amidst divorce and the loss of so much more…what else on earth demands my attention more than reinvention? Not much, my friends. Not much.
I could call it reinvention, or I could call a spade and a spade and acknowledge I’m just putting it all back together.
Victories in reinvention come from deep wells of inner strength alongside huge shows of bravery. In my case, I hold very tight to the strength of God amidst my complete weakness to complete the task of surviving life’s hardships.
When reinvention must be sustained for survival and when its catalyst was significant pain, loss after loss, grief, gripping depression, anxiety, panic, a nightmare marriage & multiple scary whip-lash like transitions? You betta believe ANY reinvention of ANY sort is fruit growing from a hard, dry ground watered daily by fat, bitter tears.
One need not ask “WHAT happened?” “but WHY did it happen?” & “most importantly WHOSE fault was it?” My reinvention means I need not entertain shamers-for-sport, and have nothing but crickets for shame-based questions.
The best part of reinvention? Edumacation. Growth. Tools for health. Learning to silence the shame demons in myself and in others.
The hard part of starting EVERYTHING over is Clarity of the Uncertain. I thought I would never lose my primary non-profit work, friends who were like family, my first marriage or ministry, or house or whatever. I thought all of that was certain, when in fact, none of it was. All of that, it’s all gone.
And when The Certainty Ship sailed it took along the most foolish, choppy waters I’d anchored my hope to.
The only thing one hundred percent certain is the uncertainty of life. What I am most certain of now is my inability to control people and outcomes and to an extent, even myself. If I could control myself completely I’d have eliminated at least 65% of the losses I now face. Now, I’m anchored much less in things, people or even happy circumstances and much more in my faith as God my completer.
I am however, 98.9% certain I will -by God’s grace & mercy- reinvent, survive, thrive.
What once was lost…