Wednesday, May 14, 2014

An End and A Beginning

There must be a reason that pregnancy is nine months long (or ten, depending on how you count).  Nine months to gestate a new life, to process and come to terms with the change that's happening, the identity shift, the upheaval.

Nine months ago (or ten, depending on how you count) a seed was planted in my head by a dear friend.  This friend is intuitive and empathic, and she called out gifts that she saw in me that I wasn't currently using.  It was actually kind of an offhand comment - little did my friend know that she set off such a firestorm in my heart.  But in that moment, my entire life flashed before my eyes - various people who have spoken of these latent gifts to me when I was focused elsewhere and pretty much ignoring them.

That comment sent me down a rabbit hole of self-doubt and then, ultimately, self-discovery.  Who am I, really?  What am I in this world to do?  What if I'm not meant to be an engineer forever?  What if I have done what I came to do in the realm of engineering?  What if I have other latent gifts and passions, ones that can change the world in other ways than the advancement of scientific knowledge?  If I won't be an engineer, then what will I be?

I struggled.  I wrestled.  I mind-mapped.  I meditated.  I journaled.  I prayed.  I rambled on about it to friends.  I rambled on about it to mentorsI started websites.  I joined masterminds.  I went through programs.  I engaged coaches and healers.  I embarked on a journey of intensive self-care.  I got sick.  I got better.  I connected with God in a way that I haven't since I was a kid.  I cried.  I manifested.  I set new goals.  I envisioned the future life that I wanted.  I rearranged things in my life and work multiple times in an attempt to make things better.  I cried some more.  (When you read this paragraph, you need to picture a video montage of me doing all these things with Erin Shore by The Corrs playing in the background.)

And then, without warning, in the middle of this serious internal overhaul of myself, an opportunity presented itself.  I was in transition between two jobs within the company, and it became apparent that instead of putting my head down and pushing through to the new role, the time was now.  The opportunity that I had been looking for for transformation was here, though perhaps earlier than I had anticipated.  Again, lots of tears, lots of struggle, lots of prayer and searching.

And so tomorrow, May 15, 2014, will be my last day of employment as an engineer with Lockheed Martin.  I will be three weeks shy of my 10 year anniversary with the company.  It's been an amazing ride.  I did modeling, simulation, and performance analysis for earth-observing radar satellite systems.  I helped design NASA's next manned space vehicle.  I spent a year in Houston working with astronauts on human interfaces for that vehicle.  I flew a spacecraft past a comet and I sent one on its way to Jupiter.  (More video montage!)  As this chapter of my life closes, I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunities that I've had, the massive amounts of knowledge I've gained, and the wonderful people I have met and worked with.  Since the fear and sadness of making this transition started to pass, I have felt nothing but love and joy and thankfulness for this era of my life.

And so it's the end.

But then, it's also the beginning of something new.  The next phase.  Amy 2.0.  Here are some things that are coming up next for me:
  • Joy-filled stay-at-home-mom-hood with my amazing and hilarious kids.
  • Home organization, omg.
  • Travel.  Hopefully lots of it. 
  • Homeschooling
  • Continuing to explore entrepreneurship with the following ventures:
    • Travel consulting through Pine Hill Travel (web/facebook)
    • Blogging about family travel at Stroller Packing (web/facebook)
    • Transformational life coaching at Life Architecting (web/facebook)
  • Writing about:
    • Holistic self-care
    • Goal setting and acheivement
    • Scientific principles applied to psychology, spirituality, and generally living life
    • Spirituality in general
    • Travel
    • Homeschooling, particularly math, science, and using travel to learn about the world
  • Learning about:
    • Ayurveda and Yoga
    • Latin and Spanish languages
    • Taking up the violin (yep, it's on my bucket list)
The world is my oyster.  I'm filled with delicious possibilities and passions new and old.  

It's scary and exciting and sad and joyful and just plain thrilling all at once.

It has taken nine or ten months to gestate and birth this new life into the world, but it's my own new life.  And I'm still a work in progress - still learning, still growing, still reserving the right to change my mind about all of it.  May I never be stagnant. 

To end, a quote from Thoreau, who has always been my favorite since Mr. Johnson's 10th grade American Literature Class: "I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. . . . In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness."  So here I go.  May it be true for me, and for all of us.

(No, I'm not pregnant again.  That was an analogy.  Stop spreading rumors, silly goose.)


  1. Good for you Amy. I will plan to use the Pine Hill Travel and wish you well on stage two of your life. I am on about stage 4 and really at that evaluating and dreaming part. Exciting and scary.
    Becky M.

  2. You are on an amazing journey and I can't wait to see where this all takes you! You've made a well thought out and wise decision! Enjoy this new adventure (I know you will!)!

  3. WOW. Well one thing is for sure, you write a mean blog...and you're not bad at the decorative elements for it either. (smile) May the Lord continue to lead you on His path. May you be tuned in to HIS leading every day.

  4. Congratulations on making this exciting and terrifying decision! I still have your email asking me about homeschooling in my inbox from...a year ago! Good grief! I think about you guys a lot and wish we could just strike up a conversation in person about it all. Maybe someday, but until then...just follow your instincts as you clearly already are. Do what feels natural and fills you and your children with the joy of life and learning. If that means staying in your pajamas and building with legos all day, cool. You will be an awesome homeschooling family. You already are! Best of luck with everything and know that I'm here supporting you, even if I can't manage to reply to a year old email. :-(