READER QUESTION: Dear Dr. Bubbie,
I am a young woman, married 2.5 years, together with my man for 8 and happily living (and playing!) in NYC. After grad school, YEARS of hard work and lots of soul searching, I’m finally getting my career to where I’d like it to be and I’m so HAPPY, but… the baby clock is ticking..The truth is, I’m afraid that the leap will pull me too far from the things I hold so dear now: my amazing city life, my adoring husband, my growing career, my blog, my friends, my love of travel… I know I’m resistant to change and I know that usually (hopefully) with each “loss” during a change there are far more “gains” but what’s your advice for taking the leap? ~Meri
When is the right time to start a family? When is the right time to start, change, or go back to, a career? When do I leap into a new relationship or job….or jump out of an old one? When have I learned enough or practiced enough to go public? My baby sister, who is on her second successful career, reminded me of the advice I gave her when she was struggling with juggling growing children and making partner. I told her: “you can have it all, just not all at the same time.”
When we take a leap, a change our course and direction, something is lost and something is gained, as Meri noted. We may lose our comfort zone and gain some new mastery. Like Leo the Late Bloomer (by Robert Krause and Jose Aruego) the little leopard who couldn’t write, talk or eat neatly, until one day, when nobody was watching, he bloomed. Each of us blooms, or leaps, in our own time. But how do we know when the time is right to leap?
When are we ready to leave our parents and toddle off to play with the other kids in the park? When are we ready to be parents, and build our own nest in the park? My experience is that it’s a matter of tuning in to our own voices, which often get tucked deep inside, behind the louder voices of friends, parents, partners, and our particular social conventions. If you want to know when it’s the right time to leap, turn down the voices around you, and tune in to your own Soul Station. There you will find the faith to know what you know. (As we learn from Carol Gilligan). We humans have choices about sticking to a path, or taking a side road, and we have choices about how we approach those choices. We can take a leap out of fear: The biological clock is ticking, I may never get another chance like this, the big bad wolf is at the door…
OR we can take a leap of faith, trusting that we know what we know. I believe that the experience of leaping is made buoyant by keeping the faith. Know what you know, and you’ll leap into bloom when it’s your time.
What’s your experience? When have you taken a leap of faith? How has it worked out? Were you able to tune into your own soul station?
*Dr. Bubbie is my amazing mom and a Harvard-trained psychologist. You can leave your questions for Dr. Bubbie about life, motherhood, family, relationships and friendships below and we may pick your question to answer in the next installment of Dear Dr. Bubbie.