Change is afoot and there is no way you can stop it. I know. I tried.
My family is growing. My young are fleeing the nest. I thought it may be easier, happier and more enjoyable than the process has been. As a friend of mine said “They go, and then they come back!” The circle of life.
As I have been navigating this this new-found freedom of parenting adult children, my youngest is preparing to spread her wings. I was being chauffeured by her yesterday. As we were fleeing one appointment and targeting another, her phone rang. That is a lie – as anyone with teenagers knows the phone never rings – it beeps, dings and vibrates – it does not ring. This is modernisation and progress – they don’t talk, they text... or snapchat.
So, our plans were diverted as we needed to make an emergency exit to pick up her friend – they had decided to “do lunch” – sushi in fact. I wasn’t invited.
Life is exciting for the teenagers in my life. They are learning new things and are enjoying the responsibility of growing up. They have jobs, money (in their eyes they have heaps of money) and new found freedom. They are enjoying people and places, work and study.
The conversation changed to a celebration that was being planned for a person who was leaving the workplace. There was going to be cake and celebration. There was a tone of regret as a friendship had developed between my child’s friend and the person who was leaving. When they first met, they didn’t like each other but over time they had become friends.
That doesn’t change as we get older. People are people. Some can function well in new situations or under pressure – others don’t. Some people are masters at creating instant connection – they are excellent salespeople, others aren’t. Some employees shine during the interview but then drop their bundle when the work starts. Some people terrorise themselves with negativity and fear the future - try not to be one of those.
I think it is okay to be who you are. The trick is to know it, own it and love it. Embrace the zaniest version of the real you and then start to plan.
Knowing that change is happening in all our lives we need to give power to ourselves by preparing for it. Power change by being open to it. We are all hear to evolve. We cannot control that.
Know that you are not perfect and that is how it is meant to be. Remember how life was as a teenager – when you were brave, passionate, tried new things and planned new adventures. (If life wasn’t that great for you as a teenager – then make up a better one – use your imagination!). Live with that spirit and energy.
The leadership lesson I gained this weekend from the backseat of a teenager’s car was to know that life changes. Friendships change. Relationships evolve. AND sometimes the most beautiful opportunities appear after the storm has passed by.