Are you like me, and feel that time has flown past so quickly, particularly over the last year?
I was shocked when I was speaking to my sister virtually last week, about how it will be 2 years today since I have seen her, and 2 years in May since I last saw my mother for Mother’s Day. This wasn’t intentional.
- Work commitments & last-minute changes to schedules from both sides
- Friends’ weddings
- Bushfires (my flight from Melbourne was turned around 30 minutes from landing in Sydney just before Christmas 2019, when Sydney airport closed due to the bushfires, and I couldn’t get another flight up)
- State & Territory border closures in Australia to contain the spread of COVID-19
All have led to the delay in catching up.
St Patrick’s Day 2019, seems like it was only yesterday, but it will be a day I shall never forget. Apart from the fact that my sister got stuck in traffic (we have different ideas on how much time to allow to arrive at a destination) driving me to the airport for my flight back to Melbourne (I had been up for the weekend to for a get together for mum’s birthday), and I literally just made it through security with a mad dash to the departure gate with what I thought 10 minutes to spare before the final boarding call for my Jetstar flight. This was the serendipitous unplanned moment, that was to ultimately help positively shape my life, and the career pathway that I am following now.
There I was, silently cross that my sister had been late leaving home (I do appreciate her taking me to the airport) and as such I was convinced, I looked like a red lobster (why oh why did I choose to wear me red dress that day?) after dashing through the terminal to what felt like it was going go on forever, when I heard that the flight was delayed by 20 minutes. Most people grumbled, but I was glad as it gave me time to catch my breath and grab a bottle of water from the newsagent kiosk. I was so glad I did, because across from me, someone caught my eye and gave me the loveliest smile, before they headed off to board the flight whilst I waited for my seat row to eventually be called forward. I was fortunate to meet up with them again as we waited to collect our luggage; there I discovered they are German, and they likewise discovered I had lived in Germany for 3 years.
I’ve written before in a previous post, how getting to know them over dinner the next evening helped me to engage in self-reflection and develop my sense of self-clarity of what was meaningful to me, and how did I want to shape my future. If you are interested, you can read my blog here about this encounter, and moments, as well tips/strategies I used to help with self-reflection & self-clarity.
Have you ever stopped and reflected on moments that had a profound effect on your life?
The last year has really highlighted for me, what a chaotic world of unpredictability we live in, and that you never know what life has in store for you. As a Career Development Practitioner, I feel that ‘Chaos’ , ‘Planned Happenstance’ and ‘Hope Action’ Theories really resonate with me and the world of work that we are living in. My previous blog post ‘Serendipitous Career Moments’ which you can read here, gives examples of:
- Unplanned career opportunity moments (including a bit more about that St Patrick’s Day moment, and how it impacted my career making decisions),
- Skills to develop and maintain to take advantage of unplanned events
- Some ways a Career Development Practitioner might help
As I prepare to get ready to finally be able to make a trip to Sydney this Friday for mum’s surprise 80th birthday on the 19th (she thinks I won’t most likely be able to fly up anytime soon, because of all the border closures we have had over the last 12 months, and has no idea a surprise party is planned for Saturday), I can’t help but reflect on how my life has changed over the last 2 years.
- Transition from my marriage
- Rediscovered my sense of self (it had taken a battering over several years)
- Fed my passion for helping others with their career transitions, including undertaking my Graduate Certificate in Career Development Practice
- Identifying and embracing my plans for the future, knowing that I have skills and strategies in my toolkit to navigate when speedbumps or roadblocks may appear unexpectedly
- Got through 2 lockdowns and a mini lockdown (boy lockdown 2.0 for 111 days in Melbourne on my own was tough at times)
- Have started my ‘The Gnome Who Knows’ career chat support group (Check it out here). I’m particularly pleased and excited to see this come to life, as it is my way of giving back to others voluntarily, helping to support them with career transition challenges they may be facing.
- Throughout all of this, I have managed to not lose sight of my sense of self. Over the last year, I rediscovered the card my parents gave me for my 21st birthday. This is especially poignant and the words have special meaning as my dad selected the card. It is also the last card he gave me, as he was taken into hospital in the early hours of my 22nd birthday, and passed away 2 days later. It’s funny because 25 & 26 years later, the German person I had met on the flight and my COVID buddy respectively basically said the same thing – asking me to not let anyone or anything change who I am, and be true to myself. I can honestly say, that even though life has thrown curveballs, and I honestly no longer expect to hear from either or see them again, just like I made a promise to my father on my 21st birthday, I am remaining true to myself – my beliefs, core values, glass is half full or brimming attitude, and slightly gnome like sense of humour.
People have entered and left my life since my St Patrick’s Day flight in 2019. Some touched my life briefly, others have become part of close friendship group along with other close friends (more like family who happened to be scattered across the world) who I have known for years. All of them in their own way have helped to support and guide me over the last 2 years.
As I get ready for my St Patrick’s Day / Mum’s birthday weekend to Sydney, I can’t help but be curious about what unplanned serendipitous moments and new adventures are waiting for me to discover. Who knows, who I might on my trip, perhaps another German to have another interesting chat about Germany (wouldn’t that be freaky)