“There’s always a story. It’s all stories, really. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything’s got a story in it. Change the story, change the world.”
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32)
Our stories shape our world and tell us who we are in it. Are we brave? Are we kind? Do we matter? The right story can make us see reality in a new way, open possibilities and find parts of ourselves and the world that we never knew existed. The right story is both magic and true.
This year, I am changing my story.
For more than 20 years I have been the head of an NGO working with rural women and youth and helping establish and nurture grassroots community organizations. It’s a job I love, but we now have an amazing, dedicated team who are more than able to carry on the work. So I’m taking a sabbatical year, and trying to write a new story for myself. I alternate between exhilaration about future possibilities, panic that I am incapable of meeting the challenges that come with those opportunities, and fear that I am giving up something I love for something that will ultimately be less meaningful and less fulfilling. That I am making the Wrong Decision. My identity has been so tied up with my work that at times I wonder who I will be without it. But then there is the thrilling call of new horizons, my feet itching with desire to step forward into the unknown, where everything is possible…..
I have a year to reshape my story. A year to consider, reconsider, explore and rethink. And while I move between excitement and panic, between fear and determination, I quilt.