How do you know when you have found your way? Is there one way for you to live your life or are there many paths that could equally be yours? I don't believe in fate. I think we choose our path, we choose our way in life, one decision at a time. I believe that I am always doing things my way in life.
I have a close friend who believed strongly in fate, she firmly believed that God had a path chosen for her. When we were young, she was decisive and firm about her decisions. She had focus, she had a goal, she was on her way to heaven and doing God's will. In our thirties, we both found ourselves divorced and back in our hometown. Suddenly, she felt that God had let her down, that she had done "everything right" and ended up in crisis. She cringed when people told her that "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" or that "all things work together for good."
She lost her ability to make swift decisions. One day she told me that when she came to a fork in the road, she spent so much time standing there trying to decide which way to go that I had already taken the wrong route, crashed, returned to the fork and changed paths while she was still standing there.
Part of my way is the way of the phoenix. My superpower in life is my flexibility and my ability to recreate myself. Who is the real Alli? They all are. I am a multifaceted creature. I make quick decisions and continue running down my path in life. I have made many different types of choices. I believe I was true to myself through it all. I have entertained many different points of view. They are all valid, real, and beautiful in their own way. I am ambidextrous and I use both sides of my brain. Life is a journey and I can't define myself by any one point in time. I am evolving and my reality changes with each new day.
I am more than a chameleon because I don't seek to blend in with the normalcy of the world.
I seek the paths that are not popular. I love doing jobs that others won't or can't do. I love challenges and difficult journeys.
The surest way to get me to do something is to tell me that it is impossible.
I firmly believe that there is always a way. I have to be willing to make sacrifices, but what is the sacrifice when compared to the goal, the problem solved, the new path discovered?
My life is all about yes. It's all about finding ways to make things happen.
I am looking for a new path now, one that will enable me to help others transform themselves. I want to share this phoenix life. I see women around me on the road to destruction with an attitude that they have no choice. I don't think it's necessary to crash and burn before the transformation. I just know that once you crash and burn, when all you have left are ashes, the only hope you have is that phoenix seed. The only way is transformation. Crisis takes away the option to hang on to the old way of living. Crisis makes change easier.
I want to learn to use my phoenix seed before I am in the ashes. They say it can't be done, that's why I know I have to learn to do it.
Alli Vainshtein is a community college instructor in tropical southern Minnesota. She lives with her husband, Igal, and a feline dictator named Pooh. She is working on her doctorate in organizational management and leadership, with a dissertation on the transformational journey of entrepreneurs starting new ventures during an economic crisis: emerging from the ashes.