Thirteen years ago my life was taking a detour from the road I traveled comfortably for 32 years. While I knew it was time for me to move on, I had no idea where I was going. I wished I had an internal GPS to guide me to my next destination, but I didn’t.
But I did have my faith, my sense of self, a clearly defined skill set, and a lot of energy which would interact with one another to help me get from here to somewhere. My biggest obstacle was fear of the unknown. But moving was not new to me. I had moved many times before and found moving exhilarating. We moved from New Jersey to Massachusetts to start our lives together, and again to the Mid West for graduate school. A job offer in New York had us packing boxes again, and another two times, we sold and bought homes. Each time, we researched our new town, enthusiastically packed our things, and off we went.
But this time I was moving alone, less enthusiastic, slow to pack, and had no idea where to go. My vows of forever had changed, and I didn’t know what the new forever was going to look like.
Taking a break from packing one evening, I found myself looking up to the sky above Talcott Mountain. I stretched my neck this way and that way as though I was searching for something beyond my normal range of sight, some direction perhaps. It was a beautiful, starry night. I focused on one star in particular, the one that seemed to be looking for me. I do not know how long I stared at that star, but that night I went to bed feeling a little less fearful. Guidance would come, I just had to look for it.
The next day I bought myself a necklace with a tiny, dangling star, something I could cling to; something that would remind me to keep looking up for guidance. I have been wearing that star for 13 years now and sometimes when I am deep in thought, I find myself rubbing the star between my thumb and my forefinger, feeling the twinkling and comfort I did that evening on Talcott Mountain. A quick touch of the star between my fingers and I am reminded of the journey thus far and the excitement of knowing I have yet to reach my final destination.
Children cling to a teddy bear and cannot imagine their lives without it. Adults hold dear a photo, a cherished award or something from their childhood. If asked, “What one object would you take with you if you had to choose just one?”, there is no question what they would choose. I would take my star.
And what about you, is there something that you cling to because it is central to who you are and continues to drive you to be at your best?