A few weeks ago, during a conversation with my daughter, I expressed my excitement for her and asked her how excited she was to have a new beginning. I wondered how she felt to start this new chapter in her life.
She replied with such hope and enthusiasm to my question. She then followed her response with the same question to me. “Mom, how excited are you to have a new beginning, into this new chapter of your life?”
I have been so overwhelmed with college visits, applications and deadlines, not to mention end-of-the-year activities like senior trips, prom, senior brunch, graduation pictures and, of course, graduation. At the same time, I’ve been dealing with the fact that Victoria will leave, and I’m learning to let go.
Focused on Victoria
I was so focused on Victoria’s new beginning that I had forgotten about my own.
I, too, will be transitioning into my own new beginning. This was exciting to ponder. I had not seen through all the anxiety and fear of change happening in my life to focus on me.
It’s been 18 years since I had to intentionally focus on myself and all that I want to do or have been putting off. Take college, for instance, I had taken a break from school before the birth of our daughter—a break that I am still on today. Then there is my relationship with my husband, and a new beginning means redefining and reacquainting ourselves in this new chapter of our lives. I was so involved and consumed with fear of change that I could not see past that to a transformed and renewed life, full of possibility.
A graduation of my own
This blog comes just one day after my daughter’s graduation from high school. I could not be more proud of the young women she has become. Though I celebrate her, I also feel that this is a graduation of my own, a graduation of transition and acceptance of a new beginning and possibility for me.
What are the new transitions in your life? What do those new beginnings look like for you? Whatever they are, may they be filled with a renewed sense of self and may they redefine your best you.
Gabriela Contreras is director for meeting planning. This Throwback Thursday blog was first published in May 2014. Victoria has since graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and is living in her own apartment in Chicago. Gabriela is making a new transition in a couple of weeks–out of Women of the ELCA and into the Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA. And in between, she had another daughter, Valentina, who is now 3.