Changes Come in Waves

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February 2018 will be a month for the record books, at least in my little corner of the world. The wave of change is upon me, and it has brought joy, devastation, and the anxiety that comes with both of those extreme emotions.

The month started with accepting a job offer. The moment this offer came to me, I immediately felt elation, which was promptly followed by a slight twinge of guilt. I have worked at a wonderful company for the past three years in Chicago–a company that took a chance on a new girl and truly let me make something special with my position, all the while being able to work with dogs! I am forever grateful to this company and the people there, and I will very much miss working with them. However, I felt the time coming when I could not continue on that path much longer.

In came a dear friend of mine who let me know that her workplace was hiring, and I took a chance by applying. This chance paid off, and I was offered a position very quickly! I am beyond ecstatic to have a position at a company that focuses on helping others while also providing its own employees with positions that help them live a balanced life. I am so incredibly excited to start on this new path, and I am so thankful not only for my friend Emily, but also for all of the people who helped me get to this point, including my most recent employer.

I am such a lucky person to have so many wonderful people and experiences in my life, professionally and personally, and I can’t help but think that the universe was leading me in this direction for a while.

After accepting my new position, another wave of change hit me very hard. My dog, Missy, who I have had since I was fifteen years old, passed away very suddenly the day after my mom arrived to visit me in Chicago. Missy was my true animal soulmate, and we went through so much together. She was with me throughout all of my education (high school, college, and graduate school). She was there when Sam and I got married and moved all across Middle Tennessee and eventually to Illinois. She was the matriarch of a brood of dogs we had at one time, all of whom have now passed away.

Lauren Missy Sam 10 Years

Missy, Sam, and I celebrating her adoptaversary 4 years ago.

Her absence is deeply felt in my life, and nothing will ever replace or repair the hole she left in my heart. I had the privilege of caring for her for over thirteen years in this existence, and she will forever be a part of me. She was truly one of a kind–a special girl who made an impression on everyone she ever met.

Through all of this change–leaving one position, accepting and starting another, losing my beloved furbaby and doggy soulmate–I have been on a true “rollercoaster” of emotions during this second month of 2018. What has been so evident to me throughout the highs and lows, however, is how many fantastic and caring people I have in my life. From the people who gave such glowing referrals to my new company that I teared up listening to their voicemails, to the people who commiserated with me and shared in the grief of Missy’s passing, I have been reminded that I have led a full, fun, and fortunate journey through this world.

Every experience in my life has led me to this moment, and whatever the next wave brings, I am glad to be here, living it with Sam, our kitty Mister, and whatever furry creatures may enter our lives in the years to come. I’m also glad to be living this life with you, whoever you are. May the waves crash gently for both you and me in the times to come.

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