Great Changes are Preceded by Chaos

Right now, I am living my life off of check lists. As I prepare to close one chapter of my life and begin a new one, that (as it turns out) requires quite a lot of… planning.

And so I keep a running check list of things that must get done:

o Create summaries for all of my cases at work (so the new paralegal can take over)

o Look for an apartment

o Interview potential roommates

o Sign a lease

o Send a check for a security deposit

o Attend placement auditions at school

o Solidify school schedule

o Ask for overrides, then sit and wait, and wait, and wait

o Interview for new dance jobs

o Solidify dance jobs (pay, hours, classes)

o Buy individual health insurance (for which I was denied, thanks to knee surgery!)

o Look for health insurance somewhere else

o Donate clothes

o Figure out what of clothes/furniture/books/shoes is going and what is staying

o Book private lessons and summer dance intensives

o Prepare classes and choreography

This check list requires massive amounts of coffee, white-out (for when I’ve scheduled something only to have to re-schedule it), gasoline (for traveling back and forth between cities), deep breaths, my support system of family and friends, and strong doses of faith.

I keep reminding myself that “All great changes are preceded by chaos.” I repeat that to myself often. Many times I do so after I’ve made myself tea and I’m sitting there trying to clear my head of miscellaneous thinking… I prefer the leather ballet shoes, so I’ll take those… Did I water that plant?… I need to fold laundry… What is that noise?… I’m pretty sure the guy on Breaking Pointe is crazy for not signing his dance contract…

But then I make myself stop thinking. I, instead, make myself start breathing. Because I know what I’m doing is right. I know with all of my heart. This is my calling. This is the meaning to my life, and this is exactly the question I’m supposed to spend my life answering: “How will you, Sheena Jeffers, make dance positively affect the lives of others in your community?”

Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, a design consulting firm, once said, “I spent too much of my career feeling like I’d done a really good job answering the wrong question. And that was because I was letting other people give me the question.”

Now that I’ve discovered my own personal, Sheena-Jeffers-specific question, I can begin living my life answering my own question. That is huge. There are days when I’m overwhelmed by the responsibility that comes with my Sheena-Jeffers-specific question, but there are also beautiful moments where I feel nothing buy pure joy.

Photo by: Rick Bancroft Photography

Now, whenever I’m feeling stressed about why someone hasn’t called me back or where the heck is that e-mail I’ve been waiting for?! I make myself stop and breathe and think of everything lovely.

Like this: I was recently featured in Grid Magazine as a Richmonder in their LIVE BOLD section!

My photo and my story of bringing awareness to Arts Education in Richmond ran right next to the photograph and story of VCU President Michael Rao! *Enter huge happy dance here*

When awesome things like this happen… I am reminded why I love what I do so very much! How lucky am I to have a job that helps change lives? But also, this served as a reminder to me to CONTINUE TO LIVE BOLD!

Sometimes the momentum can be too much. Sometimes people don’t believe in me. Sometimes I doubt. But then, I remember… my question, my dream, my goals.

Bring it on chaos. I will live bold!

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One response to “Great Changes are Preceded by Chaos”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this. I am also going through a huge change right now, and feel almost exactly the way you feel. If I can get through this chaos then maybe things will work out just fine. I will remember your post so that I will be encouraged to persevere. You and I can both make it. By the way, congrats on being featured in Grid magazine!

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