I like to think of life as a series of sequential phases or acts. The acts are not always neat and clear-cut, but often proceed in a linear fashion. Act 1 is the time of childhood, adolescence and early adulthood when we’re in school: learning; experimenting; and establishing ourselves. Act 2 is the time of coupling and accumulation: we begin our careers and double-down on them; find our partners and start families; and nest in our homes.
Then, after our families are grown, when our careers are winding down, we grow into our Act 3 lives. This is the time of re-alignment to our calling: we excavate and confirm our passions (some back-burnered to accomplish Act 1 and 2); identify our unique, personal, life missions; and do the work to live aligned to them, however that makes sense to us.
For me, the end of Act 2 arrived unexpectedly and all at once when I was laid off from my corporate job three years ago. At that time, through lots of soul searching and support from my partner, I promised myself I would use this ending as the beginning into my Act 3, mission-aligned life. Even so, the end of Act 2 was a dark time filled with pandemic uncertainty and layoff blues (no one wants to go out that way).
Then the most amazing thing happened. Just as my last corporate workday came to a close, as I gazed out my studio window, a rainbow arced over Frederick’s Hill. And I knew everything was going to be OK. Three years later I am more convinced of that than ever.
PS - Please excuse the low technical fidelity of this photo taken with my iPhone camera. In this case, the relevance exceeds the means.