Shifting Gears

shifting gears

Facebook is funny. It just started this thing where it shows you things you posted on this day last year and the years prior. Sometimes I don’t need a reminder – I just want to leave those memories in the distant past. But I recently came across a post of mine from 3 years ago that said: I shift more gears than a 4-speed Yugo in rush hour traffic. And I still feel this way. Shifting gears has become more of a way of life for me than something that happens occasionally. I am no stranger to change.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I have been an entrepreneur for a while. Last Fall, I felt the need to shift out of my business model and into something new – I just wasn’t sure of what that was. I had a few ideas of things I wanted to pursue but nothing really made a spark. So I started job hunting – heavily. The past five months of me looking for a job have been so taxing. I hate job hunting! I could honestly write a whole blog entry on that alone, but I’ll digress and get to the point. Sometimes we have to submit to change in order to get where we should have been all along. And sometimes God will lead us back down paths we thought we had abandoned to get out of us what He put in us. We can either traverse around the mountain another time or two or we can submit. But whatever He intended and whatever experiences we go through on the journey will inevitably be used somehow. Nothing is wasted when it is in God’s hands. Follow me.

A little over 10 years ago, I left Texas to move back to Chicago to go to graduate school. At the time, I had a passion for media, mentoring teen girls, and investing. I was actively pursuing distinct courses in each of these. While in grad school, I realized my knack for entrepreneurship. I never quite fit in corporate culture, no matter how hard I tried to. Along the way, I allowed life and circumstances to throw me off course. I have learned so much about myself and gained so many invaluable experiences – even though what I initially set out to do was not fully accomplished. I have tried my hand at some of everything – nothing except my business kept my attention or fueled me to keep going. I kept shifting gears to find out what I was supposed to be doing. I always need a reason bigger than myself to pursue anything. It can’t just be about Chanelle – I’m not that vain.

Fast forward to last week. I had a huge aha moment. I thought about the things I love to do – what I would do for free and what keeps coming back to me. It’s the same things I was passionate about when I left here over 10 years ago. I thought about media and communications, mentoring teen girls, investing and entrepreneurship.  Hindsight really is 20/20. I didn’t have anything tangible other than energy to give to any of these causes then. No wonder I burned out so fast. I had a lot of raw passion with no experience or grounding to give to the causes. It took me to wander in the wilderness, try to put my hand to everything else I could, stumble, fall, and pick myself back up again to have the wisdom only life can provide. I can read a million books, study and have 10 degrees but without application it means nothing.

I have been so ashamed because I wasn’t what I wanted to be. I wasn’t settled into a career. I wasn’t as successful as I wanted to be by my own standards. I kept shifting gears over and over and I know my family and friends probably thought I was flighty. The truth is, I needed everything I went through. Nothing is wasted when it is in God’s hands.

Allow me to encourage you. You may not be where you want to be. You may have to take 10 steps backwards after taking 5 forward. Your vision may be cloudy. Life and its bipolar circumstances may have you off course. Take the time to settle yourself and dig deeper into who you are and what you really love. At your core, you are uniquely and wonderfully made. Fit together for God’s divine purpose. Outside of purpose, you will always feel like something is missing or disjointed. Life is too short to spend it being miserable. If you have to shift gears, don’t be afraid. You’re in great company.


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Written by Chanelle

A predictably unpredictable, smart & witty Christ follower who loves entrepreneurship, serving and encouraging others and bursting into fits of uncontrollable laughter.

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