December 21, 2011 – DAY 21 | Starting Over: Starting over is not always easy especially when your life comes to a crashing halt and everything changes. There was a time I found myself standing on the rubble of the life I once knew. The world had collapsed around me and nothing was familiar. Nothing was as I had hoped or planned it to be. My life needed to be rebooted.
Growing up in Key West in the 1980s, I remember the Mariel Cuban Boat lift in which 125,000 Cubans fled the Castro regime to start their lives over in America. I remember standing on a street corner as an immigration bus went by with newly arrived Cubans. I could hear them stomping their feet on the bus floor and chanting viva America! They were elated to be free from an oppressive government. Coming to American meant new hopes and dreams; but more importantly it meant starting over.
My father was a Sheriff’s Deputy Reservist working security at the boat docks where the immigrants arrived. He had an amazing front row seat to history. Most of the Cubans arrived with no more than the clothes on their backs and what they could carry. An elderly woman got off a boat and kissed the ground. When she passed my dad she was clinging to her only earthly possession, a brown paper sack. She stopped, looked at my dad with tears in her eyes, smiled and handed it to him saying in Spanish I don’t need this anymore, and walked away. In the bag was the culmination of hope for a better life. It was a small American Flag with 48 stars.
You can start over no matter the circumstances. Some days you will need people around to hold you up and keep you moving. Some days you may need a symbol like that flag to focus you on overcoming your circumstances. It is ok to admit you can’t do it alone.
Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.