How I Let Go of a Dream and Found a New Calling

Are you facing a challenge or feeling stuck? It is emotionally draining to be in a position where you don’t know what your next move should be. I have experienced letting go of a dream and through that struggle learned to appreciate how impasses can leave you immobilized. I went from knowing what my grand plan was and the steps to get there, to having no idea where my life journey was headed. It was unsettling and I felt like I was lost in the forest, looking around and unsure of which direction to go.

My Career as an Artist

This is how I felt a decade ago when I had to let go of my career and identity as a professional jewelry artist. For twenty years, I had loved the process of creating jewelry. I would wander outdoors sketching in my garden. Drawings turned into three-dimensional wax carvings, which were cast into gold and refined until they became the tiny sculptures I had envisioned. Every day as I designed necklaces, I played with silver, gold, sparkly precious gems and pearls. In contrast to this beauty, my hands looked like they belonged to a car mechanic, always covered in polishing compound and grime. I loved the transformation of taking an idea and translating it into a miniature piece of wearable art. And I loved working with a torch and hammers to craft a pair of delicate earrings.

Unfortunately, incurable tendonitis developed in my elbow. After trying to treat it for many years, I realized that I couldn’t continue working with my hands. The chronic pain was exhausting, sapping my energy and making it difficult to do basic things like folding laundry. Even though I was willing to give up the laundry, carrying my daughters and chopping vegetables were not optional.

Looking back, the signs to my next career as a coach were there, I just hadn’t seen them yet. While beading a necklace, I would talk to friends about their dilemmas and problems. This happened almost every day and enlivened my long hours in the studio. I began to look forward to these calls as much as I did to creating my next pendant.

Since I loved these connected conversations, I decided to take a leap and work with a life coach. She helped me let go of jewelry making and embrace a new career in life coaching. I was held accountable for establishing my new business and supported emotionally. Her coaching helped me to counteract perfectionistic tendencies that were useful when setting an amethyst in a ring, but slowed me down when writing emails. She helped me define my priorities and I began to make daily choices that were aligned with what mattered most to me.

Same Themes, New Opportunities

Seedpods frequently inspired my artwork. Beneath their simple beauty is the mysterious power to become a resplendent orchid or a towering redwood. This metamorphosis was a theme that I captured in my charms and pendants. Now, when I coach a client from frustration to empowerment, I see a similar metamorphosis as they grow and blossom. Everyone has a vibrant seed inside of them, waiting to be nurtured.

Walk Through the New Door

If you’re facing a big change in life, you don’t have to go through it alone. It’s natural to feel resistance to the unknown and to be overwhelmed by your next step. I like to think of change as closing one door, but also the opening of a new one. Let the old door close; walk through the new one. You will find strengths and skills that you didn’t know you had and wake up each day with clarity.


Rebecca Reimers Cristol