Time to Fly

E. Wright Counseling & Consulting, LLC. Established in Hawai’i 2022/ Established in Virginia 2016

How does a young bird know when to step out of the nest and fly? Well, the answer is in the preparation. They are nourished. They flap their wings to build their muscles. They stand and let the wind course through their wings. They watch others. They hop. They test their wings some more. Ultimately, when the time comes…some jump, some are pushed and some experience a combination of the two. I am one of the later types of birds, mostly because I’m stubborn. The simultaneous push and jump have freed me from my nest, and I am flying by the power of my own wings.

I am proud to announce that I am now my own boss and business owner! The events of the last several years have prepared, pushed and prompted me to live my dreams. I am now starting my flight.

My original dream was planted one crisp, cool and fall Virgina day at my family’s home….

One particular day of my 7th grade year, I came home in a terrible mood. Crying, I launched myself on my puffy comforter, burying my face and wailed, “everyone else knows what they want to be and do when they grow up and I still don’t!” This wail was still crystal clear in the folds of the floral fluff. My father kindly smiled and gently stated that I was 12 years old, and I’d have a long time to figure it out. I continued protest, “No! I need to know now! Everyone else knows! I want to make a difference! I want my life to mean something! I want to help kids and people who feel unseen or experience the injustice like you did growing up!” “Like me?” my father questioned. “Yes, like you! Remember how you’ve told me all the stories of what school was first like for you? Or what it was like being in the boy scouts, and how people were mean to you and treated you differently because you were black?! It’s not fair, and it isn’t fair that everyone thinks I’m weird because I’d rather be at the forest then going to the mall.” My father continued to smile, rub my back in circles and offered silence. He must have known that this tirade was fueled by a complicated social exchange between middle school students, but he let me continue. I defiantly raged on…”I want to have a nature school! A school for people who learn differently or are different. I want people to feel safe to learn and treated well. I want people to enjoy nature and be creative. I want us to have fun and for people to feel they belong. I want people to realize that they are capable of anything they want to do in life!” In that brief moment, I had captured and expressed the essence of what I wanted to do with my life. I had NO idea that the idea of starting a business and creating an environment would remain my lifetime goal, but it has remained steadfast. That day, the seed of my future was planted within the whirlwind of my tears.

Over the next few decades, I had the opportunity to be nourished by others and have my wings tested. I was nurtured by an understanding of trauma, inclusion, diversity and mindfulness work. I understood why scientific, healing and creative work are important to me. I’ve practiced flapping my wings on the tree of stability, where 8-5 p.m. work is standard. Each position I took, I gravitated to leadership positions. I started at the zoo as an educator, became the manager. I started as a teacher with no formal teaching background, became teacher of the year twice and asked to apply to be a principal. I started as a post graduate student within a state department and rose to becoming a manager and trainer. Each time, my goal was to shape systems and to support people in doing essential work. My last position was my dream job working for an agency. I loved and enjoyed the fact that I finally reached the ability to shape systems and create environments for thriving. Yet, each position I held brought me closer to the knowledge that my original dream…creating my own business…which never went away.

When a bird is both pushed and jumps from the nest, it is usually a result of timing and circumstance. This is the right time for me to move forward into my own soaring. I look forward to this next phase of my life as I do focus on empowering and supporting others on their own journeys. I’m excited to go on this adventure and I hope you find inspiration to fly on your own terms.

Link to my Psychology Today if you are interested in learning more about my therapeutic offerings. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/ellen-s-wright-pearl-city-hi/325942?preview=1&return_to=https%3A%2F%2Fmember.psychologytoday.com%2Fus%2Fprofile

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