This past year has been eventful, boring, inspirational, defeating, exhausting, confusing, frustrating, enlightening and all in all, a year full of discovery. When 2011 began I was uncomfortably working in the finance world, something I should add, I am very good at, but loathe entirely. I had made this a career path about five years before, and had somehow mistakenly confused banking and finance with what my real passion in life is, which is this (and a whole bunch of other artsy fartsy dreams). By the time March rolled around I had decided that instead of working my way up this bureaucratic corporation, only to be mistreated and manipulated into further pitfalls, I would quit my job and start what I knew I should have been doing since leaving college 10 years ago.
Talk about a long shot, after months of trying to piece together my portfolio, trying to maintain and gain an audience for my written voice, I was almost exasperated and willing to work for free. It didn’t help that I had a surgery that turned into an utter nightmare, taking my once very active lifestyle and turning me into a slow moving, almost completely sedentary lobster. I had given up a lot after that, no running, no riding my new Townie Electra, no daily jaunts to the park and the beach with the boys, forget the marathon in October, forget hiking in Fintry with the kids, no skating, no skiing or attempting to. This was, and still is a huge thorn in my side (or leg, rather). Being active was a way for me to think freely, relive my stress, be alone with myself, bond with my boys, experience life, breathe in the air. So, I have had to readjust how I do almost all of these things. This is a bit of a kink.
2011 has also brought me to my knees in how I do things and how I look at myself. I always thought I knew me really well, until I decided to take a risk, a real one. Giving up a stable income during a terrible economic crisis would be considered stupid, and I did it with a mortgage, two children, a car payment and no real place to start. The first few months were liberating, followed by moments of remorse when I realized the only financial contribution I was making was finding money in the washing machine or in couch cushions. This was a blow to my provider ego. I relinquished this to my husband who still works his tail off, at yet another, bureaucratic organization that deplete human beings of their life and happiness, (insert curse word here). I digress, I was brought to my knees. I have learnt that happiness doesn’t come from feeling successful, having a zero balance on your visa,or taking exotic holidays to incredible little islands. I admit that these things can make for happy moments, prove to relive stress, but don’t make you happy, or me. I have learnt that happiness sometimes, just finds you, when you’re ready of course. I have learnt that when you finally give in to yourself, and decide that it is acceptable to you, to do what you really want, you will, in time be happy. It sort of just happens. I had spent months worrying about money, stressed about getting work, regretting quitting the job I hated, and trying to be happy and relaxed. It was too much. I decided that I should just take it in stride, one day at a time, one small micro-movement at a time, and see what happens. I stopped checking balances, looking for jobs that I would hate to work at, and just started doing what I love, writing, everyday, in some shape or form. I remembered what it used to be like not to see my kids for more than 2 hours a day, I remembered what it was like to stress over the company’s corporate practices, I remembered what I was like then. I shudder, I take a deep breath and plug away. I may not know myself completely, but I have years to do this, and I have made some great headway this year. Risks, discovery, acceptance and letting go of fear. Some good things really do come out of tricky situations. And to boot, someone found me, and asked me to write for them, for money. I did, and didn’t even go looking.
2012 is almost here and I can’t wait. I am day-dreaming about the kind of year my family and I will journey forth on, the kind of terrifically risky things I will attempt, and the fictitious and real adventures I will embark on. I think 2012 will really like me, and I will really like it back.
Salute to you all, may you flirt with possibility, discover who you really are and embark on whatever adventure fulfills your happiness cup.