If we are talking about trends and statistics, I would say from a personal point of view that over the last ten years the word “CHANGE” would be the most popular and reoccurring word, followed by “LESSONS”, and finally “GROWTH”. All of the actions behind these words are still ongoing in my life and I hope that never changes. Life would get pretty boring without change and learning new things. Last year my word would have been “TRANSITION”. Change, growth and lessons were definitely components of the year as well, but transition would encapsulate the entire year. I spent a good portion of 2014 looking for a job. I was burned out, and disenchanted. As much as I hated the last job, which was nothing short of a soul sucking, bottomless pit of despair, once I was out, I had no idea what to do. When it came to work, I had spent so many years with the attitude of “the devil you know is better than the one you don’t”, that once I was free, I felt a little adrift, no strike that, I felt straight up directionless. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t shed one tear the day I got laid off. In fact, I couldn’t stop smiling, I was so relieved and happy. Sooner or later, however, that feeling of relief is replaced with the oh crap, what am I gonna do now
feeling. I didn’t panic. It wasn’t like I hadn’t been down this road a few times before, but this time felt a little different. In spite of that, I spent the next several months looking for and applying to jobs I didn’t want, simply because I knew that was what I was supposed to be doing. I had a life to pay for; a mortgage, a car, credit card debt…my options seemed very limited.Surprisingly though, those months weren’t all doom and gloom. I used some of that time to start being creative again. In November of 2013 I participated and completed the NaNo
– National Novel Writing challenge, which is to write a 50k word novel in a month. That got the creative juices flowing, and I continued writing and started adding some other creative projects like #100happydays
which involves posting a picture every day
for 100 days, of something that made you happy that day. Not an easy task some days, but SO worth the effort. It forces you to live in the moment. To stop and look around and think about how you are spending your time. It was very illuminating for me and healing in a way.I didn’t realize it until after I’d stopped working for awhile, how battered and bruised my soul felt. I know that may sound a little melodramatic, but it’s true. I had been so unhappy for so long that I didn’t even realize it. It had become my normal. My job search continued, and I continued to ignore that sense of dread I felt every time I thought about going back to the life I had before. I looked forward to the time when I could work on my projects. When I would be creating something.
At some point late Spring, early Summer, I still had no job, my unemployment had run out… I was really feeling like something had to change soon. I knew what some of the grim realities were if things didn’t change, but I refused to focus on them. I had faith that things would work out if I didn’t panic. I knew I had to find MY OWN way this time. I was finally beginning to realize why I was where I was, and I why I had been so unhappy for so long. I had spent years trying to conform. To fit me, a body and soul with wild, misshapen, messy, uncharted, unbound edges into the well delineated bounds of society. It was never a comfortable fit, but I didn’t know there was any other way. I did what I thought I was supposed to, like so many others do, but somehow it never quite worked out for me. Trying to be like everyone else, doing what I thought was expected, following rules that I placed on myself because I thought that’s the way it was supposed to be had crippled me in many ways.
One day in early Summer, I had an epiphany of sorts. I stopped ignoring the gnawing feeling in my gut, and the clawing at my heart that told me that life was, and should be, more than what I had and the way I had been living it. Why did I have to go back to that life? The thought instantly made me feel lighter, happier. Why hadn’t I thought of that sooner? Whose life was it anyway? Those questions opened the door to so many more, and started me on my next adventure. I started to really think about the life I wanted.
The first thought was that the life I wanted, had nothing to do with the life I had at that moment. I was living in a town I had no connections to, in a house that had been part of another dream. I decided it was time to sell the house. I spent most of the summer working on house projects to get it ready for market, and continued trying to shape my new life. By this time I had started an episodic “Sci-Fi Lite” blog called The Adventures of Catriona Allorn. I also started to learn more about social media and how I could use it. I started Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Bit by bit, I’m putting the pieces in place and building the foundation for the life I want, for the “me” I want. As I mentioned in my first post, my best laid plans never go quite as expected. The house has not sold, and for the time being is off the market. Looking for a job has become a priority once again, These are not unscalable barriers, just stumbling blocks that I will move past. Right now, I’m a fluid spirit, not yet formed. I’m letting the universe chart my course. I’m an undiscovered species, soon to be found, a clean slate ready for a new story. My word for 2015, is EMERGENT.