Am I there yet?

What made me start this journey, and how do I know when I am where I want to be?  I started about 4 years ago when I felt like I was spinning my wheels.  I felt that so much of my energy was being expended and I was getting no where,  like a car stuck in thick mud.  I was frustrated, sad and angry as I saw other people driving happily by me who seemed to be driving with ease.  I felt like I was being left behind.  I am not sure where this feeling first came from, as it was no one event that made me feel this way but just a general sense of being hopeless and stuck that started to turn to sadness.   Since I didn’t really know why I was feeling so stuck, I didn’t know how to begin to solve it.  The only thing I knew for sure was that what I was currently doing was not working. So, I started to take trips to explore different options.   These weren’t exotic trips to Thailand to a meditation center, they were weekend trips to Los Angeles, San Francisco or a week in New York.  I just had the urge to see something new.  When traveling I would go to museums, new restaurants and attractions to expose myself to new stimulus to see what resonated with me. In the mornings I would get up,  have a huge cup of coffee and write about my experiences and feelings.  It wasn’t a planned journey,  I was literally shooting in the dark for something to click with me.  I was exposing myself to new things in hopes that I would say, ah-ha, that’s it, that is what I have been missing!  In order for me to take this journey, I needed this travel time and also needed my reflection time when I got back home.  So, I started to become more protective of my time.  I realized that if I spent my whole weekend stressing about a work situation or a friend drama that I wasn’t going to have time to reflect, write and figure out what I wanted.  So, I started to decline certain invitations to do things that I didn’t feel anything for. I stopped going to events where I was just standing there waiting for it to be over.  I slowly unwound certain friendships that I was the caretaker and just listening and not exploring myself.  I stopped participating in happy hours where the main topic was negative gossip that made me feel drained and hopeless.  I researched and found new events that looked interesting to me.  One of these was a  group of women entrepreneurs,  and even though I wasn’t technically an entrepreneur I attended.  I felt an attraction to  these women who were taking a risk and trying new things.  They were energetic and would give me new ideas and hope.  I formed new friendships by emailing women that I met as soon as I got home from these events in order to keep the dialogue going.  I joined Meetup groups and found some great friends that have become an important part of my life.  In each new interaction I did,  I did it with an open mind and speaking from the heart,  even though I could barely verbalize what I wanted.   I felt pretty silly saying, ‘I want to do something new but I am not sure what yet’.  But in saying that I was so surprised at how many women would smile knowingly, touch my arm and say, ‘I know exactly how you feel’.  This connection gave me courage and propelled me forward.  But what did I really want?  I had a good finance career and I didn’t want a new career but I needed something to fulfill my soul.  I have spent my career promoting my company and it’s services and I am good at it and enjoy it. Then one day I said to my friend, ‘I have all the skills to make something amazing happen, I have just been using them to promote and lift up others rather than myself.  What if I take those same skills that have made me successful in my career and turn them inward? ‘  It was a light bulb moment for me.  I could be my own manager of my artistic self.  I have both sides.  I am the introverted artist and bookworm, but I am also the risk taking extroverted career woman.  In combing these characteristics I can get unstuck from the mud.  This was my ah-uh moment.  Once I realized this,  I felt a rush of  energy  to move forward and not only was I unstuck, I was speeding down the street with ideas flowing out of me.  There were so many ideas though I couldn’t narrow down exactly the direction I wanted to go, but my overall theme was woman empowerment.   One of my new enthusiastic friends said that I should start a website to share and organize my ideas. So I decided to  start a blog/website by getting a domain name.   I had 3 sections with stock pictures in each section, just the bare bones of a website but Womanwhy was up and running. I gave myself a deadline to start my blog by January 1st, 2018, and my parameters were a weekly blog and a daily post to Instagram, and that was it.  I made that commitment to myself.  It didn’t matter what I wrote about or what I posted just as long as I did it.  And it began.  Not only did it begin, I converted my dining room into my writing room complete with a new paint job, a new computer,  and I claimed my space. Now that I made the commitment to myself it was easier to protect my time.  I have to write, so I need time to write, so other things that were less important to me had to go by the wayside.  When I started my Instagram I started taking pictures of buddhas and putting quotes underneath about what I was feeling. Then in March I had the urge to draw again so posted my first drawing of one of my fashion women.  I used to spend hours drawing pictures of women when I was a teenager and actually wanted to be a fashion designer.   I had completely forgotten about that side of myself.   I have had so many moments in this journey that I say, ‘oh yeah, I forgot about that’, or “yes, I remember now how much I loved that’.  But just by focussing on me, and taking my time back,  what is really important to me started to naturally come forward.  I recently attended a 2 day training conference for my finance job where we were randomly assigned with a group of 7 other people from around the country that we had to work with for the 2 days.  Before I started my journey I would have been so in my head about what they thought about me and how I should act.  But it was such a different experience now as I brought my full self to the table.  I asked them deep questions, and talked about myself freely and without embarrassment.  It felt so good to know myself well enough to not only participate but form 7 new friendships with the people in my group as we are all going to stay in touch.  It was a richer more authentic experience.  I started this journey with my ‘personal’ desires separate from my ‘work’ desires but at this conference they all blended together in an enriching amazing experience that made me see how far I have come.  The commitment I made to myself to spend time to get to know me again has been worth every single minute.  I am not there yet, but at least I am out of the mud.  And my journey continues…

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I always wonder if I am “there yet”! I would love to really love to find a passion that continues, rather than flitters away after I have done it for a while! I have tried so many hobbies, and each of them is fun for a while and then just becomes something else to do, not a passion. I am still interested in empty nester moms and lead that group, but sometimes it still feels like high school with these women. I so wish I had such a passion for life that you have found! Bless you!

    1. Thanks Leanne! I feel very blessed to have found something that fulfills a part of me when I do it. Writing is fun for me and I get excited to do my blog. Once it is done for the week I feel a release of energy and accomplishment. It is definitely feeding my soul. I think in finding this, the things that weren’t fulfilling me are naturally just going away because I am not focussing on them. I bet your empty nesters group was amazing as you are a great leader and good at getting and keeping conversations going. Maybe just keep going with that through the ups and downs if that is where your passion is. Love you!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey on opening your heart and for reminding us that that your happiness doesn’t depend on anything outside of YOU!

  3. Wow ~ I so get this. And it’s so hard to put into words for people to understand it and you have done just that. Since semi-retiring and moving to a completely different part of the country I have really resound my passion for photography and I’m finally at a point where I really don’t care what others think about me (at least for the most part). Thank you for putting into words how I’ve been feeling. I love your posts and your artwork. You are very talented.

    1. Thank you! I feel the same way, in getting older I am not so self conscious. I feel that the people who are interested in what I am doing will be supportive and if my writing or art doesn’t speak to to others, that is ok too. Keep up the photography, it is really good! Love you, Peta

  4. Wһen I originally commentеd I cⅼicked the
    “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and noѡ each timе a comment is added I get
    fⲟur emaiⅼs with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove mе from thɑt service?
    Many thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *