2013 has been, and continues to be, quite an interesting year for me…
I was fortunate to see the year in, in the arms of the love of my life – no delusion there. He absolutely is the LOVE of my life. It’s enlarged like that, not only to draw attention to how significant a love it is or how powerful a love it is, but because I opened myself up to experiencing it no matter the risks… and what did I find? I found a very genuine love – one that emerged so readily and spontaneously. The kind of love that seems to whack you up side the head, you shocked at its force, and yet solidifies itself within you – real and profound.
And do you know what is even greater about that love? He felt it in precisely the same way and caution, it was thrown to the wind, as we accepted this feeling for exactly what it is – the unbreakable connection between two people who have found common delights in each other and a strong desire to build a future together.
My good fortune continued as the group of girls I had so quickly come to rely on, strengthened in the bond and love we shared. These girls, my friends, my chosen sisters … stood by my side through the initial joys of new love – where you feel like a Disney princess singing in the forest, through the precarious state of my employment, through the challenges we face as families, and through the battles we have with ourselves.
My relationship with myself, however, was troubled at times. Most of the time. I was grappling with making a commitment to me – to my development – to my happiness. How could I be struggling with this? I had so much to be thankful for. A love, a group of friends, a family who supports me. Losing my job at the end of February felt like the downward spiral of the roller-coaster ride I had been on – a sheer drop into the oblivion – in my case, a severe melancholy. To feel so unstable … the uncertainty about my future more real with each day that passed that did not bring news of a plan or an opportunity, was a very difficult emotion to experience. I tried my best to feel positive about my situation – here was an opportunity to re-do me, to start something new, to do something for myself, to make a choice for myself. Instead, I was depressed by the situation and the supposed, yet very real to me, lack of opportunity.
Debit orders! How was I going to honour my commitment to them? My financial priorities plagued me and I considered the option of being tied up in a personal loan and it didn’t sit well with me at all. I needed to find a better way. While this was all happening, my car decided to give up on me. It threw its proverbial toys, or pistons, out of the cot and decided to stage a sit-in … in my driveway. I immediately felt less independent, less mobile, with this sudden stripping of a convenience I had so enjoyed.
But, Lauren, my dear – life is not all that bad. It was this constant reminder of other people, some I admire greatly, who experience and had overcome greater adversity, bigger struggles. Why was I feeling so down on my luck? So, despite me throwing the most lavish pity-party for one, I continued to fight through the heavy emotions that were making me look past the blessings in my life… I persevered, and it was difficult. A part of me still wanted to maintain the luxuries I had enjoyed and not because I needed them or wanted to, but I feel that perhaps subconsciously, I was trying to paint a picture, for others, to show that it actually wasn’t that bad! So I went out for dinner with the girls once or twice… I contributed to big birthday parties and gifts for my loved ones… all the while stressing about how I was going to make it to that dreaded debit order date. Not once, did I pause, and think about this support system that I am so lucky to have – a group of people who would completely understand if I all I could put out on the table was lots of tea and maybe a few biscuits… who would completely understand that I was not able to go out, but would happily hang out with me at home … who would help me if I needed it.
So I asked. I asked for the understanding… the support… the help. Things I absolutely had access to and maybe it was my pride that held me back … this overwhelming need to do things for myself – a self-sabotaging need for uninhibited independence. Suddenly, things started to look up. My inbox was inundated with job notices that were emailed to me each morning… without fail. There were calls made to friends and colleagues that resulted in requests for my CV. There were people who were suddenly thinking and connecting with me in mind… and it was beautiful and overwhelming. This support. This love! And it was all for me. How blessed am I?
The opportunities started rolling in – I started doing some temporary work as I waited for that big break. I now looked forward to that dreaded debit order date because I knew I was covered. My car was being fixed… her sit-in finally over. I was working hard and long and it was healthy for me. I was starting to ‘find’ myself again. Here was that person who had spark and ambition and purpose. I was finding the balance. My relationship was strong, my friendships and family relationships equally so. Yet, there was still that “me” bit that I needed to take care of. Because, while I was able to get back into the swing of things and start building a career for myself, there was the problem of my passions that were still not being addressed. I feel that it is really important to have something that you do or have just for you … and I was missing that. Don’t get me wrong – I was definitely not ungrateful for the incredible support and opportunities that came my way. I acknowledge and am extremely thankful for them. However, the effort I put into my relationships with others, and in doing things for others, completely surpassed and overshadowed the effort I put into me. I was still craving that ownership and implementation of something completely Lauren.
It made me look deeper within myself … to look at the things I felt passionate about and how I could incorporate that into my work, and if not my work, then definitely my life. I opened myself up to more opportunities. There was something about the age-old “put your desires out there and the universe will provide” adage that really resonated with me. I read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, again because it has always motivated me to really see what is in front of me and within me and then I stumbled across a novel that surprised me in how much I took from it – Rayda Jacobs’ Masquerade.
That novel turned a light on in my head and aimed it towards the dark corner where I had placed all my other hopes and dreams – illuminating them, drawing my attention to them, the glare a harsh reminder that I had been neglecting this dark corner for a while. Here it was. I want to be a writer – so, I am going to be a writer. Simple as that. Whether what I write is even any good, is not the point. It’s something I enjoy, that I love, that someday, I will do on a full-time basis. Because it is something that burns from within me … that brings me an immense amount of joy to do and that I feel is absolutely my calling. If it’s just myself that I am writing for, then I shall be my greatest audience, and a happy one at that.
There I was, completely lost and in the distance saw myself walking forward… and I followed.