Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What Better Situation

“Don't surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn't true anymore.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things

It seems only fitting that the 1099 from the federal government would land in my inbox on the one year anniversary of my firing. That's the form I will need when I file my taxes because, despite a five month delay, I took unemployment from Uncle Sam.

One year. I can hardly believe it. I still remember with great discomfort the numbness I felt that day.

And now, one year later, here I am: keeping on keeping on. Good Lord, the things that have happened in just one year! Here I am.

I read "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed several years ago and loved it. So many times I found myself marking pages and quotes, hoping to remember them. The one that has stuck with me though is actually a pair of questions I ask myself often:

“Who would I be if I did? Who would I be if I didn't?"
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

I'd like to think I've done a lot of moving forward since I was terminated from a job I hated. I have a much better idea of who I am, what I want out of life, and maybe I'm even closer to getting it.

One thing is certain: I know what I don't want.

I don't want to spin my wheels. I don't want to stop moving forward. I don't want to end my days bitter and frustrated by how I spent the first nine hours. I don't want to be a negative force in the world, though I seriously struggle with staying positive sometimes. I don't want to dismiss those with different opinions than mine, and I don't want to be judged for my views.

The mantra I put forward one year ago was that I want whatever I do to be something I can be proud of. Looking back over the past twelve months, I'm proud to say I've done just that.

I have found a place where I am a student and a teacher. I learn something new every day from the people I'm surrounded by, and I am invited to share my own experiences as well. It's an enriching way to be, and my life is greater because of it.

What better situation is there? Who would I be if not for this sweet life?

So what's next? I have a few projects in the works. One of my resolutions this year is to build better deadlines for myself so I can focus on the plans that are important to me. We'll see how that goes!

“Don't lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don't have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don't know what it is yet.” 
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things


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