The Nourishment Starts on the Inside

In an effort to mark the growth in my life, I like to occasionally review old essays and see the ways my life has changed; good, bad or indifferent. On Saturday, January 13, 2007, I re-posted this essay originally written circa 2001.

More old words – Amazing how some things never change

The nourishment starts on the inside.  When we tell ourselves and others the truth, and identify what we really want and need, we are nourishing ourselves. ~

I sense the futility of my life and my own lack of bravery.  I dream of greatness, but I fear to leave my safe white-walled apartment.  The box in which I dwell has begun to suffocate me.  I feel as though I’m floating in limbo, unaware of where I am heading.  I want to experience adventure and full-blown passion, yet I cannot leave my home.  I am stuck in a rut of the details of my life.  I look at myself, as if outside my own body, and I see myself wasting the precious life I have been given.  I know that is the greatest of all my sins, yet I do not know where to begin.

I dream of hopping on a plane to anywhere but here, and yet, I never purchase the ticket.  I want a new life, but the responsibilities I have prevent me from moving forward.  I keep telling myself that once this thing or that passes I will begin to live my life.  What happens if I die before those things happen, will my life have been fruitless?  Where is the meaning?  I want not to live in fear.

I want to love without apology and without fear.  I want to travel the world and share it with a man I love and who loves me as I am.  I want not to own him nor have him own me.  I want to acknowledge that we are both our own free souls and that we are complete without one another, but are together out of a mutual decision to share the joys of this world and share our personal perspectives.

I want to control my own destiny.  To decide what it is and to move forward with the confidence that I can and will make my life all I want it to be.  I want a clear perspective.  I want to quit letting life just happen to me.  I want to look in the mirror and see a reflection of everything I truly am, to accept the beauty and embrace the flaws and acknowledge that they are all part of me and all worthy of true love.

I want to not edit everything I feel and think and want and need.  I want to be free to want what I want without feeling selfish or undeserving.  I want the freedom to ask for what I need, to be loved and to love another.  I want to not always act nobly, especially when it flies in the face of what I really want and need.

I want to accept my past and feel no more shame and to move on to my future with no regrets.  I want to be open to new opportunities and recognize love when it comes my way.  I want to trust again.  I want to freely give myself over to love and not live in fear of possible heartbreak.  I want to let things come as they may, and accept them as part of the cycle of life.

I want to read between the lines, to find the truth in every situation.  I want to not be afraid of the truth.  I want to say what I think, feel, and mean without hesitation or fear of judgment.

In 2007, it seemed as though not much had changed, I still longed for the plane ride to “anywhere but here”. I believe I was more open, more honest, but still not near where I wanted to be. That was the year, oddly enough, when my world was, in essence, turned upside down. Shortly after the posting, I was laid-off from my job of 4 years, without any notice, and was completely blindsided. I had previously never been fired, or left a job outside my own volition, so, to say I was shocked is an understatement.

I ended up taking a position with a small town non-profit business association. Immediately I was making $30,000 less per year than I had made at my previous job, so needless to say, my life changed drastically. I had become very comfortable in my life with a good salary and benefits, and in a single moment, all of that was gone. I, along with my children, whom I was raising alone and without child-support, had to start the arduous task of down-sizing. “No” and “I’m sorry” became two of the most frequent phrases I used with my children. Amazingly, I found it to be absolutely true, that when I told them the truth about our situation, they adjusted. They found ways to make it easier. They learned to need/want less.

In addition to the financial issues, I found myself in an environment for which I was not fully prepared. I had in my life encountered office politics, but that is a vastly different scenario than dealing with the politics of government and political officials. While I had the marketing experience and the business management experience necessary for the job, I don’t think I was well-equipped to deal with all the hidden agendas, and self-serving individuals I was to encounter. Thankfully, I adapt and more than that, I generally adapt quickly. Adaptation served me well, and I believe that when all is said and done, I was able to meet and create life-long friendships with some truly wonderful people. I learned a great deal about leadership and being the type of leader  I respect and I want to be, and not the type we so often see in the political realm. I was able to create new community programs that continue to flourish long after my departure and see growth from the seeds I planted.

After four years in the public sector, I was blessed to return to the private sector and the storage industry, where I have been able to re-connect with some truly exceptional human beings. I have a job that allows (forces) me to travel, so I quite frequently am on a plane to “anywhere but here”. While there are still a few white walls in my house, I do feel brave, I do feel passionate about a great many things and I do feel like I am fully and completely living my life on my terms.

A wise woman once said, when asked if a woman really can have it all: “Yes, just not all at the same time.”

It took some time, and many many chapters in the book of my life, but somehow, when I add it all together, I really do believe that I really do have it all.

Amazing how some things REALLY DO change.

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