I have lost touch with a couple of people I used to be. – Joan Didion
What if I just painted without caring about the end result?
What if I didn’t have to worry about details, correct proportions, lines, composition, lighting?
What would my paintings look like if I did it just for fun? Went outside the lines?
Sometimes, you gotta ask life similar questions:
What if I started living different than other people’s expectations?
What if I started listening to myself on what’s best, instead of other people’s opinions?
How will I ever know where I need to go and what I need to do, if I don’t let go of what’s hindering me?
What if I took that leap of faith? After all, its not the end of the world…till it’s the end of the world.
Of course there are several events that lead to where I am today, but December 2013 when I left a certain job is what started major changes in my life. I knew it was needed and I was ready to take on that challenge. And yes I say challenge! Because as much as those changes were wanted and needed and exciting…it also meant a major amount of transitions, rearranging, and mental/emotional strength to withstand the opposition and self-doubt.
At the time, I got responses ranging from “good for you” to “oh okay, well good luck” to “are you sure this is a good idea?” (in other words “Anne are you nuts??”). What bothered me the most were responses that felt more like I was being patted on the head and told “oh Anne, its gonna be okay.” (What am I, 10 years old??)
So now what?? I left my job, left my church, and eventually put my house up for sale with the intention to leave town. I went back to school for a while and worked a couple part-time jobs in totally different fields than I’ve done before. In the meantime, I am keeping my eyes and ears and mind open waiting for my inner spirit to tell me where to go and what to do next.
So why did I do all this? Believe me, it was not impulsive, all these decisions were difficult to make and were given a lot of consideration and planning. After all, who wants to leave their “comfort zone,” what they have known for years? But for me, that “comfort zone” held a lot of emotional pain. I tried very hard over the previous 5 years to adjust/ fix/help each situation. I redecorated the house, tried to make new friends at church, got involved in the community, continued painting and find opportunities to display it, whatever I thought could help. Eventually all the adjustments I made were no longer enough to keep me there, or just plain only helped temporarily. Finally being completely honest with myself, I totally disliked my job, my house, the city I lived in, even the school that my youngest son attended. I was tired of just merely surviving this life. I realized the only way to completely heal and move forward was to physically let go of these things. Again and again the question kept coming back to me “Why hold on to something that is only hindering me?? I know deep inside that I am not meant to be here anymore, so why am I still here?? Will there ever be a right time to leave??”
Trust me, if you have ever had these questions continue in your mind and heart for years, you know what I mean. And if you are like me, who is always looking to expand horizons, think outside of the box, resourceful, determined, and has learned to become less fearful of changes…you will find a way.
And I was sure God would not just kick me to the curb either.
Fast forward to 2016 – I now live in a different city in a nice community with more opportunities available for myself and my youngest son. We live in a better house close to a school that is much better for my son. We have a new church home. My artwork has been blessed and continues to be a source for enjoyment, having more opportunities to share it and be part of my ministry. I now have a full-time job where the environment is much better for me. (yes I do miss my last job as a Buyer and some of the people there, and the pay/benefits was more than what I make now – but those things don’t override the difficult environment and emotional pain tied to it). Much healing has happened that only could as a result of leaving, and I can positively say I made the right decision to “get the heck out of Dodge.”
Sure, there made have been situations along the way that I could have handled a little differently…and trust me, I still tend to beat myself up for those things. But I did them on my own. I made the decisions on my own, and I dealt with the consequences on my own. It takes on different meaning and requires a ton of inner strength when there isn’t another person in the trenches with you to help keep persevering.
And God did not kick me to the curb…He has been with me the whole time.
Even though I am in a much better position in life now, this is not the end of the road, this is not where it stops. I am liking my life and getting settled, but I have my eyes and ears and heart open to whatever lies ahead.
To heck with those along the way who didn’t believe in me!! But then again, your negativity may have helped spur me on to prove you wrong.
Forget the rules!! Here’s to having a fierce streak of determination, and holding on faithfully to a vision that only I can see 🙂