You know the scene: Aladdin and Jasmine flying through the night sky batting their big bright starry eyes at each other singing about finding a whole new world. Every time I watch that scene it brings tears to my eyes. I’ve been fortunate enough to find a whole new world, at this time in my life; unfortunately, my new world doesn’t involve a prince, a flying carpet, or a magic genie (I wish, right?!), but it is oh so much better than it was a couple of years ago. You see, two years ago I found myself standing along a stream in the mountains, staring up through the trees, balling my eyes out. At that moment, in that place, I dropped all acts, all pretense, and had a real heart to heart with myself.
I had reached a point in life where I had done everything I thought I was supposed to. You see, I thought I had everything I wanted. Career, husband, house, two kids, dog, cat, and the oh so popular mini-van. What did I have to complain about? I tried to tell myself over and over again to be grateful and appreciate what I had. Slowly, oh so slowly though I began to realize I didn’t have what I wanted, I had what my adult self had fallen into. What she felt was expected of her. Since I was a kid, I felt like I had to be a working career Mom. Que the Enjoli perfume commercial in my head:
“I can put the wash on the line, feed the kids, get dressed, pass out the kisses and get to work by 9. ‘Cause I’m a Woman, Enjoli! I can bring home the Bacon! Enjoli. Fry it up in a Pan! Enjoli. And Never, Never, Never let you forget You’re a Man! Cause I’m a Woman! Enjoli!”
Unbeknownst to me I had become this commercial. Trying so hard to please everyone around me, but losing myself along the way. Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of successful working Mom’s out there, and believe me I tried my best to keep the pace, but ultimately, I reached a point where I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. My life had become unrelenting work deadlines, gridlock traffic, an endless barrage of managing the kid’s school activities, and extracurricular activities, plus trying to keep bills paid on time, doctor’s appointments made and kept, the house from disappearing beneath piles of junk mail and laundry, and squeezing in some “quality” family time in the mix. After twenty years, I was simply exhausted. I found myself starting to lash out at people around me. My husband, boss, kids, and quite frankly anyone who needed anything from me. One more request from anyone needing me to do something for them could send me spiraling out of control.
I tried my best to get my feelings under control. I saw a therapist, who advised I should take time for myself to do hobbies and things I enjoyed. This of course, sent me into a frenzy. How could I possibly squeeze me time in? She didn’t know what she was talking about. She didn’t understand. Or did she? I ran across a quote on Pinterest a few months ago:
“Ignoring your passion is a slow suicide.”
I realize now, this is exactly what was happening to me. I was muddeling through my everyday life, but I wasn’t taking time to enjoy things I was passionate about. My younger self had always been artistic. I had spent many a rainy afternoon as a child with my drawing pad. I had also loved to write. I was shy and afraid to put my inner thoughts and feelings out for the world to see, but I still loved to create characters, plots, and scenes in my head. Many a night as an adult, I would lay awake with story lines playing out in my head. Then 5:30 would come and that dreaded alarm clock would bring me back to reality. But the truth is, if you are given a passion for something, and you ignore it, it will claw, and kick, and scream until you have no choice but to pay attention, or it will slowly eat away at your soul.
This brings me to the heart to heart with myself by the mountain stream. I promised myself then and there I would find the time to pursue the things I loved. Those things were: Myself, my family, and my passions. When I got back from my trip I talked to my husband about making changes, and laid out a game plan. Two years later things seem to have just fallen into place. I think in that moment, my heart knew exactly what I needed, and once I finally acknowledged that inner voice, the universe went to work on my behalf. An opportunity arose for us to move back home closer to family and friends and we took it. We now live in a small town in the country, and my commute is from my bedroom to my office. We eliminated all unnecessary expenses, and we live very frugally now, but I am happier than I have been in quite sometime.
I left the crazy rat race I had stumbled into, and now spend my days with the kids, trying my best to nurture their inner talents and passions. I also decided to go back to school to learn Web Design (exploring the artistic side) and I have begun writing. Finally, taking time to get the stories bouncing around in my head out. I might be the only one to every see them on paper, but at least they will be out of my head. Once I started writing again, the words just flowed. I just finished Chapter 14 of a book I am working on, before I got on here tonight. I also started this blog as another venue to hone my writing skills. I hadn’t written in over twenty years, mind you. Quite simply, it is a whole new world for me, and I am loving every second of it.