Friday, December 30, 2011

The End of the Beginning

Happy New Year! Time to change your life!

Only a year ago frustration and helplessness seemed to be the normal course of my life for the foreseeable future. The job I once loved had gone supernova and quickly fizzled out. Disillusioned, I went to bed dreading each morning, and spent many nights drinking away the previous day. When the layoff notice finally arrived I was anxious but emotionally relieved.

My apartment, which once felt like a warm home became infested with inconsiderate, destructive and dishonest neighbors. Rodents appeared. Pipes exploded. Something died under the porch and began to smell. IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE life screamed from every audible angle.

Halfheartedly I went on job interviews but the thought of sitting in a cube, no matter how cool the company, depressed me endlessly. When it seemed I was close to clinching a writing job at a well known, well funded start-up, I had a panic attack. Not a slight feeling of nervousness or trepidation, a full blown can't-breathe-chest-caving-in-seeing-stars-need-to-lie-down-so-I-don't-faint panic attack. As crazy as it seemed, I put the kibosh on any additional forward momentum with the position. In my heart of hearts, I knew it was the right decision. Clueless about what would come next, I vowed that my next "life move" had to be one about which I felt 100% confident.

For a long time a voice in the back of my head had lingered, whispering ideas about working in fitness. Helping people change their lives for the better seemed an inspirational way to earn a living. With my newly found unemployed free time, I began hitting the yoga studio hard. Sometimes twice a day. Each class was like a therapy session, forcing me to look at myself and the choices I'd made to get to the spot I was in. Svadhyaya. No one else was responsible for my unhappiness. If I wanted to be miserable, it was my choice and mine alone. If I wanted to be happy, I could choose to be happy. The moment I sincerely understood the truth in that, life became much simpler.   

As you now already know, I chose to take a chance and pursue my aspirations. I've completely changed careers and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. In the past, fear of the unknown stopped me from pursuing all sorts of things. Now I choose to eliminate fear from the vocabulary of my life. I am grateful for the year 2011 and will remember it as the year in which I began taking responsibility for my choices and emotional well being. It is the year I began living life deliberately instead of letting it just happen around me while hoping for something to change. I began practicing the mantra "Nothing changes if nothing changes." And then I lived it.


New Year's has always been one of my favorite holidays, and this year seems extra special. In 2012 I will begin my new career, celebrate one year without cigarettes, and TEN years with the love of my life whose unwavering love and support have been absolutely critical. I will continue to make our new apartment a home, and begin the rest of my life with joy and gratitude. In hindsight, it seems ludicrous that I ever felt helpless. I am the person most empowered to change my life, just as you are the person most empowered to change your life. Don't accept the expected because it is normal, expect normal to be exceptional.

Happy New Year!
W/Marc and Rebecca, the people who helped me change my life.

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