Baby Steps, Life, Writing 101

Are you still breathing? Writing 101, Final Assignment

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It’s the final day for Writing 101.  I’m looking ahead.  I’m looking behind.

And it hits me.

In 3 months time, the year 2015 will be over.  I will be celebrating my first year AWAY from my previous employer.  That in itself is wild, and scary, and terrifying, and exciting, and possibly worthy of a happy dance.  A happy interpretive dance with drums, a tambourine, and a mason jar filled with body glitter!  *Jazz Hands*

Back in January, I’d hoped for a better future, but I was sad.  I was depressed.  I felt like a failure.  I didn’t know what was going to happen to me.  Leaving a job is rough.  Being “released” from a job you’ve worked at for 15 years…is like losing a part of yourself.  You don’t WANT your job to define who you are, but it sneaks up on you like moldy bread at the back of the fridge.  One day you’re making a PB & J sandwich, and the next day you’re looking at green fuzz wondering, “How did that happen?”

But…I survived.  Corporate downsizing does not kill you.  It makes you take up new hobbies.

It’s taken me 9 months to get where I am today.  A fitting amount of time for a rebirth!  In that time, I took up painting.  Me.  A painter.  Who would of thunk it?  Not me!  I’m blogging again.  I’m writing again.  I’m ACTIVELY taking charge of my mental health.  I created a library space in my home.  I purged so many bags of unwanted items,  I’ve lost count.  At one point, I was donating at least one garbage bag of STUFF every week, not to mention all the clutter I threw out.  I turned my bedroom into the restful sanctuary I’ve always wanted. I learned how to professionally clean a house, from top to bottom.  I learned that I still have lots more to learn, and that’s OK.  I’ve gone to book club meetings and met authors.  I managed to keep my garden alive.  For an ENTIRE summer!   Woo hoo!!!

And the best part is, I KNOW I wouldn’t have accomplished any of this if I’d stayed on the same path I was on before.  I wouldn’t have changed because I wouldn’t have seen the need to change.  Like a good little monkey, I would have waved “hi” to the family in passing, then off to work, home, bed, and start it all over again the next day.  The same routine.  No variety.  Might as well feed me kibble, too.  Gesh!

It’s like with writing.  The BEST villains don’t KNOW they’re the villain.  They think they are the heroes of their story.  And the BEST worker bees don’t know they’re stuck in a hive mentality.  They just work, and work, and work…until you swat them with a newspaper for getting inside your house.  And sometimes you need that!  You need SOMETHING to let you know that you’re NOT doing OK.  You need someone, or something to jar you into action, to shove a mirror in your face to check if you’re still breathing.  “Hey there buddy, are you in a coma or are you stuck on autopilot?  Because I can’t see the difference.”

And the odd thing is, it’s not like I don’t have to work anymore.  Because I’m back on that hampster wheel once more.  But it’s different.  I’m different.  I’m not the same person I was this at this time last year.  I’m better.  I’m aged like wine, not aged bread.  And I’m grateful for it.  😉

*Writing 101, Final Assignment

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11 thoughts on “Are you still breathing? Writing 101, Final Assignment”

    1. You have NO idea! My kiddo used to half-jokingly call me zombie-mom, I was working THAT many hours. No time for fun. No time for joy. We all have to make a living, but we need to carve out time in our day to LIVE.

  1. This was wonderful! My husband was laid off a few months ago, and what you’re describing is what he’s struggling to find. I’m going to have him read this; this is just what he needs to hear. Thank you!

    1. Julia Cameron’s books have helped me a great deal, and right now, I’m reading Jenny Lawson’s book: Furiously Happy, A Funny Book About Horrible Things. Jenny Lawson puts the FUN in disfunctional, and Julia Cameron is great for putting life in general into persepective.

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