Today, I decided that I want to reinvent myself. I recently read an article that says the best place to start is when you’re at ground zero. And while, in the grander scheme of things, my place may not constitute as ground zero – I am, after all, grateful for my abundance in blessings – it certainly feels like it.
Earlier today, I had the opportunity to interview for a position in the department where I got my first “office job”, after I decided I couldn’t be in journalism anymore. It was my first career change (and little did I know it would happen so early in my career). I felt like I was back at square one. So while I feel like I didn’t bomb the interview, the feeling of having to start over triggered a prolonged sigh that spelled: really?! You’re 30 and you’re in exactly the same place as you were after college, which was nearly ten years ago.
In addition to the finding-work-woes, I am not at my healthiest mentally. I seem to be antagonizing so many people in my life (including my own partner and family – like, what the hell??); my thirst for what I shouldn’t engage in seemed to grow insatiable for awhile, though, praise God, has been alleviated by my recent trip to the confessional. Remember? I told you no promises, but I’m definitely gonna try. And as I already mentioned, I was in a depression since returning from Japan (back in February), though, thanks be to God (again), I’m slowly climbing out of. Still, I can’t help but look back on the road I’ve paved these past ten years. At one point, I really had it all – a career I loved with a handsome salary, passionate love; I’d been a published author and a praised and respected musician in the community, directing some of the most talented singers in that community; I shopped till I dropped and ate whatever I wanted; and just nearly two years ago, I was headed for my boldest adventure yet – moving to a completely different country – to Japan – which, indeed, was a dream-come-true. So, as I sit here in the dark, tears quietly streaming down my face, I can’t help but ask myself, “what happened?” (Though, ironically, I didn’t feel like I was on top of the world during the aforementioned, but I suppose that’s the thing with ambition – there’s always more to accomplish.)
In retrospect, I needed to be depressed the past month and a half. I needed to give myself time to grieve. Because it was also during that time that led me to the answer that question, “What happened?” Life happened. Even though I don’t feel like I’m at my greatest right now, there’s that small voice that reassures me that these are the consequences of courage; of chasing my dreams; of trying; of doing…of living a life that truly reflects my hopes versus my fears. I’ve started over many times in my life; I’ve managed to be in a ten year relationship when most people would’ve given up; something told me that the difference between now and all those other times that felt like this is that I’m 30, which has a dramatized effect to all this; in reality, it’s just a number. I’ve reinvented myself numerous times in the past, which means I can certainly do it again, right? So with that in mind, I need to keep this in mind:
Stop making excuses, over analyzing and just make a decision: are you in this relationship or not? Are you pursuing this career or not? Are certain friends worth it or not? Basically, manifest this:
It’s time to stop fussing, and start acting. Stop making yourself little. Stop apologizing for what you’re not, and start owning what you are. Be fierce, but compassionate. Be assertive, but understanding. Have a vision, but don’t step on people. And remember this (because it is, at times, your kryptonite): you are not for everybody and everybody is not for you. Don’t be afraid to lose people who add no value to your life, but don’t shut out those who genuinely care about you. Remember, no one is perfect, EVERYONE will hurt you, especially those who love you, but you have to decide if they’re worth that pain. If yes, then fight to keep those relationships, especially through the rough times; if not, you need not apologize for it. In terms of your career, you know what your new mountain is. I know you’re intimidated by the journey because you foresee endless failures ahead, but accept that you will fail and just focus on climbing that mountain – one day at a time. And when you feel inadequate and unqualified, remember that God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called. This is what it means to reinvent yourself. And my dear, you do not have to look the way you feel. Wear that sequenced jacket with your electric blue skirt and booties – have you forgotten that you have a knack of looking fabulous? Deep down you want to suppress this, but why? Own it. You love clothes and colors and concocting ensembles, why dilute it?!? Be yourself and remember this:
This is what it means to Begin Again (a la St Teresa of Avila). And the good news is that this life is yours to create, so with each reinvention of ourselves comes a new creation.
Dona nobis pacem
Ps, this was helpful: