There are some things that I have come to realise over the past few days – especially as I (phew!) finished off my entry for this year’s National Novel Writing Month challenge.
It has taken me a few days to process all of this – but I think I have a pretty good understanding of what it is that has just happened to me:
I have officially come full circle in my life.
This time last year, I had just left (not by choice) a job that I thought I would retire from. It was harsh and traumatic and I was left shattered. Now that I look back on things though – I had not been a happy person for a while. I can see now that my unhappiness was largely due to my job.
Funny how that goes, huh?
At about the same time, I finished my first novel. It was my first attempt at writing as a writer, through the NaNo event. Of this, I was very proud. I had wanted to write for a very ling time, but things like my devotion to my job left no time to do so. Finding NaNo was the perfect reason to dive in and test the waters.
I found out they were waters I could not only swim in, but navigate with ease.
I decided to start a blog – not to accomplish anything in particular….certainly not based on any one theme or topic – I just really wanted to keep writing. At first, it was hard. I sucked at blogging and had no idea what do or what to say. But I kept at it.
When I lost my job, I picked up my camera again…after a very long professional hiatus. Emotionally, this was difficult. I had left this aspect of my life behind me for many personal reasons. I think that when I found all the contents of my professional life had been dumped all over the floor, subconsciously I knew that my camera would help me put the pieces back together again.
It was like I said to myself: “Okay, you just devoted your life to something that no longer needs you. Here is something you can still do.”
– What a difference one year can make. –
Today, I have an amazing (and very different!) employer, and have been given a lot of opportunity to grow and prosper professionally. I do things now I never thought I would be able to. The best part is, my job fits into my life, not the other way around. This is exactly the balance I always wanted, but was afraid to ask for. Forgive me for sounding cheesy, but I am one of the lucky few that can honestly say I love what I do every single day.
My blog is – WOW! – I love my blogging life. This on-line community is amazing and has done wonders for my creativity and spirits. I have just under 50 posts to go before I am officially finished my 365 post commitment – but Writing The Girl is not going anywhere soon. My little brain is brimming with ideas for 2013 – and I can’t wait to share them with the world.
I shoot as often as I can and have amassed a photo library of some 4000 images over the past 12 months. I have been shooting for other people, and have had requests from others to use my work. When I walked away from the industry before, I swore it would take an awful lot to make me go back. Well, I can definitely say that I am back. I will not be putting my camera back down again for a long time….perhaps ever. (I say that only because I abhor saying the word never.)
As for the writing thing? Still working at it. Yes, I just successfully took part in another NaNo challenge. I completed my 50,000th word this past Saturday. It felt amazing to validate my word count on the website and get my Winner badge… BUT – my novel is far from over. All I can say is that I have a really good….start. I will happily keep plugging away at this one for a while – and that is okay with me. It feels good to have most of it out of my head, where it had taken up residence for the better part of two years.
I guess my point here is:
I never thought I could have done have the things I have set out to do and accomplish, had I not been suddenly kicked down and forced to change my trajectory. I guess, when you’re teetering on a ledge, wondering if you should take the plunge – being shoved off before you are ready can be a good thing.
The place I am in today is a mirror image of the place I found myself in 365 days ago. It feels pretty damn cool.
– So there you have it – a complete circle. –
(I have used images in this post that I used in my first post for the 365 Daily Post Word Press Challenge. I aptly titled the orginal post “Okay, I’m Game” – which really spoke about my willingness to put my self out there and just…..try anything.)