Life has plowed full-speed ahead this year, and it’s all I can do to hold on for the ride. So much death and change has marred my 2013, and my heart has broken for my family several times over. At the onset of the year, I had grandiose plans to unveil courses, workshops, consultation and coaching packages, and a revised sliding scale tutoring fee schedule. I wanted to ring in my big three-oh in style. I wanted to celebrate my happy occasions with my family. Instead, I’ve found myself attempting to cultivate my life worth loving under very tense circumstances. I’ve opted to take time away from my job to focus on that which matters most — family. It’s all about my family — as individuals and as a unit. And at the moment, I feel like we’ve been set back quite a bit. We need time for grieving. For loving. For simply living. It may hurt now. It may feel like an unpleasant, discomforting state of being. Yet I know that we are all going to come out on the other side as a stronger family. Our strife will pave the way for stronger bonds and lots of love. Silly things like mortality and distance may mock us at the moment, but we will continue to cultivate thriving lives. I refuse to allow 2013 to break my spirit. I worked too hard for the last quarter of 2012 to prepare for 2013 — my determination to cultivate a lovely life for my family will only strengthen. I know that one day my children will be in their father’s shoes, and I want them to know that their parents were loving, caring individuals who did everything in their power to provide for them, teach them right from wrong, and instill good values in them. I want them to pass along the value of cultivating a life worth loving, even when life doesn’t feel worth loving. Life is always worth loving,
Fault and Change by Carlos Miceli
I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think of all the things that are not working in your life. That job you don’t like, that relationship that’s not working, those friends that annoy you. Now turn them all on you. Imagine that everything that’s not working in your life, is your fault. How would you approach it? What would you work on to change your life to the state that you want it to be?
Thinking more along those terms, it’s true — it IS my fault. Everything. I’ve made decisions to be where I am right now, so I only have myself to blame for anything and everything that’s not working in my life. In fact, I’m going to go a step farther and admit something right here and now: I’m depressed. It’s this situation. Who would enjoy something like this? I certainly don’t. When I go out somewhere, I smell like I’m the one sitting there, puffing away on cigarettes all day long. My hair, my clothes — everything. It’s permeated through everything I own. I knew it would, too. I knew the smoking wouldn’t stop just because we were going to be moving here. Oh, but that’s only one facet of my circumstances. To make a very long story short, I have been wallowing much more than doing over the past several months. I could have and should have been able to make my business a viable option earlier this year. I should have been working hard — what else did I have to do? I certainly wasn’t busy working for someone else. And so you see, it really is all my fault. I haven’t fought hard enough, and it shows.
I’m supposed to be a pillar of strength, but there are many deep cracks in my foundation. If I’m going to change anything at all, I’m going to have to change myself first. I know that I have been doing well enough to change the situation for the past few weeks, but I’m still feeling like I haven’t given myself enough attention. It was through Gwen Bell today that I realized it all boils down to one very important guideline: love yourself. I don’t think I do that nearly as much as I should. If nothing else, I must approach my dilemma with love for myself and encourage myself to continue doing so. Nothing gets accomplished when you simply throw yourself onto the nearest piece of furniture, pondering misery, and merely wallowing in negative self-talk. And just because my laundry’s getting washed, dryed, folded, and put away doesn’t mean I’m ending the day on a high note — my to-do can’t just be about the day-to-day anymore. I’ve got to include tasks that involve recovery. After all, my theme for September has been balance and recovery. As I adjust to my new job, I notice that each subsequent day I’m feeling less worn out and less achy.
I must work on myself in order to advance myself. If I don’t take care of myself, who will?
I’m embracing change, feeling gratitude for the opportunity it’s bringing me. I’m no longer part of the unemployed masses. I’m bringing in money to pay our bills, reduce our debt, and change our circumstances. The past year and two months has given me time to reflect on my life’s path and consider my future. I know now that I want to become an English consultant, providing tutoring, writing, and editing services to my clients. I’ve also determined that there’s a need for sliding scale tutoring services. Everyone deserves educational success because I’ve come to realize that a Bachelor’s degree is the new High School Diploma. In my parents’ days, graduating from high school alone led to fairly lucrative careers. Nowadays, those same careers require a Bachelor’s degree. I believe this is because many more people have the ability to attend college, thanks to financial aid. However, student loans lead to economic hardship upon graduation, and it’s important that our children receive excellent education so that they can success in the classroom and in their careers. Better grades will lead to more scholarships and more opportunities. I also believe that the ability to read and write supersedes all other knowledge because we can’t learn history, science, or math without reading. We can’t use our knowledge without the ability to write. Reading and writing are also important in the workforce — from low level jobs to executive positions.
For the rest of 2011, I’ll be embracing change, working towards a better future, and spending more time manifesting what’s next.
Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
I really haven’t stumbled onto any new communities either on or offline this year. Most of the amazing communities I’ve discovered have been mainstays for years, actually. However, this is incredibly relevant in regards to my move on the 28th. I will be leaving the state of Florida to live with my aging and disabled in-laws — really, there are so many conveniences for both my family and my husband’s parents with regards to this situation. Aside from moving to a new state, the community itself will be much more rural than I am accustomed to. Apparently it’s within commuting distance of several cities — Chattanooga, Tennessee, for example — and preserves the historical battlegrounds from the American Civil War. I’d imagine the land itself tells many stories. My husband visited the area back in October and reported back that Southern Hospitality is alive and well in Northwest Georgia. I’m particularly used to living in portions of Florida that should be referred to as “New New York” and “New New Jersey,” so this seems a little intriguing to me. Living in Gainesville usually produces encounters with college students and disenfranchised locals, two seemingly opposite groups of people. However, this is what I’ve grown accustomed to.
In 2011, I will be starting life anew among a very different community filled with very different people. I really don’t know how to process this change just yet, but all the signs around me seem to shout, “this is a good thing!” The message that life will turn out okay reverberates through my daily routines. I’m maintaining an open mind and listening to the thoughts flowing around me. A fresh start among new people might be just the thing I need right now.