Tag Archives: personal growth

going outside your comfort zone

It’s easy in life to get into a routine and keep within that place of ease, where you know exactly what to expect. You can anticipate situations and outcomes and be prepared for them. But what happens when the rug gets pulled out from underneath you?  When life changes suddenly?

Anyone who has followed my blog for a while knows that this has happened to me. Divorce is a rug being ripped out from underneath you and then falling through a hole in the floor under that rug.  

There is a lesson here that I have learned, and continues to be reinforced often. Life is more exciting and interesting (but sometimes frustrating) when you live outside that comfortable life. Five years ago, I would not have done what I have done today. 

Living outside my comfort zone has helped me to grow as an individual. It has helped me discover my independence and has even created an urge within me to continue to do things I would not have considered before. 

Don’t let life pass you by, wishing you had done things.

Do the things. Live. Enjoy. Life outside your bubble is going to give you greater satisfaction, and perhaps you too will discover a little something about yourself that you never knew either. 

authenticity

Be your authentic self.  Buzz words.  Everyone is saying things like this it seems these days.  But what does it truly mean?

I’m sure we all have our own take on what it means to be authentic.  But without spending time alone with yourself, how do you truly know if you are your own true authentic self, or if you are picking up on pieces of stronger personalities?  How do you know you aren’t just being what you are expected to be?

In this world, being authentic is hard.  There are expectations out there.  Go to University.  Get a high paying job.  Get married, have a family.  Don’t get divorced.  But where in all this does it fit to be truly authentic?

It doesn’t.

I have lived that life.  I was who everyone wanted me to be.  I did the education, I had great aspirations and hopes for a career.  I had the six figures.  I had the marriage and the family.  And all the illusions I had to maintain to keep up that façade.  I was miserable.

I got separated.  Parts of the false me started to fall away.  I opened up about the horrors of my relationship and people were shocked and stunned by what I had kept hidden.  But this is part of my story.  The true me.  I looked at my life and realized I wasn’t happy in that career.  I wasn’t truly interested in doing research or the other things I needed to do in order to be successful in that world.  I dropped it.  And I can tell you, it felt good.  It was a burden lifted off my shoulders that I didn’t realize I was carrying around.

I started exploring who I felt I was.  It was a redefining period of time.  I explored things that made be happy.  I sat.  I meditated.  I did yoga.  I went and spent time with just myself.  I was lost for over two decades, but somewhere in the silence, I found me.

Not everyone likes the me I am today, and I am ok with that.  I have been passed up for opportunities that I am more than qualified for simply because I no longer follow the corporate rules, and that is ok.  I forgive the people and the situation.  I thank the Universe for the experience and go forward knowing that I am exactly where I need to be, because where I am, is where I am accepted for who I truly am.  I am welcomed and encouraged to be my own authentic version of myself.  It has turned out better than anything I have ever expected or imagined.

That feels better than all those goals I had been chasing.  I wouldn’t say that I didn’t enjoy pieces of that time because there are many parts that I loved and would do again.  But knowing now what it is to be fully me, I will not sacrifice my authenticity for any of the chairpersons, department heads or managers that think they have control over my fate.  They don’t control anything.  I am free.

And I am very happily and authentically me.

chasing dreams

We all have desires that we hope to fulfill.  Perhaps it is a particular end goal, like finishing a graduate degree, or maybe it’s one that continues to evolve as time goes on.  Sometimes that dream gets modified as we grow and realize that the particular dream we had no longer suits us.

Over the last few months I have taken steps to work towards realizing my own dreams.  There are many of them actually.  Some of them are lumped together, and others stand alone.

Sometimes it takes courage and a leap of faith to take the next step.  That is something I discovered.  Sometimes it takes an external event that makes you realize you’re wasting time.  Other times it might be that internal fear of failure that stops you from realizing your dreams.  Don’t let it.  Life is too short to keep putting your dreams on the back burner.

You only regret the things you didn’t do.  You’ll live with the what-ifs and never know if you would have been a great success.  Or if you found a way that didn’t work, because if you tried, there is no such thing as failure.

So, dream, yes by all means.  Keep dreaming.  But then take that dream and one step at a time, turn that dream into your reality.  What will you see when you look back after you did?

spring

Spring is here, relatively speaking.  There is still snow melting, but the days are longer, and the sun is feeling warmer as it peeks through my windows.  It’s a time for regeneration.  Spring cleaning has already begun in my house, although I find it rather unfair to call it spring cleaning since I attempt a deep clean every season, and often get ahead of myself when I am waiting for spring to arrive.

Spring is that time of year where I feel like second chances are possible.  Perhaps it is a time to rekindle a friendship that didn’t weather through the winter very well.  Or it can be a time to reinvent my style at home, redecorate or rearrange the furniture.  Maybe a time to reinvent myself just a little bit.

Spring brings me happiness.  I love the green grasses that start peeking out.  My first tulips that seem to be in a hurry to show their faces to the world.  I love the Easter feel of renewal; the pastel colors and fresh beginnings.  I love that the bikes can come out of storage and wake up from their sleepy six months of snow inhibiting activity.  There are more people out walking their dogs, and you can see neighbors that have been hibernating for months just as we have.

In just a few short days, April will be here.  With April brings a concentrated writing camp that I am looking forward to participating in.  This is just another piece of my personal growth, and I am very much looking forward to it.  It is one more way I plan to grow this year.  I hope you will enjoy your spring as much as I intend to enjoy mine, and I hope you find ways to grow yourself.

my tribe

I have been fortunate enough to allow my heart to open and find people who seem to resonate at the same frequency as I do.  It’s interesting how when life seems to be working against you, that truly, the Universe is aligning things for you.

Less than a year ago, I was competing for a position that I was certain I wanted.  I worked endless hours, focused so intently on what I was doing to make that job happen.  Even those I knew thought I was the best candidate for the position, yet it didn’t happen.  I decided for extra insurance, I would apply for another position that came available at a different institution.  Just in case.  It was a similar job, but I still felt that this was maybe not as good as the original one I was vying for.

I succeeded in landing the second job.  I can see now, in retrospect, how this was always the better choice for me.  This is where I am happy.  I feel my work is meaningful.  I have the ability to celebrate accomplishments in a way the other institution didn’t accommodate for.  I have met some incredibly amazing people that I would never have met before.  These people have become a part of my tribe.  I feel that I have been given permission, in a way, from the universe to be myself.  To allow the true me to shine through.  I hid behind the persona that I thought I needed to have.  But in the end, it did nothing for me.  I kept searching for the thing that was supposed to make me happy, yet I could never seem to find it.  It wasn’t until I allowed myself to shed that protective layer and truly allow my own inner self to bare its soul that I found happiness, and others that share similarities with me.

So, thank you, Universe.  I have never felt happier in my life.

2017….

Happy new year to all.  It has been one year since I began my intention to write a blog entry once a week.  I have managed to successfully complete my personal challenge.  I am pleased with myself for having met this challenge, but also, as I read through my entries, I recall things that happened throughout the year and the reasons why I wrote the entries that I did.  Some were happy, some were sad, and some were reflective.  All of them are helping me to grow as a person.

I will continue on with my journey, and maintain my once a week blog entries.  Thank you to those who have decided to follow me.  This project was done in private, mostly away from my personal life.  I believe only two people I know and love are even aware of my blog.  For me, this means that I can write what I choose without fear of reprisal in my personal and day to day life.  For if I decide to write my personal opinion on something that perhaps is not the expected opinion from my colleagues, friends, or family, this now creates tension where tension does not belong.  This goes against what many may believe should be, but I prefer my online presence to be more about my thoughts and feelings, as personal or as raw as they may be at the time I put them to words.  I prefer to not need to defend myself as when I am face to face with others, these things may not be at the surface nor applicable to the personal situation I deal with.

We have heard that online, people tend to be bullies moreso than in real life simply because things that are said in text are easier to say than those words being said directly to someone’s face.  I believe this to be true.  I also believe the other side of the coin.  I believe that it is easier to type in one’s feelings and emotions, to be as honest with oneself in text than it is to say these things aloud.  It does not mean that these raw feelings are hurtful to others, but perhaps to oneself.  Perhaps it is easier to be vulnerable if staring at a screen instead of the eyes of the one who has hurt you.

Either way, thank you for sharing my journey this year.  I wish you all a year of love and success in all that you do.  I wish you joy instead of pain, love in place of hate, confidence not fear.  I wish you the best of you.

Namaste

 

growth 

I have spent this past week in an intensive course with strangers from many different backgrounds and disciplines. I have connected with a number of individuals that I likely would not have met if it were not for this course. 

I cannot tell you how incredibly grateful I am for this opportunity. 

I walked in completely unsure as to what to expect. I had an open mind, but still wondered what would they tell me that I didn’t already know. Turns out, there was quite a bit, and it was amazing!  This course carries on for one more week, and I am looking forward to the rest of it. 

Behind the learning, I am looking forward to seeing the others in my cohort. And I am hoping to be able to forge some long term friendships with many of them. 

Keeping an open mind is a start to growing as a person. I am enjoying the journey and I hope it never ends.