Well here I am again, standing at the end of one year, peering into the birth of a new one ahead and wondering what is in store for me. This year has been a roller coaster of a journey, I’ve chosen the uncertainty of freelancing and doing what I am passionate about over the stability of a well paying regular job that I had no interest in, but I could pay my bills and not worry about money. It’s not as easy a choice as you’d think. It’s not easy because I was brought up to believe, like many people, that having a job and paying the bills is what makes us a valuable member of society and anything other than that is not acceptable. So to walk away from that apparent certainty and into the world of not knowing where your next customer is coming from, having to justify how much I charge and having to chase people to pay me on time over and over has been really stressful.
I’ve learned a lot though. I’ve learned to appreciate the support that other people give me and I’ve learned to recognize that I have something valuable to contribute and that even though people may not take me up on what is on offer that does not mean that what I am doing is not the right thing to do. It has been a journey this year, it has taught me about integrity about what it is to be true to myself and what I believe in. I’ve been challenged and had to get creative about what I want to do and how I go about doing it. Everyday I ask myself , is this really the right thing, should I be doing this at all or should I go back to what I am ‘supposed’ to be doing? So here is what I’ve come up with and maybe putting it down for you to read will be helpful too, at least I hope it is.
If you believe in something more than this world, that we all have some sort of spiritual something within us call it a soul if you like. Then part of what we are here in this life for is to explore and develop that part of us in a physical world context, then how do we do that? Can I develop myself by watching reality TV or allowing myself to be distracted by things that take me away from being alive and in the moment. Do I avoid the things that make me feel uncomfortable and only pursue that which makes me feel good or do I allow myself to be with it all? I want to be with every moment of my life as fully as I can be, it doesn’t mean I don’t switch off or shut down I’m human, not perfect after all, but I can take a moment each time I notice I am not in the now and ask myself is that why I am here?
If you believe there is nothing but this life, that we are just biological machines that will be nothing after our clock has stopped ticking. Then would it not logically be a better use of our limited time to explore the world, it’s wonders and ourselves as fully as we can. Each moment is unrepeatable and every moment passed is one closer to our end, do I really want to spend this finite time resenting and belittling other people. Could I not be using each moment to see what it’s like to be who I really am in the world and what I can do. We seem to spend so much time avoiding our lives, avoiding other people or pretending to have a connection or purpose with something when we just think that is what is expected of us. How much of life do we give away to the perceived expectation of others at the expense of our true expression or purpose because we don’t want to disappoint or be seen as foolish or soft or silly or uncool.
My year ahead is filled with uncertainty and I have no idea what will happen, I’m ok with that. I’m willing to put myself out in the world and every time I notice my defenses coming up to keep me from being seen by other people as stupid or uncool I’ll be willing to remember that the most courageous and powerful thing I can do is be who I really am even in the face of expectation. I am not ashamed of wanting more for myself and the world than money and stuff. I am willing to believe that we can do better, reach higher and make choices that not only benefit us but those around us and those who come after us. I’m willing to start today.