so, i haven't had a blog post in quite some time. since christmas to be precise. i've been in a bit of a slump. i last wrote about getting a new job, which at the time i was so happy about. in the following months i had some real struggles with how i felt about it. i had such a bad experience in oregon, i kind of felt like i had sold myself out and landed right back where i was. i was having a hard time conforming again. after all, i had just been unemployed for over 2 years and could do what i wanted, when i wanted. i had a dog walking business which i absolutely loved, but i'm just not a self-marketer, so my client base was tiny. loyal, but tiny. all i thought about all day while feeling like i was chained to a desk again was, i could have made my business work, i just needed more time. i talked to my husband about wanting to leave my job and try my business again, but being the sensible one who lives by logic rather than feelings, he gently persuaded me to stay with the full-time gig. so, i would get teary-eyed on the way to work, and then take a cry break at noon in my car while i ate lunch and listened to comedy podcasts to try and get my mind right to get through the rest of the day.
i was also having terrible feelings of self-doubt in my field. i don't have a college degree. i have been in this industry for over 20 years and have taught myself everything i know, but i don't have the paper to back it up, so i was feeling inferior. my boss never hesitated to mention her college degree and in my way of turning all things into negativity toward myself, i took it as a jab at my lack of one.
since then, i have enrolled in school (i got an A in my first class!) and am working really hard to not take it all so personally and seriously. i've decided not to be a shrinking violet and speak my opinions, in a kind and flexible way of course, and i'm finding people respond to it. it's kind of cool.
i have also recently turned 40 and although no birthday number has ever bothered me before, this one got to me. it hurt because i felt like i'd wasted and screwed up a lot of my years. my mom talked about how she was ok with 40 as it was around the time i was graduating from high school and she and my dad were getting settled into 2 incomes after my mom taking time off to raise my brother and i and feeling comfortable in where they were in life. i had none of that. i do have a wonderful husband whom i thank God for every single day, but what else did i have? no degree, no children, no house, no long-term employment where i was making a decent amount of money to feel comfortable in where i was in life. what had i done with it all?
well, i had tried things. granted a lot (or even most) of those things didn't work out as i'd hoped, but at least i tried. i never wanted to be the person to live in one place my whole life and raise kids. it wasn't in me, so to look back now and feel like i missed out was ridiculous. i didn't miss out, i chose to go a different route. i can't have it both ways. i chose to get out of town and live and i did. it may not have turned out exactly as i thought it should, but really what do i have to complain about? in the grand scheme of things what is it that matters? is it money? no. possessions? no. a piece of paper saying i have a proper education? no. in the end, all that matters is how much love you have given away. "and now these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love - 1 corinthians 13:13" that's it. that's the only thing that matters. it is the only thing that will live on after you die. it is the only thing that fulfills those empty places in your heart. that's it. and as soon as i figured that out. i was ok with turning 40 because i really think there are more people in this world that would call me kind and generous than people that would call me an uptight bitch. and to the people who would call me an uptight bitch (because i'm sure they're out there) well, you know what? that's their problem.
here's an example: my brother and sister-in-law and my husband knew 40 was weighing heavy on me, so they all decided to give me the most epic weekend i could imagine. my brother and sister-in-law drove all the way down from san francisco and my husband got us all tickets to a comedy show for friday night and tickets to disneyland for saturday. i was surrounded by love and support. were they all talking about what a fuck-up i was and how they couldn't believe i didn't have a degree, a house or a pile of money? no. we talked about how much we all loved and missed spending time with each other and how lucky we were to be such a close-knit family who would do anything for each other. that's where i'm rich. i'm rich in love. i've seen a quote online that sums it up. it says, "some people are so poor that all they have is money" it's the truth. you can't buy love. you have to make it and earn it. your job every single day is to live simply and try to help others in any way you can. once you figure that out, everything else has a way of sorting itself out.
so, go out and love without hesitation. hug someone and feel the hug back. there's electricity there. it mends and heals and grows. that's when you'll realize just how rich you really are. i know i did.