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  • Writer's pictureElana

the start of my journey...

I've always been a bit of an overachiever. I rushed my way through high school so that I could start university early. I participated in the co-op program at my university to help me get a job when I graduated, meaning no summer breaks. I never broke the rules. I wasn't rebellious. I did everything right, but I never took the time that a lot of my peers did to just be carefree and discover themselves.

I live a life that society would consider to be successful. I'm young, I'm married, we both have good jobs at a big company, own a great house, have no kids but adorable pets and live in the beautiful city of Seattle. But over the past couple of years, I've realized that in order to continue to be successful on this path, I would have to change into someone I wasn't sure I wanted to be.

When I had jaw surgery last summer, it turned out to be a real turning point in my life, even though I didn't realize it at the time. I thought I'd be back to work after 3 weeks. The first couple of weeks I was healing quickly but I wasn't prepared for the long term recovery that I had in store. I ended up taking 6 weeks off and only being able to return to work part-time for several months after that. I was exhausted, discouraged and emotionally numb. I felt like a disappointment. A failure. I fell into a depression.

I sought help and recognized that my body wasn't the only part of me that needed to heal. So I went to work on my mind and my soul. Along the way I discovered that I had been suppressing my creativity and began to find joy in pie baking, glass mosaic art, and random crafty projects. I learned (and am still working on) how to be kinder to myself. And the more I realized who I wanted to be, the easier it became to be authentic to myself.

I decided that I want to do something I'm passionate about and I want to help other people. I began to understand, almost 10 years into my career, that I'm burnt out on the top-down, bureaucratic, profit-driven world of big business.

So now here I am, at 30 years old, realizing that I've been running down a road that I don't even want to be on.

It took some time, coaching, and a trip halfway around the world for me to gather the courage to face my fears and listen to my heart. It's scary to leave safety and stability to dive into an ocean of unknowns. But I'm so glad I've turned the page to start this new chapter. And I'm so excited to see where this new path takes me. I need change and so I'm making it happen.

Through this period of self-discovery I have found several inspiring quotes that have helped me through. Here's one that seems fitting in my first post:

"Never be afraid to fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along." - Rae Smith

I'm pressing the 'pause' button on my career and taking some time for me. Now with only two weeks left in my job, and a lot of free time ahead of me, I am looking forward to a chance for quiet reflection. I can't wait to spend more time playing with our dog Mitzi, singing, baking pies, making mosaics, and to actually make dinners instead of ordering in or going out (okay, maybe going out isn't so bad). I know that I might sometimes feel unproductive, bored, or lonely, but I also know that I will only have this quiet for a limited time, so I better make the most of it.

Last night when I was out walking with Mitzi, I paused to look up and I noticed that the sky was so clear that I could see the stars (a clear sky in Seattle in February is not something to be taken for granted). Looking up at the sky, I saw a shooting star. After "wishing I may" and "wishing I might", and humming a little "somewhere out there", I realized that my life is pretty amazing. I just needed to slow down to notice.

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