Listen: Squeeze Box by The Who
Do what you like. Like what you do.
My husband bought this “Life is Good” mug for me a couple of years ago. Every time I used it, it gave me something to aspire to. But it also taunted me. The truth was that I was tolerating the work I was doing. And I was managing to do a damn good job at the work I was tolerating! Isn’t it amazing how long we allow ourselves to stick with something because we’re good at it? But being good at something doesn’t mean that it makes us happy.
One month ago, I stepped away from my job. I stepped away from security and a nice salary and vacation pay and benefits. I stepped into the unknown – the glorious, joyful unknown. Over the course of the month, I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve questioned my decision one day and have been reminded that I made the right choice the next day. I have tried out different routines and have learned a lot about myself (i.e. if I don’t get dressed first thing in the morning, I’ll look down at 2:00 in the afternoon and still be in my pajamas.)
Most importantly, I have started building the foundation of my dream.
But where to begin? Over the past year (the “Year of Me”), I have developed the idea of what I want my life to FEEL like. Even when I didn’t know what I wanted to DO exactly, I clung to the feeling that I wanted. And as the seed of the idea turned into something concrete (a photography business), I kept that FEELING close at hand. I could see it. I could taste it. I could hear it. And the more I could picture it, the more I knew that it was actually possible. After all, WHAT I did was less important than how I wanted to FEEL. This is the big lesson I learned this year.
Yesterday, on the one month anniversary of leaving my job, I experienced the feeling for the first time. I sat at my dining room table drinking tea, editing photos, sending emails, staring out at my tree-filled back yard – while my husband worked from his office. We passed each other in the kitchen, gave a peck on the cheek, shared a story and a laugh, and went on our merry way. I felt calm, happy, energized, and full of purpose.
THAT is the picture I painted for myself many months ago. THAT is the feeling I imagined.
Now, I know that this was just one day and there are many days ahead of me. But my thinking is – if you can feel it once, you can feel it again. Working for myself presents many challenges (which I will save for another, less uplifting post), but it is moments like this – when everything aligns – that I choose to celebrate today.
I know many of you are searching. Many of you feel stuck and want to change your situation in some way, but you’re not sure where to start. I’d like to encourage you to start with asking yourself what you want to feel like and start seeking out that feeling in the life you are living NOW. Before you know it, life will shift and shimmy and shake you up and you’ll find yourself living the life you imagined.
What feelings would you like to welcome into your life today?