Was I scared to leave a steady paycheck, long-term boyfriend, friends and family to travel the world for a month with a lifesize cutout of my late father? ABSOLUTELY. Do I regret doing it? Absolutely not.
Thanks to Facebook and my blog, most people already knew I was divorced. No one asked me if I was married. No one asked where my husband was. And while I did discuss bits and pieces of the divorce with a few people, I never once felt less than happy about where I am in life.
After the turn of the new year, I was over it. I found myself wrestling with quiet. Blahzay. Afraid to utter for fear of speaking negative onto my future, but bound to the necessity of speaking my piece.
Too often, success is measured by the greater amount of things we have and the smaller amount of time for anything not related to earnings. Success is not seen as a narrow ladder to climb above others on, but rather, it's a forward motion of self-reevaluation, re-prioritizing and resiliency.
Are you tired of playing small, feeling insignificant? Will you be the best you you can be or not? It is that simple. Of course, the question then becomes, who are you? The journey is about self-discovery and self-expression.
I, in fact, did have an "aha" moment, but my own life shifted not when I realized what it was I wanted to do as a career, how I could turn what I love (cooking) into what I live on a daily basis (chef and cookbook author).
Relearning and breaking old habits hasn't been easy but its been worth the work. This New Year (like the last few) I didn't make New Year's Resolutions. I set intentions around a loose framework and look forward to seeing them manifest.
Get uneasy, get scared, become a beginner again. You will learn something new about yourself, not only about your character, but what turns on your light. Once you've found something that turns on your light, you've found purpose.
But what if we were to work harder at being truly happy? What if we defined our true happiness as our ultimate success? Well, all of a sudden, working hard isn't so hard anymore. In fact, it's quite enjoyable!
The clearer we are about what really matters, the more we can maintain our focus in the myriad of choices we make each day, and the more we increase our chances of being happy with the young adults we have raised.
Perhaps the biggest catalyst of my understanding, however, was having three of my closest friends in college serve as my spiritual sounding boards. Sometimes, we'd go from the club to an all-night diner and talk religion, getting into lively debates about reconciling the secular from the sacred.
Parents and children and true friends, we continue to be always interwoven... strengthening the durability of each other and adding layers of richness and beauty to one another by being a part of each other's history and tales.
If I could offer my best tips for how to realize your dream (or anything for that matter) -- whether it is writing your memoir, shedding those 20 pounds, or living in a clutter-free home -- it would be these.