Writing Our Lives

This is a repost from another blog I wrote a few years ago.  It seems to fit again for me, so I am posting it again.

Some of the joys of traveling  and/or moving are, getting to go to new places, see new things, meet new people, and for me, to have time to read something I might not have had time to.  I was browsing through the Airline magazine in the back of the seat in front of me, I was stuck in the seat for the next few hours, so I leafed through the glossy pages, looking at fantastic restaurants in cities that I wasn’t going to, and sparkly jewelry that I could see myself wearing, when I came across a little snippet on the actor Forest Whitaker.  Now, first I have to say that I have always like this actor, which is probably why I stopped upon seeing him on the page.  But, as I read the article, I was impressed by the sort of person he sounded like he was.  The quote from the article that most captured me was: “My work is a way to explore and connect and grow as a human being.  Each new character is a new life; it’s a reincarnate moment over and over again, a chance to live a different lifetime and, hopefully, become more centered.”

I love that idea, creating the character of my life.  And, wasn’t I sort of doing that superficially as I thought of myself in other places, wearing sparkly things as I looked through the magazine?  Obviously, most of us don’t have the opportunity to be actors, taking on new roles and trying them on for size, and getting paid to do it.  It does beg the question however, how can we take on the role of ourselves more fully?  If you were playing the character of your life, what sort of responses and reactions would be important for you to grow as a human being?  What goals would you want for this character?  How might you look objectively at your characters past, and then how would you use this information to make your character stronger?  These are rich ideas.  And, maybe a little shift in perspective might help us to be better people, writing a story of our lives, one that we actually want to live.

Changes are inevitable

I haven’t posted to the One Minute Mindset in over a year.  This post makes me reflect all the changes in my life over the last year.  Most of my world has changed.  And, while I believe that change is good, it is also incredibly time and energy consuming.  Last year at this time my life was moving forward in a normal, comfortable pattern.  My mother had several health issues that had taken my attention, but she was sort of on the mend by last November, I had her living on her own, but near me.  My work was going well, I was enjoying my clients and my practice, and I had some plans to work on making my kitchen prettier.  All in all, I had a busy and full life, filled with people and projects.  In December I had an inkling that my husband might be offered a job in the Pacific Northwest, which would mean a move from New Mexico to Washington State.  But, it was all theoretical until February 2013.  In February my life went into overdrive, since then I have closed my business, sold properties, moved my mom in with us, and then moved all of us (people and pets) to Washington State.  Basically uprooting my entire life, blowing up my comfort zone.  Kaboom!

There are aspects of this change that are sad, the feeling that I am leaving people and places that I love.  I have a great circle of friends and in some ways I felt like I was walking away from my life.  While I don’t get to see my friends daily, living in the same city, I lived in the space of proximity, the idea that we were just a few minutes away.  As close as I was, in reality I didn’t get to see friends daily or even weekly or monthly.  Moving away makes me notice the distance.  It requires me to not take people for granted.  I have to make more effort, or else I may drift.  But, I ask myself, is that recognition of the distance and the requirements of relationship a bad thing?  I don’t think so.  I think it is in part what change offers us.  The opportunity to rethink our lives, get out of our ruts of thinking or acceptance, or a taking for granted that things will always stay the same.  Nothing stays the same, nor should it.  How do we grow in our comfort zone?  I am not saying we can’t grow in our comfort zone, but my guess is that we grow slowly.  There is nothing like looking for new hand holds and footings to activate our minds and force us to look for new ways to be in our lives.  Change can open us up.

I think about what I have gained from the changes so far.  I have new opportunities to meet people, to challenge myself, to push through my fears, to continue to create myself with new experiences.  The big one for me is pushing through fear.  Meeting new people is partly scary, will I find my tribe, will I find people I like, will I find people who make me laugh and who think I am funny too?  But, also the reinvention of myself, in my eyes, in the world around me.  I have this great moment to find a new, or slightly different version of me.  Many things about me are the same, the underlying person, but that person in a new environment, well, she’s a different person than she was.  That is part of what change offers us.  A chance to see who we really are in different situations.  Am I really brave?  Can I handle the unknown?  What is really important when I have to rifle through myself and pull out parts I either haven’t used or haven’t used in a long time?  Moving location is almost like living in parallel reality, you are in a different place, much is the same, but much is different and you could never fully know what it will be like till you are there.  The other life no longer exists the same way, you could go back, but even then, it too is changed.

I know that I am incredibly lucky, because I still have my support system, it’s just that most of them live a bit further away than they used to.  With email, FaceTime, and Facebook, I can keep up with the daily happenings of most.  But, I have had enough change that I am forced to re-evaluate the “what” of my purpose and direction.  Do I try to recreate what I have known, or do I choose something completely different?  There are multiple choices, each a door that takes me in a slightly different direction.  It really doesn’t even matter ‘what’ I choose.  Thinking about the choices, weighing the possibilities, leaping out into the world and doing it with all the wisdom that I have learned from past experiences, making mistakes, facing fear, and learning to live in the liminal space of my personal journey.

This is what change offers me.