I have changed. Although I can't explain the specifics, something inside of me is different.  I don't know when this exactly happened. Or why. Or even how. I just feel it, and it feels amazing.

2010 was not an easy year for me. Neither was 2009.  But as I picked up the pieces and went about rebuilding my life, I took my time.  I went slowly. Cautiously. Took baby steps.  And that's ok. I don't think that I should have or could have gone any faster.  I went at the pace that I needed to in order to heal; in order to rediscover who I am and what I am capable of.  I went at the pace that I needed to in order to figure out who I want to be.

After 2 years of tentative, small steps (lest I fall back on my ass) it seems I've finally found my footing.  I won't say that 2011 is FULL STEAM AHEAD and that I am blasting off like a rocket. But I feel like a ship that's shed ballast.  I can finally cut through the ocean with a little more ease, a little more freedom.

You should know that there is a lot that is good in my life right now.  A lot. Part of the reason why I am not inclined to share is because some of it is work-related and I don't blog about work. But part of it has to do with the fact that for the first time in my life I am not seeking external validation. It's enough for me to know that things are good and to celebrate that good on my own.

Ditto the bad. Despite all that is wonderful these days, there is also some not-so-wonderful, and while usually I reach out and ask the Internet for a giant, virtual hug - I'm keeping the not-so-wonderful to myself too and I'm ok with that.  

Good or bad, I feel relatively balanced.  My pendulum these days isn't swinging from HIGH to LOW to HIGH to LOW.  The good is good and the bad is bad and I take each for what it is all the while trying to maintain an even keel.

For the first time, I am pulling back and exercising discretion. It's out of character but it also feels right for the me I am right now.  I am being careful with how much I reveal and to whom I reveal it.  I am also starting to feel self-confident. Not just confident - but self-confident. The confidence is coming from a place deep within that I didn't think I could ever find.

I recently re-read The Faux Gourmet by Juli Huss. It's one of those books that I re-read at least once a year, and regardless of how many times I've read it, something always clicks with me. This time, it was the following:  

Autobiography in 5 Chapters - Anonymous

Chapter 1

I walk down the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. It feels like I will never get out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. It takes forever to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down a new street.

After 35 and a half years, I've fallen into my fair share of holes.  Getting out of some them seemed damn near impossible.  But today? Today I am walking down a new street.  It's totally unknown, and a little bit scary at times.  But I am making progress and moving forward with a sense of purpose and I am ready for whatever opportunities life puts in my path.   


How about instead of a virtual hug-because-you-need-supporting, a virtual hug-because-I-am-so-proud-and/or-happy-for-you? (If you need the other, I can do that too.)

Someone I've only known for a short time recently asked me a question about my work history that made me write down a chronology of events in the past 4 years and with that I kind of felt "wow I kind of grew a pair!" I don't know if that's related, but looking back with a fresh view and/or attitude can make a trying time look more like a time with a purpose.

I can't properly express how happy I am for you. Truly. MWAH!

I'm so very happy for you. Gaining true self-confidence and inner strength are sadly elusive for many women. And sometimes when you don't 'put it out there' and keep life for you alone to enjoy and learn from, it makes a bigger impact. You've made great strides, and I'm so very proud of you, my friend.

Yay you! I knew you had it in you! My little birdie is flying! ;)

Beautifully said! I really like Harmzie's "a trying time...time with a purpose" prospective - and that is exactly what it is, you have to make it through the hard stuff and reward yourself by looking back over all youve accomplished. Take the time to relish it and learn from it, be proud of it. Odds are, you'll need that lesson again in the future and if you've taken the time to learn, the next time, you'll take a different street! Loved your post today.

This post is so inspiring! Glad to hear there are good things going on and you're handling the bad with grace. I could learn a lot from you. :)

This is wonderful. I want to learn from you. I am glad to hear but I will miss hearing. Y'know?

This post? Pure AWESOME. I am stuck somewhere between Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 and I am thrilled and inspired to know that there is a Chapter 5!

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