Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's the night before my birthday which happens also to be the day that marks the half way point between the Winter solstice and the Spring equinox. Our modern Groundhog Day is the silly-ed up version of an ancient holiday called Imbolc or Candlemas (I refer Candlemas, so pretty). In honor of the coinciding occasions I'm going to be building a little altar or two in my house to honor the coming of spring. I read up on the tradition today and am trying to promise myself I'll be up in the wee hours to go to the flower market in downtown L.A. It's something I've always wanted to do but without a good reason it's hard to get motivated.
This is an especially important birthday for me, though, it is both number 35 and also the birthday that happens to coincide with yet a THIRD event. I've just quit my job of thirteen (or fourteen? still haven't done the math) years in order to pursue happiness. It isn't something I had been planning for but when I realized it everything seemed to turn around for the best and opportunities have been popping up from out of the blue, as they do when you're suddenly making "the right" decisions.
All of this has brought me to a realization that would, perhaps, be bittersweet if I'd been living my life differently and there are a number of people who I hope don't read this and realize what it would mean to the way they've been living their own lives.
First off, another thing I came across just yesterday was a small article about the Black Keys. It seems that neither of them were very good musicians to start and both were a little reluctant to start making music. Encouraged by each of their brothers they got together to start playing around. During their first (or one of their first?) practices they recorded a six song demo on a four track and were immediately signed to a label. How's that for fated?
This is kind of the realization I had. Many of us work on something our entire lives wishing and hoping for years and years that our work will be successful and recognized. I used to think this was a great way to live: do the things that make you happy along with the things that you must do to survive and everything will work out in the end or at the very least you will have lived a happy life -which is really the same thing. But I think I may have to adjust that theory as I am beginning to believe this: if it's hard, if it ever feels like a struggle, if it's not going where you wish it would go.... maybe it's not meant to be. Maybe it's when you give up on a dream or a goal and you open yourself up to the possibility of just about anything else that what you're meant to do appears? Much as people seem to want to be allowed to decide what will make them happiest I'm starting to think it's when you don't decide, don't try, that what will make you happiest simply happens. Oh, and you absolutely cannot be afraid. Fear will ruin anything and everything.
So yes, tomorrow I turn 35. The day after is the last day at my job. I have nothing lined up yet but I do have a lead and a few ideas and a very good (and brave) attitude about the whole thing. I am one hundred percent certain that this is the best decision I have ever made and that it will be the best year of my life yet and that by next year this time EVERYTHING will have changed completely and I will be ecstatic.

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