thank-you, my friend maryam for asking me to "please blog". your request was the much needed dash of cold water to the face that reminded me i'm not in a bubble. there are people out there, you are out there, reading this blog and wondering about me. i had gotten so caught up in my "stuff" lately and so overwhelmed, i couldn't even write. thanks for reminding me that my friends care about me and that my silence is worrisome.
i haven't spent much time in blogland even reading blogs the past couple of weeks. except maryam's blog, my marrakesh. she's recently traveled to rwanda and has shared the story of who she meet and what conditions are like there. please, do go read about it yourself. begin the story on october 1st. i am so thankful for maryam, the work she does and her willingness to share. those posts have touched me, shook me up and the resulting feeling i have is that my problems are small potatoes. not worth writing volumes about and i've been feeling something between self-conscious and ashamed. there is so much suffering in the world and the horrors that maryam writes so eloquently about makes me just want to keep my individual worries to myself.
so this blog has had her head in the sand for a while. i'm back.
meanwhile, this blogger has been both busy and idle. one moment hopeful and feeling free, the next wanting to fall asleep and never wake up. only one word gets at how the past two weeks have been: intense. i've melted down and pulled myself back up. there have been many tears. the group therapy sessions on tuesdays leave me feeling very wobbly. i've been revisiting my breast reconstruction choices and quite frankly, freaking out for days and days on end.
i have been questioning the very deepest parts of me and my life. soul searching, life-path searching, career searching. all i've been doing is searching, researching, thinking, writing - trying to answer for myself those big, big life questions. then sitting down and meditating, hoping the answers will plop right down into my lap. yeah, right.
who am i, really?
what path should i choose?
where do my gifts best intersect with the needs of others in this crazy world?
an initial decision has been made. i will seek and secure a job. my business will take a back seat, perhaps be dismantled altogether. what i am doing is not sustainable, i am gathering debt nearly every month and i am so, so tired. being part of a team sounds comforting, after all this time as lone wolf in my studio. i am not romanticizing any job, i know the reality of both sides. my friends, i need a break and i need to stabilize.
and i do feel i have succeeded, i made my grand experiment. that was my goal, five years ago, to take a life-long dream and try making it into a business. and try i certainly did. could i go farther? yes, of course. do i want to? no, i don't. production is hard on the body and creative spirit. i am looking forward to making art for its' own sake again. this is the time for damage control and to regain some security. the health insurance issues and costs have been the straw that broke this little camel's back. cancer has changed the playing field forever.
so now i am writing my resume, putting out my feelers and setting my intention. somehow, even in the fierce job market of portland - i will land a position with benefits that is interesting, at a company or non-profit that shares my values. i know i bring a extraordinary package to the table and i am excited to see where i can contribute. this is my short-term goal.
the longer-term goal is going back to school. i am looking at grad school and pondering my options. who knows what type of business i might launch later on, or what kind of fulfilling career path i might embark upon?
i've also boiled down the parts of my Honey & Milk business plan that i was the most excited about and found something i didn't expect. the pieces about making a positive difference in the world, working on sustainability and fair-trade, eradicating poverty, traveling internationally, teaching diverse groups of people -those things really make my eyes sparkle. turns out, the parts about focusing on my jewelry and designs, the high fashion world and marketing - those pieces aren't the heart of the plan. the service to others part is the most compelling piece. that has helped me start in a job search direction.
i guess you could call this a mid-life crisis. trying to answer that question: what was i put on this earth to do? and cancer heated up the urgency. what am i waiting for?
blessed. wealthy. fortunate. i know that these words do apply to me. i have the luxury of being able to work on all of these issues. i am not fighting for survival as the people of rwanda have and still do. as hurting people all over the world do. even with all my issues and health crap and past traumas, even with our failing economy and high cost of living and shitty american health plan - i can make big plans and dream even bigger dreams.
for a fresh perspective on wealth, check this out.