The New Year is traditionally the time for people to make decisions about new directions in their life. I started my process in the middle of last year when I left my career of 28 years with the intention of pursuing other things. Since then I’ve been able to spend a great couple of weeks volunteering in a school in a Buenos Aires suburb – something I’d wanted to do for a few years but hadn’t been able to as I was always denied the time off.
I still have dreams of teaching abroad for a longer period, but I’m not going to do that yet. The time has come for me to find paid work again (partly spurred on by the fact I want to go to LA in March for a gig and to meet some great friends). I am lucky that I’ve secured a 3-month contract that will see me through financially for the coming few months – as well as find my trip to LA!
I’m feeling ready to start working again. I’ve had a few wobbles where I don’t think I’m good enough and worry whether stress will lead me to have vertigo attacks again, whether I’ll have another breakdown, whether I can make it through the next few months. A lot of people think that a 3-month contract isn’t long, but for me it was the longest period I was able to commit to. I can get through this right?
As part of this new start I’ve bought new dresses to wear to the job – I want to feel like a different person. Well, still me, but more confident and together than I was in the middle of last year. I know new clothes won’t make me different, but if I feel better in myself, that’s a start.
I’m also re-assessing my diet. I considered going raw – but I’m too disorganised for that, and I do like the odd bit of processed food, and I would struggle to give up bread and rice. So, I’ve settled on cutting down (but not cutting out) processed food. I’m going to make myself bean and pasta salads for lunches to minimise spending in the work canteen. I also intend to bulk make food so I have food in the freezer and don’t reach for fast food when I can’t be bothered to cook after a long day.
Another step has been to re-assess the Photography course I’m doing. I was about to stop doing it, but a chat with my tutor and some encouraging words from a friend have led me to re-commit to the course and I’ve set out a do-able plan to ensure that I catch up and complete the course ready for assessment in the coming months.
I still want to write my novel, I’m still committed to working for my football club, I’m still here for my friends, and I’ve various other projects I want to move forward with. My plans for the next three months involve all of those.
I’m by no means confident about achieving any of this, I’m aware I could fail at all of it, but at the moment I’m aiming to give it my best.