Dancing outside my comfort zone

Change is inevitable. How we handle it is entirely up to us.

For anyone who has perused this blog or its predecessor on Blogger, I have been taking the promise of change which has been predicted on many of the Spiritual sites very much to heart. Whether it’s changing careers, decluttering my house or moving my blog to another site to prepare for the launching of my first website, I’ve been plunging fearlessly (though some might say foolishly) into the fray. It’s as if I have jumped onto an infinite loop of change, just for the sake of change and have either lost my way to the exit, or, more likely, simply don’t care to find it.

Some might wonder why I’ve thrown caution to the winds (along with a steady income and company paid health insurance) to follow a dream which, even now, isn’t completely thought out. As the clock on my computer reads 11:11, I believe I have just another sign in a long line of them, that I took my leap of faith at the exact time I was supposed to.

In the same way that I write, not knowing or needing to know how the story will end, I’ve realized that my life is far more fulfilling when I live it as I write. At this point, I am satisfying my introverted and somewhat lazy nature by spending a lot of time at home, alone with my cats and my computer. Yet, I’m also satisfying the clumsily social side of myself by dancing regularly, joining friends for plays and concerts and making regular visits to the gym. (though, admittedly, the latter is just about as solo an endeavor as my writing. I plug in the headphones and purposefully go about my workout, rarely connecting with the other people there.) Even having my daughter move to another town has become its own kind of blessing as it makes me leave my comfortable womb to spend time with her and my grand furries.

In the process of changing my entire world, eschewing the regular paycheck, the requirement to keep regular hours at someone else’s place of business and needing to follow a schedule not of my own making, I’ve found that simplifying a life is more complicated than I’d imagined.

Clutter, begone!! I no longer require your services!

Once upon a time, I was a pack rat. I kept things forever. Clothes, birthday cards, magazines…you name it, I kept it. Now that I’m home all of the time and have to look at my surroundings, I’ve discovered that I really hate…no, let me rephrase that…I abhor clutter! It gets in my way, makes things take ten times as long, and is downright unpleasant to look at! As a result, I have ruthlessly pared down my wardrobe, the ridiculous number of years of records I had stored and a great number of things which no longer fit my lifestyle!

For a number of reasons, I have virtually eliminated my impulse buying. In fact, I rarely go into a store unless I have something specific I need to purchase, and then, usually come out with exactly what I went in for! Do I feel deprived because I’m living on less and not buying as much stuff? Heck no! I feel a new kind of freedom. I acquire what I need, and the rest? I just don’t miss it! In fact, I was wrestling with what I wanted to take for dinner last night to Shakespeare in the Park. I thought about Sushi, a sandwich, Baja Fresh, and a couple of other things. What ended up sounding good was a simple salad and a taco from El Pollo Loco. I’m just not inclined to even want the more expensive choices right now!

Will this seemingly uncharacteristic frugality continue?

It’s really hard to say right now if my simpler tastes will endure once my steady income returns, though at my direction rather than someone else’s. I’ve lived frugally before, and found that it was a very easy place to slip back into. I’d have to liken it to switching back from a pair of high heels to a comfy pair of sandals. I’m happier in the sandals.

Taking this one step further, I posted two possible profile pictures for my friends to vote on. In the first one, my hair was pulled back neatly, my face was made up and I wore jewelry. In he other, my hair was in its natural, curly state of disarray, held in place only by a pair of sunglasses, my face was bare of makeup and my dress was casual. In the end, I chose the second one because, as one friend pointed out, it was a better fit for what this blog is all about: I’m brutally honest about my own insecurities, fumbles and foibles, laughing at myself when appropriate, scolding myself when necessary, and inviting others to see, love and accept themselves just as they are too. You see, I’ve learned over the last few years that I am a person worth loving unconditionally, that I’m perfect in my imperfections and that I am a much happier person now that I do love the me I am, live the life I carve out for myself and, in staying true to myself, find that joy is everywhere I look!

Measurements for success are purely arbitrary, and when all is said and done, don’t mean squat!

If I were to look back to the day I left the working world and ask myself if I had succeeded in doing what I’d set out to do, I’d have to say “no”. I’m not where I thought, hoped, dreamed, planned I’d be. But I know things now that I didn’t know then. I’ve taken some side trips I couldn’t possibly have anticipated, but will, ultimately, bring me success of some kind or another. But I measure my success in the freedom I have to get up whenever I want to (even if, lately, that seems to be earlier and earlier most days!) and do whatever I choose with my days. I measure it by the amount of joy I feel and the number of times in a day I look in the mirror and say “Dang it, girl! You look terrific! You are simply glowing!”

Sure, I don’t anticipate a trip to Europe or an Alaskan cruise as many of my friends are enjoying this year, but since those things weren’t even on my bucket list, missing out on them warrants little more than a yawn and an “oh well” from me. I’d much rather take the train down to San Diego to visit my daughter and spend my days following her around to all of the places and things she’s discovered, reveling in the joy she’s feeling over so easily acclimating to the changes in her life. I love doing simple things with my friends. We have so many options! There are concerts in the park, the county fair, plays, movies, and just sitting outside on a beautiful day sharing coffee and conversation.

The bald truth is that I’m just a simple kind of girl.

I don’t need to get dressed up to have a good time, and, in fact, I rarely do any more. I prefer to avoid stockings and high heels and fixing my hair just so. What I’m trying to say in a kazillion words or more is: I’m happy, just the way I am. I’m exactly where I want and need to be. I don’t want or need to impress anyone, though, admittedly, I love it when people read my blog, and I’ll be ecstatic when my first book comes out and people actually buy it! But for now, I’m in a place where I get to learn a lot of new things and dress comfortably. In a word, my life is perfect! I wish every single person out there just that much!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for everything I have. My life is perfect, just the way it is, whether it’s now or next year or the year after. Wherever I am is perfectly awesome!
2. I am grateful for the freedom to do and learn and be.
3. I am grateful for my cats who, most days, are all the company I need.
4. I am grateful for the days when I go out and actually interact with people. I know I need that too.
5. I am grateful for all of the help and encouragement I get from all of the people in my life, and look forward to adding more people to my life as I expand my horizons and try new things.

Love and light.

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