Somehow a lot of time has passed, and it turns out I inadvertently left my blog unattended-to for two whole months, just after promising to spend more time updating it more regularly! It was sunny summertime when I last wrote anything here, and now the trees outside my windows are bare and the air has that obvious feel to it that snow will soon be on the way. Days have been passing me by like traffic on a busy street the last while, and the first half of October has been no exception with huge changes and decisions being made and a hurricane leaving shambles of my guts. But then this week came along and finally allowed me an opportunity to breathe.
So it goes.
Lets start from the top – you might want to grab a coffee, because in choosing to read this update, you will probably be here a while. Just a heads-up.
Here I sit, with my favourite giant Christmas mug full of cream soda beside me, and a lot on my mind. The mug is symbolic because my choosing to use it symbolizes an excitement about the festive season that has lay dormant inside of me since I was a young child. Yesterday afternoon, while taking a walk on my break from an extra-uneventful day at work, I found myself enticed by a Christmas ornament turnstile in a quaint little downtown corner shop. In the last dozen or so years, I can’t recall a time when I started looking forward to the season so early – in fact, most Christmases I have found myself dreading, and thinking I would rather just get through them and back to regular life. The last couple of years though, and this year in particular, my mindset is quite different. In my head, I was already selecting new festive mugs that my hubby and I could sip our morning coffee from on Christmas morning, and ornaments I thought I might like to show him, that we might consider hanging on our tree this year. Yesterday was the first mildly chilly day this month and I was wearing my mid-length lightweight black wool jacket for the first time this season. It felt nice keeping my hands scrunched in my pockets, even though I’m not really particularly fond of colder weather. So far this year the temperature has been pretty decent, and I can’t complain.
While I was wandering through the store, I was thinking about some of the big things going on in my life right now.
Last week, I gave my notice that I was leaving my job. I have been working at the same place for over three years, so I suppose a minor emotional attachment to the place was warranted, but oddly I was still surprised when the prospect of leaving had me feeling a little sad. After all, I met my wonderful husband there, and we had spent the entire two first years of our marriage working alongside one another. I had met lots of different people working there, some whose company I enjoyed very much and others perhaps not quite so much, but all people I won’t soon forget. I was pretty nervous when I finally sat down in my bosses office and gave him the envelope that held my resignation paper, but the reaction from him made it easy for me to feel good about my decision. He agreed with what I had said in my letter about a person needing to follow their chosen path and that I had selected a good time to do so, being still young and able to make adjustments and choose a new path in life. It felt good to know that my boss, someone who I will always consider a friend, understood the necessity of my choice. I was breathing much easier as I went back down to my desk underground to start gathering up my things to take home with me over the next two weeks. My last day will be October 29th.
Growing up in Canada, I fully appreciate that a person needs to work to live. Not everybody can grow up wealthy and many people must work extra long hours just to survive. I admit, there have been times where I have had to work at multiple jobs to scrape by and live in less-than-ideal conditions, and I too have had jobs that I didn’t enjoy in the slightest. I remember when $5.90 an hour was starting wage at many jobs, and working split shifts between 7:30 in the morning and 10:30 at night was a typical day. Of course, back then I didn’t envision my life turning out as it has – for the better, that is, and I am eternally thankful for it – instead, I had simply resigned myself to accepting the grind.
But the last 3 years have marked a major turning point in life for me. I took a job that paid better than I had ever earned before, I met – and married – a man who cares for me unconditionally and who I love more and more each day, and I realized after a great deal of soul-searching that the time had come to make my childhood dreams a reality. While the job I had been working for so long was taking care of my financial needs, it was not allowing me to grow personally. I am a caring person, and working in a retail environment wasn’t giving me the sorts of situations that were fuelled by necessity or urgency. I didn’t feel that I was helping anyone on any real emotional level which left my days seemingly mundane and redundant. Working at a desk in an underground office left me lethargic and lazy and I found myself feeling constantly exhausted and less and less good about myself and my appearance. I am also a very creative person, and I have been releasing my penned-up creative energy though my photography – but even that wasn’t fulfilling my need to express myself. I needed to find a way to engage myself in something that would provide mental, physical and creative stimulus while also giving me the sense that I was making a difference, even in some small way.
I am of the belief that a person should strive to do something they love, when deciding where to work and how to live their life. While I have chosen jobs in the past that were not my favourite place to be or task to do, I was not miserable with my occupation. That being said, I haven’t been excited to get up and get started each morning either, and it didn’t take long for me to realize what exactly what was missing from my life: Personal fulfillment from my job. A person will spend at least one-third of nearly every day of their life working, and I do not want to give that kind of time and effort to something I do not enjoy. Too many people do exactly that, and I have chosen not to be one of them. I have been given this one life, and it is my single chance to make the most of myself and to be happy, and I intend to do just that.
My passions lie in three different fields: travel, photography, and animals (not necessarily in that order). My wish to travel is one I share with my husband – as is photography. I have never had a goal to make a living from either, and I simply enjoy both for what they are. I live in Calgary and I understand the reality that a quarter of its population has lofty goals to succeed in the artistic realm of work, especially the field of photography. So before you start to worry, NO, I am not going to stop taking pictures. I love photography and will not ever stop pressing forward with my art. However, I am realistic and I know that, at least for now, I cannot make a living off of it. Perhaps one day I might, but until then, I will do something else that I love.
That is where my new occupation of choice comes into play. Ever since I was a small child, I have dreamed of surrounding myself with animals and have always wanted to do something to help them. But I do not have the stomach for surgery, or the heart of steel to put an animal to sleep on a regular basis, and donating to the local shelter can only go so far. I have never intended to go into the veterinary field, and I found myself short of ideas on how to make a living working with animals beyond that. Until now. I have earned a chance to work full-time in a career where I will be surrounded by animals, where I can be creatively and physically challenged, and where I can work to my full potential and grow, knowing that I am doing something that is meaningful and helpful. I will spend my time focusing my energy on controlling my body and my my mindset, while expanding my creativity and working in direct contact with something that interests me, something I love: animals. And I have grand plans to learn and grow with not just the field I am starting out in, but in the fields of animal care, behaviour and training as well. I am looking forward to finding a renewed pride in my work and expanding my knowledge-base. I am excited to be embarking on what I know is going to be a life-changing path and seeing where it will take me. I can’t wait to get started!
Oh, and for those of you interested in my most recent photographic endeavours, images will be posted soon, but you should also check out www.Holgablog.com – a huge project my husband and I have taken on and are very excited about! – more on that to come shortly as well.