Sunday, 5 May 2013

Rewriting Life (Part One)

As I mentioned in the post about Kickstarting Fearlessness, in the run-up to my 50th birthday, I found myself looking back over my whole life.  As it turns out, this was a bit of a scary proposition, especially after I found this quote several months ago.  It really hit home because I had proof, written evidence that ten years had, in fact, gone by and nothing had changed.

About fifteen years ago I read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (a great book, BTW!).  In it she recommends keeping what she calls morning pages - a place to 'download' every day; a stream of consciousness rather than a formal journal.  It seemed like a good idea to me because I like to write and I figured it would help me sort through some stuff.

I have not always been consistent with writing every day, but had filled several journals over the years, so as I began rummaging through my personal history, these books were where I went first.  Straight away I noticed that they were filled less with stream of consciousness and more with tidal wave of negativity!  I didn't write my pages consistently because I didn't write in there when I was happy.  Oh, that's not good!

I also noticed that as I had approached my 40th birthday I went through the same sort of soul-searching exercise as I was going through at 50 (it really is a thing with me!).  Now, on the outside much had changed in ten years - where we live, how I spend my time, how Hubby spends his, beloved pets passed, adored nephew and god-daughter welcomed - the stuff of life; a good life.

But on the inside nothing had changed.  Ten years on and I was still writing about the same frustrations (largely with myself) - in some cases word for word!!!  That proved to me that I had been stuck - the fact that I had no new words for how I felt.  And as I read, not only was I discouraged by how much time I had wasted, I also felt myself becoming angry for doing so (which, to paraphrase another quote, would be just more wasted time!).  Time for a re-direct.

So if it seems as though I have a bit of a fire in my belly at the moment, it's because I do; and I need to.  I was stuck for a decade.  I can't afford to be stuck for another one if I'm to have hope of fulfilling any of my dreams.  I look back at the past with some regrets - that I didn't do more, wasn't more courageous, wasn't true to myself.  But it's done.  Down the road, I want to look back at this moment and know that even if my dreams don't come true, at least I gave it my best shot!

And all those journals filled with negativity?  I shredded every last page.  Really, who needs all that?  However, the shredding led to another personal mission ...  But I'll post about that next time.  If you've had a mid-life wake-up call, or have re-energized your life in some way, please share your experience; I'd love to hear about it.



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