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It’s a common theme, here on the blog. The desire for it. The necessity of it, at times. My inability to effect it.
Recently I was offered an opportunity that would force me to change – in a good way. A temporary position opened up with my previous employer, for a year, that was basically my old job.
In so many ways, this seemed like a dream come true, based on my life at the time. A life shrunk small (approx. 1000 square feet to be precise.) Six years out of the workforce had eroded confidence in my abilities. Two car accidents in two years (neither my fault, I should add!) made me fearful of driving. Not that I had a car. With only my husband’s income, the budget balanced more easily with just one.
The job would be a familiar one, in an environment and with people that I knew. A excellent way to rebuild battered self-esteem and have some autonomy over my life.
The situation was not perfect, however. The job was a three hour drive away. Too far to commute every day, so I would need a place to live during the week. Plus a second car… furniture… stuff.
Then there was Hubby to consider. Living apart for over a year would be a strain on anyone’s marriage. He was incredibly supportive though, understanding that if I didn’t do something for myself, I might well end up being not worth married to!
So … did I take this perfect, dream-come-true, but not-without-its-challenges position?
No. No, I did not.
After carefully weighing the pros and cons – a close contest on paper – I managed to talk myself out of it! Too much change all at once. Too much to do. We’d recently moved as it was. Too much doubt. Too much fear. Blah, blah, blah.
Sometimes the Universe sees us making the wrong choices and steps in to hit us upside the head with a 2 x 4, metaphysically speaking.
Someone else was hired for position. He was well-qualified and seemed a good fit. And he lasted three days – then left.
So, with a million-to-one second chance and finally operating under the premise that big action might just equal big results, I decided to accept the path down which I was being guided, applied for the job and… I got it!
Within a week of being offered the position, I had bought the necessary second car, arranged a short-term place to stay, found a ‘permanent’ place to live, made the three hour drive by myself (terrified to start, but was okay by the end!) and started work!
Without doing anything more than that, my confidence soared to a place it has not been for years. I’m taking pleasure in the mundanities of living alone – pumping gas, buying groceries, preparing meals. I freely concede though, that this might not last!
I’ve come to think of this as A Year of Living Myself-ishly. This was a choice, not just for something I wanted, but something I felt I needed. Yet I still feel selfish, as I know this has asked a lot of my husband. It’s not a plan for everyone, but we aren’t the first to make such a choice.
Given that I am not doing this out of financial necessity, I’m sure there are those who don’t understand it. No-one has said anything, but some may think I’m a b*tch, quite possibly insane - or both. That’s okay.
I know there are risks. What will happen to my relationship? How will I feel about leaving my job (again) after a year? How will I change within myself, living alone once more after so many years? Lots of questions for which there are no answers yet, and no guarantees.
Part of me wants to say that I hope at the end of my year that I will be a better person. But, in fact, that isn’t what it’s all about. Ultimately, all I need is to become a more ‘me’ Me again. And if I can say that, then it will all have been worth it.