– Contributed by Wee C
Anyone who has ever worked with me, for me, alongside me will quickly tell you that closing off a project is not my forte. Oh, will you all be quiet? I can hear each and every one of you snickering from here.
But, really. Want a great idea conceived; something that’s never been done before or is a groovy solution to a problem that you can’t solve? I’m on it. Need someone to push an existing idea to the next level? Yup, I got that one, too. Work through the finer details so that everything is just so, done with lots of time to spare, and tied up in a pretty little bow? Have I told you how remarkable that Big L is? Give her a call…she can do everything I can do and way more. Unless you’re a future potential employer or an existing client. In which case, I’ll fake my way through just about anything, consider it done!
So, inevitably, the whole “project wrap” bit of 30 Things has assumed the all-too-familiar place at the back of my mind, buzzing around like a stupid house fly that can’t manage to find it’s way out, despite the double patio doors that are wide open to the great outdoors. And trust me, it’s not for lack of enthusiasm or passion. I’ve got plenty of that when it comes to this topic. No, it seems that my habit of procrastination was one of the few personal hangups I neglected to conquer with 30 Things. And so, despite an almost overwhelming eagerness to write this post, I didn’t. I’m sure few of you are shocked.
Summing up a year of personal change is an almost insurmountable feat. Simply saying “I’m not who I used to be” isn’t accurate. In fact, in many ways I’m more who I used to be than I ever intended or wanted to become when I started out on this journey. Why wouldn’t I want that? Well, let’s see. At the time, I thought of myself as a no-fun, uptight, workaholic, worry-wart that was incapable of seizing the day and relaxing for more than five seconds. I took my BlackBerry on my honeymoon to Paris, for Pete’s sake…that about sums it up, doesn’t it? Bottom line: I was uncomfortable in my own skin, I was indulging in plenty of self-loathing, and I felt I had lost my way. No, I wasn’t ready to be committed or anything. But I certainly wasn’t loving life. And going the Dr. Phil route in search of a “better version of myself” made me want to gag. Gross me green, as the kids used to say (hey, I’m still working on the cool part).
On June 22, 2009, when I conceived 30 Things, the hopes and dreams I had of becoming someone totally different would almost have been Silver Screen, bring a tear-to-your-eye, worthy. I had visions of becoming like Kate Hudson in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or Jennifer Aniston as Rachael Green. I wanted to abandon everything that had contributed to making me as uncomfortable and uncertain as I had become. Oh, I had put up a good front. Few people would have known just how much being me made me want to scratch. But I was so itchy at that time, you’d have thought I had rolled in a field of poison ivy.
With 365+ days having passed since then, what’s remarkable to me is how true to me that I’ve become. I’m not a better version of me. I’m not a different version of me. I’m certainly not a worse version of me, nor am I me playing the role of someone else who is playing the role of someone else (a little Tropic Thunder reference just to demonstrate my increased cool factor…c’mon, it’s the only cultural reference I’ve got in my repertoire, cut me some slack!). I’m an authentic and comfortable version of me.
Do I still have hang ups and need to scratch from time to time? I hope so…I wouldn’t have anything to write about in future if I didn’t. But I no longer have a stomach that is turned in knots from dusk until dawn. I’ve learned to lighten the load (both professionally and personally) and I’m even learning to laugh at the occasional Family Guy reference. Ok, occasional might be generous…as might laugh…but I roll my eyes less when hubby watches it, surely that counts?
Perhaps most importantly to me is that I’ve gained control over my life. All those years of stressing and working like a maniac and needing to get every.single.last task done before I left work for the day (only to go home and scramble to get every.single.last task done at home) I thought I had control. Turns out, I was out of control. Control had control over me, if that makes any sense to anyone else.
Here’s the moral of the story. What I have come to believe is that you can change your life. Three years ago I was diagnosed with clinical depression (a shock to some who know me personally, I’m sure). Two months before I started 30 Things I was seeing a psychologist on a routine basis. Today, I don’t even know what I would say if I had to see a therapist. Sure, I have normal human being twitches. But not the kind that keep me up at night and make me so desperate for a way out that I’m banging into every nearby wall in an effort to find an exit. So while 30 Things is over, I’ve learned that life is lived on a continuum, and there is only one beginning and one end. Everything else in between is merely stops on the journey in order to teach you what you need to get to the next destination. I’m working on planning my next trip now. I’m darned excited about this leg, too. Remember, I’m pretty good at coming up with some killer ideas.
PS – for those of you who have been dying with curiosity to learn what my last 30 Thing was, I’ll indulge you. There’s a great photographer in town by the name of Liam Hennessey (Applehead Studio Photography). Seems the latest thing for brave gals to do is a little thing called a boudoir photo shoot. I figured there would be no better way to go into 30. But don’t go looking for the photos. They’re under lock and key. And, girls, every woman should do this at least once. You’ll love yourself (and all your dimples, ripples, and rolls) more during that photo shoot than you ever thought possible.