Last year at this time I was on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It was a magical vacation. I just celebrated a dear friend’s 50th birthday with 20 of her
closest friends and family in Phuket. I treated myself to a week at Naka Island, which was pure bliss. I went on my own #1) because I am on my own and #2) I wanted to figure out how to change my life. It was a great experience and only the beginning of my journey of taking control of my life. One of the biggest changes I made was that this was the first time in over 12 years that I did not bring my work computer. Sure, I had my iPAD but I did not log on to my work email at all. This time was about me. This isn’t to say I wasn’t online and connected. I was because it’s part of who I am. I don’t need a break since I am not overwhelmed by social technologies. But I did need true time off work, which was defining my entire existence. When I returned from my vacation, I was a bit lighter but I fell right back into my old habits of working to live.And when I look back at the past year, I acknowledge how important that trip was to bringing me to where I am today. And I was reading Paulo Coleho’s Aleph on this trip and his words still ring in my head: “Some times you have to travel a long way to find what is near.” It’s amazing how we have the answers and yet we get in our own way because of the people telling us what’s right and wrong.
This week I am working on finishing my first e-book, Getting Unstuck, and I know it won’t be perfect. But writing has been healing for me because my dream as a child was to write to help others. I got involved in my local theatre in Rishon Le Zion when I was 15 and then took all the theatre classes I could in high school in Richmond, BC. I auditioned to get into theatre school at university (I was picked in the top 100 out of thousands) so I could be a playwright (not an actor) but ended up with a degree in political science. And when I applied for graduate school in Journalism, I was accidentally accepted to the political science program “by mistake” and managed to negotiate a combined degree in political science and journalism (I only found out about the error when I arrived in Jerusalem to start my MA). When I applied for my PhD studies, I wanted to focus on mass media and again I was picked to study political science with a focus on journalism. I left academia with an ABD thinking that a career would set me free and the “publish or perish” academic environment was crowded at the time. When I reflect, I realize these experiences made me who I am today. But it’s time to unlearn what I was trained and conditioned to do and simply be.
I’ve had an amazing career. I met incredible people and have life long friends from all my journeys. I also have a lot of scar tissue that is healing.I am making choices. I am voting some people off my island. And I am finally able to sit, write and create. It’s a true blessing. I have to go now to finish writing so I can ship my art for the new year.
What do you need to do not to wait to be picked? How can you pick yourself?