What kind of person am I? Am I the kind that thinks, works, lives inside the Box of Life or am I the kind of person that pushes beyond standardized boundaries and parameters (perhaps also known as limitations)? Am I not one or other but, like most people, a combination of the two?
Over the past few days, while I seriously bogged myself down with questioning thoughts about how I am currently trying to accomplish a variety of different life goals, I realized I may be a more 'out of the box' kind of person than I ever initially thought.
Let me bring you up to speed on what's been going on since my last post.
Two weeks ago, I interviewed for two different jobs. Both the interviews went well, with lengthy and thoughtful answers to questions and a good amount of laughter mixed in as well. Both jobs would have offered me a chance to spread my wings in new directions while effectively utilizing all the experience, talents and skills I've built up over the years. Both indicated that a final decision would be made within a couple of days. Now that an entirely new week has come and gone, I think it’s pretty obvious that I didn’t get either job. I guess there was someone else out there who was better suited than myself.
And then, to top it all off, I still have yet to hear anything back from the two publishers I sent my memoir manuscript to (bad grammar, I know). I followed up, twice, with voicemails and emails. What did I get in return? Zip, zilch, nada, which baffles me as they were both so keen and enthusiastic earlier in October. I know I'm not the only author out there who is trying to secure a publisher, and they likely have lots and lots of submissions to consider, but I've spoken directly to them (face-to-face and screen-to-screen) and still all I get is absolute silence.
In a need to get away, and work on my overall perspective on life, I flew over to Vancouver Island for a few days to hang out with a girlfriend. Admittedly, I was a bit of a feisty bear for the first forty-eight hours, venting my frustration and rage, along with a lot of less than lady-like curse words. Then anger gave way to deflation, with me questioning everything in my life. Why am I writing this book? Why won't interested publishers respond? Why won't a potential employer recognize the skills and talents I bring to the table?
Throughout all of this, I realized, I was waiting for a response from other people. While I'm chomping at the bit to get this memoir of mine published, and get myself out there in front of people to talk about and share what I learned from my life experience (oh yes, and earn a paycheque), I'm left drumming my fingers on the desk, waiting with bated breath for someone else to initiate the next move. Although sick and tired of this particular situation, what could I actually do about it?
Then, thanks to a girlfriend of the girlfriend with whom I was staying, a totally unexpected brainstorming session took place. These two ladies filled my mind to the brim (and plenty of journal pages) with all sorts of possible answers and solutions and strategies for relying less on other people and relying more upon myself. They gave me examples of how I can think outside the box and still achieve my goals (perhaps even more successfully than when thinking inside the box!). The long and short was I flew back home yesterday with renewed determination and focus, ready to take control once again of my dreams and goals, and put myself back into the driver seat of my own life.
Years ago, while sailing across the Pacific, I had a t-shirt that stated boldly, but in a cute way, You Are Not The Boss Of Me! I'm happy to admit those words still ring true today.
** UPDATE ** Moments after posting this blog, I received an incredibly heart-warming telephone call from one of my interviewers. Although they did go with someone else who had more direct experience for that particular job, I was told that I made a solid impression with them and that I have a skillset that could be beneficial to the organization. They are hopeful of opportunities to work together in the future, just in a more suitable manner.
So, there you go!
Life is rosy once again.
I can't believe it's been ten years. That an entire decade has passed. Staggering, isn't it, the passage of time?
What was the 'it', you might wonder? What happened? Or, what did I do? Why was it such a big deal? Well, on a wintery January evening, back in 2014, while the rest of my family slept peacefully and I lay in bed, wide awake, I did something that changed my life forever. The actual 'it' was a seemingly simple physical task yet, at the same time, it was a monumental leap forward for me, personally.
So, what did I do? I typed a word into the elongated oval-shaped Google search box. A very singular, very specific, eight-lettered word. A word that had been floating around in my mind for quite some time. I typed, p-a-r-a-n-o-i-a. From the very moment, the very millisecond, that I tapped the enter key on my iPad keyboard, my world spiralled off in directions I could never have foreseen. The eventual result, later that summer, was me leaving my almost 20-year marriage and starting a new life on my own (with, of course, my three children by my side).
Over the past ten years, since first starting my self-directed research project on what, potentially, could be the cause of my then-husband's somewhat questionable behaviour and unique world perspective, I have come a long way ... baby! Today, as I reflect back on all those days, weeks, months and years, I'm staggered by all that I did accomplish. Yay for me! I won't bore you with a long list, or repeat myself from thoughts shared in past blog entries. Suffice to say, I (finally) feel that all my healing, all my tearing apart of the past, all the self-analysis, insight gained, all the tears and screams and moans and groans, all the thousands upon thousands of words typed out in four (yes...four!) evolutions of my memoir manuscript (with Draft #5 already in the works), that all of that has got me to the place I really and truly want to be.
This week, I will interview and be considered for three different jobs, in two different industries. And no, neither one involves river rafting or tourism (despite what I wrote in Travels By Deborah last week!). Two of the opportunities are in the writing industry, while the other is in the non-profit sector, specifically helping women who are in, and want to leave, abusive relationships. Can these potential jobs be any more appropriate or suitable?
I actually feel that all my hard work has (again, finally) paid off. And, that patience and persistence won out in the end. That today, I am, at last, on the cusp of something new and exciting, and involves aspects of the world that truly feed my soul (like river rafting did).
So, stay focused out there. Go the distance. Go after what you really want to go after. 'Cuz, one day, you might just find yourself exactly where you want to be!
Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season filled with laughter, chatter, relaxation and healthy doses of fresh air and fun. For me, Christmas this year (or rather, last year) took on a new shine. For the first time in years, my parents, their two daughters, and all five of their grandchildren (along with the company of two significant others) gathered together for a multi-generational family celebration. There were eleven of us under one roof and it was an absolute blast! There was so much joy, so much love, and so many memories shared that the greatest gift under the Christmas tree was everyone's presence.
With the wrapping up of the holiday season (now there's a pun!), I find my mind twirling around, once again, with thoughts of my book. More specifically, when will I hear back from either (or both) of the publishers I sent the manuscript to back in late November? I'm trying to be patient, I am, but it is really hard! I want to know, NOW, whether either is interested. Whether this memoir of mine (of about 104,000 words!) can take its final steps and become an actual book. I am ready, so ready, for the final editing phase and whatever else is required to pull Smile and Wave all together. I want this. Badly. I know I have to be patient but I am anything but at this stage of the game!
A wise writing mentor advised following up some time later in January as reviewing a manuscript typically takes about a month, and then a couple of extra weeks have to be added in because of the Christmas holidays. Publishers, undoubtedly, also take time off at the end of December.
In the meantime, there is planning, strategizing and plotting to be done for what I want to accomplish once the book is actually published. I have plans, BIG plans, for where I want the book to go once it is out in the world for any and all to read. I want to talk about the book, about my experience, to readers near and far. I also want to talk to survivors about the reality of abuse, how to heal and how to move on from it and live the life you want. Empowerment, just like domestic abuse, is a universal topic, and I'm willing to share my story. Then, of course, there is the hope of a movie or some adaptation onto some sort of screen. But to get this party really started, I need the book published.
I also need to deal with the reality of earning a paycheque. While I'm absolutely willing to commit as many hours each day to get the manuscript polished and primed for printing, I still need to pay the rent! Several years ago, after putting myself back together after a complete emotional breakdown (after writing the first draft), I was in this exact same position. To get myself out of that quandary, I asked myself two questions:
1) How do I want to make my money?
2) Where do I want to make my money?
That strategy got me back into the river rafting industry, where I spent five amazing summers working for Wild Water Adventures in the Rocky Mountains (and off-seasons, at home, in Squamish, working from my desk in the living room). Today, I still want to make my money in the tourism industry but from a slightly different perspective. Ideally, I'd love to escort tours through the Rocky Mountains, sharing my passion, excitement and fairly in-depth knowledge of the region with visiting travellers and mountain enthusiasts. After working at one of Kelowna's Big 5 wineries this past summer (The Vibrant Vine), laughing and chatting my way through descriptions of wine for thousands of winery guests, I feel so incredibly comfortable talking, face-to-face, with both individuals and groups. And that was about wine! If I'm talking about the Rockies, as anyone who knows me knows, all you have to do is wind me up and let me go. My enthusiasm is boundless. To me, it's a natural fit. Wish me luck.
As we all work and play our way into the upcoming months of 2024, I wish everyone the achievement of goals and the fulfillment of dreams. That seems a worthwhile endeavour for us all to pursue.
Happy New Year!