Reinventing Yourself...this One Creative Life
"I think if you have ability and talent in one way, you have it in all ways. I'm not a jack of all trades; I'm a master of many. I don't feel there is anything I can't do if I want to."
- Evel Knievel
Twenty months ago I was extremely unhappy. I was stressed, not looking after myself; I had no time for my family, and I wasn't enjoying my work doing photography and videography. Yes, I was finally starting to make good money...but at what cost?
I thought I was finally on the right path. I thought I had found 'the thing' I was supposed to be doing. I wondered why I still felt like crap. What was I doing wrong?
It felt like deja vu. I had been here before...many times. You know....you find something you're passionate about. You then become obsessed with it. And then your life becomes consumed by it, to the detriment of all other areas of your life. Sound familiar?
Not long after I turned 50 and did a whole life review. I asked myself, "What do I want my life to look like for the next 50 years?" I knew that it wasn't 'this'...it wasn't this feeling of who I wasn't. I hadn't been me for a little while, and it was eating me up.
So I just stopped...I stopped doing the thing that was making me feel so unhappy. I stopped doing the photography and video thing.
I withdrew from the world completely for eight months while I rested and healed. I withdrew from social media and made my world small again. I focused on the important things...my health, my family, my garden, my art, nature...the little things.
And I grieved.
I grieved for what I felt and thought I had lost...the skills I had learned; friendships and business relationships...my identity as a photographer and videographer.
When I re-emerged from my self-imposed sabbatical, I still didn't know what I should be doing or what I wanted to do. If you know me, that's unlike me. I've always had a big, lofty goal and I've always gone for it.
But I tuned in and went within. And intuitively, the message I was getting was to rest, be patient...take time to contemplate. So I did. It seemed like it was taking forever. I let go of the belief that I had to find my purpose. I trusted myself...finally.
When I returned to the world at large, I was in a better place. I was ready to re-engage and reconnect...slowly. I found that when I let go of things...of beliefs that weren't serving me, that the unnecessary drifted away and what was left were deep and meaningful connections that were always there, but had become hidden with the noise of what I thought was important. It was time to put a magnifying glass to the small yet important details.
The small yet important things in life that bring me joy...this is the key to my happiness. It always has been. I've just never worked out how to hold the big vision of what I want my life to look like, yet retain the seemingly infinitesimal detail in clear sight and in front of me.
So here I am twenty months on, and I've finally let go of many old beliefs that weren't serving me. I've been replacing those beliefs with new ones that serve me better.
One big belief that I was carrying and I have since let go of, was that I had to find my purpose...the one big thing that I was supposed to be doing with my life. As a recent quote I've seen goes, I've "Let that shit go!"
All these years I thought there was one thing that I was supposed to be doing, and I've been chasing it relentlessly. I listened to what others thought I should be doing or who I was supposed to be.
Sometimes those people were well-meaning coaches, friends and family. Now, I'm finally listening to me and I'm never letting go of my power again. It's my journey and each person's journey is theirs to choose. There is no right or wrong. And it is you alone who determines that.
When I took stock and looked back over all the things I've done in my life, it made me realise that I was never meant to do one thing or to be one thing. My identity is not tied to what I am doing or what I've done. It is who I choose to be in the moment. And if I choose to do something or be someone, it doesn't matter what that is, as long as I feel good and happy in the doing of it (and I respect others).
I remember early on in life asking for a rich, interesting, meaningful, and diverse life. And you know what? I sure as hell got what I asked for!
Diversity includes the shitty as well as the good. I mean, how do you know how bloody good your life is if you've never experienced the troughs? And how boring would life be if all we experienced were the peaks? How would you even know that they were peaks, if you never experienced the troughs?
Humans are peculiar creatures. Every now and again you get a taste of what you don't want as a bit of a reminder of what's truly meaningful in your life.
And when those reminders drop-in to your life...challenges, setback and the things you'd rather not go through, take heed of them. It's life's way of helping you steer you back on course. But remember to be still, long enough to hear the messages.
So here I am. And all that I know is that life is good. I am happy. I am doing what I want to be doing and that is living a life full of dreams, hopes and aspirations. It really is all about the journey. I am thankful for what I've lived thus far. I have no regrets. It's what has led me here.
The exciting part is maintaining that balance...the anticipation of what's around the corner, yet being fully present to all the many small, though no-less miraculous experiences you encounter of each moment of every day.
So what is my purpose?
My purpose is to lead a long life that is creative and artistic at its' core...that brings me great joy, whatever I am doing, wherever I may be or whomever I encounter on this one creative lifes' journey.
Kerry :) x