I like to every now and then look back to where I was a year earlier. It helps me keep a little perspective on my life.
One year ago, I was so lonely and desperate to meet The Man For Me, My Life Partner, The Father Of My Children, all wrapped up in one guy who would be not too much older or younger, fair skinned, blue or green eyed, creative, intelligent, funny, a little odd, accepting, driven, strong willed, sociable, affectionate, good at kissing, hopefully red haired and accented in speech, flexible, spiritual, communicative, not previously married, no children, wanting marriage and children, and ready to get at it right now. I had a pretty specific list.
I was so determined to get on the married with children bandwagon that I was even telling people that I didn't care about anything else and was going to devote all my energy into getting The Man For Me, et al. I mean, I was ready to let my business slide into oblivion if I had to.
Which is pretty drastic; and I knew it.
My busness was doing marginally okay. About this time last year I finally realised that I wanted to focus my acupunk/shiatsu business on prenatal care, because they were the population that I loved working with the most. I also felt largely unqualified to advertise as doing complementary prenatal care, because I knew just about nothing about a lot of prenatal conditions. I also knew next to squat about the physiological changes (not to mention energetic changes) in a woman's body when she is growing a babe. I started shopping for midwifery/obstetric textbooks. I tried to find a good book about pregnancy and acupuncture (it does not exist). I wanted to do more doula work but didn't want to work at advertising myself--I was too busy with the boy stuff.
I also realised that I love love love the ocean, and I feel much better, much more grounded, much calmer, much more ME when I am by the sea. I started thinking about West Coast towns that I might be able to live in. I spent a week camping out at Cape Overlook and explored that part of the Oregon coast. By the end of the week I had ruled out the Oregon coast as a possible place for me to live. I had already ruled out the Washington coast, which left me with either the Canadian coast or California. I was willing to consider the San Juan Islands, Vancouver Island, Vancouver BC, maybe the Candian Islands up thataway, maybe even somewhere along Puget Sound (but that was stretching it--had to be a Great Place to make up for not being truly on the ocean), and maybe Santa Barbara or somewhere North of SF. And nowhere else.
One year ago I was recovering from a weird, unspoken, not really anything, internet relationship. I went into it with my eyes open--I knew what I was choosing to do and what it meant in terms of my life and the possibility of getting hurt. I was really excited by him, and we met in person a couple of times when he came through town, and it seemed really great, really promising, really hopeful. I had totally fallen for him, and for who I thought he was, and for what I thought he could offer me, and blah blah blah....When he moved back here for good and we spent a little bit of time together, it become clear to me that we weren't really anything at all, and shouldn't be.
I also knew that I was standing in the middle of a dry riverbed and that the dam holding back my foward movement in terms of personal growth, career, and everything else was about to break open and I was scared and ready all at once. Refusing to look back or change my mind I braced as the water rushed over me and drove me down the now rushing riverbed of my life. I tried hard not to direct the currents of water that were propelling me forward, around, up and down, but of course in moments of fear or panic I did try and tell the water where to take me, and even refused flat-out to live up to my potential until I got a few things that I wanted first.
You know, when I look back a year ago I sometimes think I was a total nut to have made the choices that I did, but in the end those choices led me to today, and today I am happy with my life as it is. I'm not waiting for a magical future when my life will finally come together and I'll have meaning and purpose, I'm living that right now. So, looking back just makes my present more...present, you know?
Where were you 365 days ago? How does today look, knowing what yesterday was?