Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

alive

Yes, folks. Finally. I’m alive. I was in the kitchen the other day, chopping vegetables, when I realized that I was coming out of my depression. I’ve probably been mildly depressed for quite a while without realizing it. The signs were there: I had no appetite. I didn’t ride my bike all summer. I barely even left the house. So when I was chopping those vegetables, I suddenly realized that I felt good. I even heard myself say, “God, I’ve missed cooking.” I knew then, that I was coming back to life.

I think the main reason I was depressed was that I didn’t see any hope of finding a job I wanted. I’ve always found jobs by default. More of a “this’ll do” rather that “oh, yeah!” In fact, I’ve never had a job I liked. It’s probably because I never knew what I wanted to do. I job hopped from plasma centers to garden centers to a laboratory. I had to completely start over so many times. I always had high hopes that this time, I would have found the work that I’d been looking for. It never was. I was looking for that thing that I was meant to do in life, that thing that would give me satisfaction and fulfillment. The problem was, as Abraham Hicks says, I was looking for love in all the wrong places.

The reason I couldn’t find that thing I was meant to do was because I couldn’t acknowledge what I really wanted. It took me four years of therapy to admit that I wanted to be a photographer and another year or so to even entertain the idea that it was possible. I wanted to create so badly, but I wouldn’t allow it, because I didn’t believe that I was creative.

So, I started taking classes in graphic design. “What?” you say. “I thought you wanted to be a photographer.” Again, this was me denying what I truly wanted to do. In fact, I actually went into it for web design, not realizing that it wasn’t just learning to code. There was DESIGN involved. The first classes they require are Illustrator and Photoshop and that’s when I learned that I absolutely love graphic design. It’s fun. It makes me happy. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with an answer to a problem. I love creating the ideas that I see in my head. I love graphic design, but is it what I’m meant to do? Do I want to try to break into such a competitive field as a middle-aged woman? I’ve always wanted to use my photography to enhance my marketability, but is design just another distraction from what I truly want to do? Right now, I don’t know. I reckon I’ll just pursue it all and see what sticks.

However, things haven’t quite gone the way I thought they would. First, I had to take a job at a call center. It’s quite humbling to feel like I have no choice but to work in a place that’s once again so very wrong for me. It involves two things I dislike immensely: talking and consumerism. “No, sir. I don’t give a crap if your thing you don’t need is the wrong color.” “Yes, ma’am. I ruined your kid’s Christmas by not getting little Timmy the electric riding toy he wanted in time. How ever are you going to explain to Timmy that he can’t have everything he wants all the time.” Second, I had to quit taking classes because my job has such weird shifts that it leaves no time for classes. And third, I’ve been very discouraged by friends who wanted me to do design work for them then decided they didn’t like what I did. I don’t think that was entirely the reason things fell apart, but that’s the way it felt.

The saving grace-and perhaps what was meant to happen all along-is that I’ve decided to move. I’ve been in Omaha twenty years and I’ve never liked it here. Ever. Like all of my jobs, I ended up here by default. It has a lot of sadness and grief attached to it and if I’m going to do things differently and get on with my life, I want to do it somewhere else. I need a complete change of scenery. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I think I’ll let the Universe handle the logistics for me.

I’ve also got my passion for photography back. I had lost interest for a while, not because I didn’t want to do it, but because I was so sick of looking at the same things every day. I was sick of taking flower photos, but that’s all I was finding beautiful here. To get my photography juices flowing again, I’m joining a challenge put together by a photographer I follow on YouTube. I’m pretty excited to get started and excited hasn’t been part of my vocabulary in a long time.

My blog interest is back as well. I quit writing for a bit because, being darkly depressed, I could only think of myself and my misery. I didn’t think anyone would want to hear about that. I forgot that the reason I started this blog in the first place was to chronicle my struggles and triumphs as I try to figure out how to play this game called life. I want to show you how I’m going about “doing things different,” as Stormie Grace, the astrologer I follow, says. I want you to join me on my healing journey so that maybe it will inspire you to start your own. I’ve been broken for a very long time, but I’m nothing if not stubborn and persistent and I’m bound and determined to be happy, dammit! The one thing for certain in life is that things are going to change and you might as well design your own changes. Take it from me, living your life by default is highly unsatisfying. I don’t want to regret not going after my dreams. I don’t want you to regret not going for yours either.

I am, you know, really fighting for myself and my life. And I think the message that I could give to anybody is that it’s never too late to start your life again and dream new dreams.

Jennifer Holliday

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