Ever had a feeling it is time to rebalance and recalibrate? Yeah me too!!
In my previous post, I discussed coming home to spend time with family and a new grandson. While home, I was able to secure a new “work from home” position allowing me the freedom to remain home indefinitely. Um yes please, work from anywhere works perfectly for this Gigi!
So more than a month later, I am still in New England. We had our first snow as well as first power and internet outage. Welcome home Kath…you know you missed it! I admit the snow is beautiful but the cold, scraping, ice, and winter weather is still not for me. I honestly wish it was summer and sunny and warm, like Florida! Though from what I understand, it has been cold there for them, in the 50’s and at night in the 30’s. I think about my little apartment there and miss it a bit.
As for family time, it has been fun but challenging. I forget how embroiled one can become in family business, how much chaos can accompany small children, and also, how much struggle there seems to be in one’s 20’s/early 30’s. I don’t miss that drama and craziness. My little life may seem a bit dull, as I have mentioned in the past, but I enjoy the peace, calm, sanity, and stability I have created. I like that each day has a hint of routine, that my nights are quiet and uninterrupted, and that rather than face to face crisis I simply address it via text…no raised voices, no arguments hanging over the living room. I love them all but don’t miss this part, the chaos. And yet, I know I am homesick far too often in FL.
The journey here was supposed to come to a close Nov 22nd but instead will end Dec 28th. No more changing tickets and hoping it comes together. I am returning back to my sunshine UNLESS I get a career opportunity phone call. Cold weather YUCK…my most favorite career ever YES! A tradeoff I suppose in the end of it all, not to mention full time being back with my family. My mother will not be impressed but in her own way, will understand. If only the perfect career could travel with me to Florida. This is not the remote position I just mentioned but returning to a position I had a few years ago based in Portsmouth, NH. And if they called tomorrow I would arrive with bells on. But I do still need to return to FL in December if only, as it turns out, to pack up and turn back around to head north. My brain is going in 10 different directions right now so I appreciate your patience with me.
Most recently, I posted about getting back on the horse to do what I love, to write more and take more photographs. Well, I created a new blog secondary to this one called Journeys With Gigi (journeyswithgigi.wordpress.com). The overall intention was to document day trips with words, facts both historical and architectural, to share with my grandsons who live in New England. If I can’t be there with them, I can share the places and images I visit, a new way to communicate aside from the occasional postcard I send to them in the mail. They are young and don’t write back but I wanted a way to send them stories that they can enjoy and be a part of even though we are separated by 1500 miles. The initial blog is complete and story number one has been posted.
The initial blog post though shares the crazy story of trying to pull together a last minute trip home as my third grandson joined our family November 3rd. He is lovely by the way…dark hair, blue eyes, and with any luck the long lashes of his father who is my oldest son. I have photos that have yet to be loaded into the blog but I did it! I shared the story with my daughter in law and she loved it. Mission accomplished…blog posted, story told, and the wild extravaganza of travel shared.
It’s a small step toward my new goal of consistently writing and sharing what is going on, a small step that I have begun so many times and backed away from. I have a day trip or five planned for my grandsons while I am home and will share to the other site…I cannot wait and to this point, have thoroughly enjoyed being home although I have been going nonstop. I’ve seen my sister, my nieces, my sons, the daughter in law, and all three grandsons. I have run errands and thankfully, had unlimited access to a vehicle. I have held my beautiful new grandson in my arms, touched his little head, and planted many Gigi kisses.
What I have realized though is that Home for me is here among my sons and grandsons, seeing my father and keeping him company even if we simply sit in the living room and watch television. I love being in Florida, in the sunshine, with my mother…I love getting to spend so much time with her. But my heart is happiest here in New England…my sons have always been my moon and sun, and my world feels empty when they are not close by. And with the virus still heavily in circulation in FL, it is near to impossible to get out to meet new people – I am not schizo about catching the virus but at the same time, really don’t care to go out and hope I don’t contract it.
But I made a promise to myself that I would start writing more, start sharing more, start getting my heart and soul back in order with words and images. I took the first big step to doing that and celebrated this with my family this evening…a little drinky poo after a great day out and the posting of my first “Journey with Gigi.”
I can say, without a doubt, that my heart feels full and happy. My spirit is satisfied, and I look forward to more posts while I am home. Camera in hand and words at the ready, more adventures and journeys await.
That’s right, I said it…It’s time to get back on the horse and get back to what I love the most. I had no idea, well maybe I did, that it had been so long since I took time to write and catch up, to share thoughts and goals once again. But so much has changed.
Let’s quickly catch up. When I originally began this blog, both sons were approaching 18, the crossroads not just for them but also for me. They are both in their 20’s now…my oldest son is about to become Dad to baby #3 in November. My youngest is lounging in his own place and working in a kitchen close to home. Both sons have developed a love of cooking and been working for years now as cooks, suisse chefs, grill cooks, kitchen/food prep. It has been a joy and as the mom, not only am I super proud but have been able to eat very well!
My last post came to you from Charleston SC where I was going to college while working at that college. Getting fired and a car crash later, I tucked tail and move to FL, to the safety of my mom’s house for a stretch. I am happy to report that I quickly got my own place, a car, and job…note the word job, not career. While I get to work remotely, the hours resemble those kept by a vampire and sleep is a battle, never mind overcoming COVID restrictions and a lack of social interactions. It has been difficult, I must admit, to make all of these changes at the same time, and still try to keep my chin up alone and far from home. I desperately miss the fam!
This all being said, I’m trying to step outside my comfort zone, think outside the box, and get up the courage to try something new. And by new, I mean actually get out there to travel, write, and photograph like I used to. It may mean that I do all of this on my days off…or at the crack of dawn when I can catch a rising sun over the Atlantic, but I need to do it. I’m making my “self challenge” public and expect everyone to hold me accountable. Hardest part…getting up in the mornings to make it happen. Even harder, admitting to an overwhelming sense of defeat lately. Harder still, getting out of my head and sharing my writing…but a new blog/story is coming, and I will post as soon as it is up and running.
So there you have it. It was time to admit my absence. To own the choices and mistakes I have made. Admit to the failures I am currently struggling to overcome. And to put myself out there again, as in the older days of my better, stronger, and more glorious writing. I know sharing can be a fear that many of us share. I lost a battle but I can still win the war. In the meantime, it felt really good to write all of this down, to share the changes, and to remind myself that I do enjoy writing more than anything else.
Any tips on dedication are of course appreciated!
Thank you — K
After seven years of pursuing my five year plan, Charleston has finally become home. No more snow, no more scraping windows. While it may be a bit cool during the Charleston winter mornings, it pales in comparison to the frigid temperatures of New England. That being said, I had a wonderful opportunity to begin a new career here as well, transitioning from one admission counselor role into another. While it has been a challenge to start over, to find my new place within my new role, the adventure has been worth it.
Most recently, being that I work in higher education, I have had a unique opportunity to return to school to pursue some goals. Based on where I am at academically and personally, it appears I have an additional three years before I can move on to the next chapter. I will be 50 then, have paid off a few bills, and move on to a remote yet fantastic career. I cannot disclose too much just yet, but I do know that it is within my sights to make this happen.
I talked to my daughter in law this evening, sharing with her my goals and plans. We broke down the various steps to move forward. We discussed the pros and cons of waiting out my path to complete the degrees vs jumping into something new now, foregoing the degrees, and thus not having the kind of credentials I want in my next chapter.
What is nice, however, is seeing that this goal is attainable. I can push through what I need to now in order to attain the success I want in my future. It is coming together. I can see it. It is viable. It is close!
It’s funny isn’t it, how we wait for years for something to come together and then, the stars line up and throw it right into the sweet spot of our glove. For years, I anxiously awaited an opportunity to move south, to find a career down south, and to live a life including but somehow free of my children. About four months ago, I made the move south, giving up a job I loved and starting something new. Ironically, I find myself happy that I made the move but desperately missing my kids and their drama, and working in a career that I love but am ready to begin breaking away from. It’s a compromise of some kind, I suppose, getting what I want and then seeing that it is glorious but not exactly what I had expected.
What I have found is that the move, beautiful…Charleston, SC a city of history, culture, tradition, art, creativity, and absolute beauty of both older and more contemporary styles. It is the kind of environment that speaks to every creative bone in my body, that awakened something deep inside me and speaking to and awakening that voice inside, and yet, because I must work, must honor my career and commitment, the voice is not being fed and the creativity feels stifled.
So here is what I have decided, I am working on a new writing project and have two angles I truly wish to explore. The first is how I became someone brave enough to walk away from everything and everyone I know to pursue my own life. and then, to pursue my love of writing, travel, and photography starting with an online course program and new website which I will be creating and feeding soon. I look forward to seeing that woman come alive on a page…to see the story be released..to honor the women of strength who supported me and the woman of strength I have become. How did I get here, who built that foundation, and how did I know the foundation was enough to support me. They were amazing those women, and thank goodness my life was blessed enough to include and learn from them.
And the travel pieces? Well…I always wanted a life that would include travel. I spent years moving around the country with my husband and children, and still wished for opportunities to travel and see the world. At the time, while I was waiting for an opportunity to travel, I was traveling all along. I was looking for opportunities to experience life, to see new places, to visit new locations. I was living it all along. And now it is time for me to embrace those moments, to turn those pictorial memories into reality and share those experiences and moments. Long term goal? To write, travel, and photograph full time – we all have that dream don’t we? For me, I’m done waiting and my husband is onboard.
And that is the update, my latest journal entry and sharing of who I am and where I am at.
During a visit the other day with my therapist…yes, I said it out loud… she challenged me to stop hiding behind corners and excuses and to put myself and my writing out there. While the blog counts, she still feels that getting out of my comfort zone is something I need to begin doing more often. That’s considered “growth” from what I have always understood.
That being said, I’m doing a few new things…they are small, but, they are new-ish for me. First, I have stopped eating processed food, leaning more toward veggies and meats. The goal is to completely avoid foods that do nothing for me. Second, I have joined a gym and plan to spend at least 3-4 afternoons a week doing some form of exercise. I’ve spent the last few years making excuses as to why I don’t have time…and now I do. Excuse is no more. Fish or cut bait! Finally, since I will be going to the gym with my niece…also a writer and photographer…we are going to embark on some kind of blog journey. The goal is to partner with my niece who believes that super auntie can do it all, and create a new space where she and I share a voice, perspective, photos, and writing. We can do this, I believe, and my niece is totally onboard.
So there it is…growth!
I’m feeling lately like I have more going on than I do, maybe due to the personal and internal struggle involved in it all. In talking with a friend, I was forced to face once again how little emphasis I put on myself and what I want…how everything I do has a major focus on others in my life…how I don’t deal with my own immediate issues but help others stay on top of their own. In my life, I want certain things and a certain lifestyle. I find myself frustrated and disappointed in who I am, what I should be doing, and why it is I put off the things I love most in life – writing and photography.
I was asked, if knowing this, I had an explanation. The practical side of me says, I don’t NEED the new camera and computer to create more blog posts. I don’t NEED the fancy technology to do what I love. There are more pressing items that need repair or purchase ahead of my camera and computer. BUT – that money is not money going into my own household or life, so what makes it more important? I’ve spent countless hours lamenting the absence of writing and photography in my current life, pondering how my love of these two fields has been so quickly and easily pushed aside to cover the needs of others. Why is the absence of my passion okay?
Today I made the decision that I’m going to begin taking small steps to recover writing and photography in my life. I can use small bursts of time to get out there and take a picture or write a small piece. I can recapture a part of my soul that has been missing. I can rediscover a journey I stopped walking along to suit the needs of others in my life. And I love my family, don’t get me wrong, but right now…I need to get back to me and in doing so, stop focusing so much on everyone else.
That was my plan this summer…to buy the camera and to buy the computer I want. I don’t need to focus on photo editing but rather, getting back to having that camera with me at all times to capture a moment or image. It literally takes a few seconds to pull over on my drive home and capture that image…or, if a thought comes to me, to verbally capture it recorded on my phone so that I can get home and transpose the recording into writing. And in knowing that, it seems a little more realistic already to imagine integrating both writing and photography back into my life.
In accepting the challenge to write and photograph again, I’m going to need to commit time I tend to spend elsewhere, namely in front of my television. Being on the computer all day definitely crushes my will to get back online once I get home. Maybe, however, this will lift my spirit back to where it likes to be, instill the creativity to tear through me like it did a few years ago, give back the voice that I so willingly handed over, and provide an outlet and opportunity to grow my professional writing.