After a month in Maine, I’m back in Dublin, jet lagged and slowly getting my house back in order. With all the traveling, I’ve been thinking a lot about last year, trying to sum it up in my head. It’s one of my favorite processes – getting a grip on the last year before diving into the next.
Ending 2012, I have a really great memory of the year. But the reality is that it wasn’t so rose-colored the whole way through. I actually spent most of the year in an internal (and very external) discussion and battle about whether to quit my job. Michael and I talked about it endlessly, my girlfriends and my family listened to me hem and haw day after day. For months.
At the start of 2012, I declared that by December 31st, I was going to be working for myself. I made plans and goals, and worked every weekend and evening to make it happen. But even though I knew in my gut it was what I wanted, it took a long time for it not to feel like a selfish decision. Leaving the stability of my day job felt like I was letting Michael down. And it felt like I was failing or giving up.
But when I finally decided to leave my day job, it felt like I could breath again. The space in my brain that had been reserved for hashing and re-hashing whether to leave was free again. I can finally listen and hear my friends and family again; I can focus now that the constant should-I-shouldn’t-I conversation wasn’t running nonstop in my head.
I haven’t cried (except for leaving my family in Maine and watching the coverage of the Sandy Hook tragedy) since November. Michael and I haven’t had more than a few minutes of arguments in two months. My heart is light and my brain feels calm.
One of the casualties of my career situation last year is that I stopped writing about myself and my life here on From China Village. There are a few reasons: I couldn’t write about my unhappiness about my job in a public forum, although that probably would have made my decision for me a lot earlier. This blog would have been a very boring place if even half of the posts reflected my inner frustration!
But mainly, this space was my refuge. It’s where I could channel all of my ideas, and share things that made me smile and gave me hope. It’s where I could picture what my life would look like when I could work for myself. I’m proud of so many of the posts I’ve put together here during the last year, but I know I’m also ready to put more of me back into the words.
Now is the time of year when bloggers typically thank their readers for sticking around all year, but really and truly, thank you for reading all year. There were so many days when your comments cheered me up at exactly the right time. The emails I got throughout the year with questions about Dublin or suggestions of projects to check out were such welcome surprises. The friends I’ve made because of this website have been invaluable; the companies and organizations I’ve been able to start working with because of this space have given me freedom and confidence I hope I never take for granted.
And of course, without From China Village, I simply wouldn’t have even realized that this is what I want to spend my days doing. Because of your encouragement, I’ve realized writing and sharing are things I’m happiest doing.
I’m closing 2012 with a happy heart, grateful to be able to make a living from something I enjoy so much. Thank you for the enormous part you have played in this process. I want to wish you and your family a happy, healthy new year, filled with peace, blessings and light hearts. Here’s to 2013!