I've celebrated so many over the years, the births, friendships, marriages, years of work, and deaths, but this anniversary crept up on me, spooked me a bit as I remembered yesterday afternoon that it's been a month since I left my day job to strike out on my own.
One month in, here's what I know to be true: plans are overrated. Here's what else I know: if you love your life enough to change it, it will show up for you in ways that you cannot imagine before you take the leap. Your life will bend and stretch, tug and push, crumple, and rise up, and when you need it to, whisper quietly through the act of people laughing and saying thank you and holding the door, flowers blooming, cool breezes on hot days, and that song you forgot you loved coming through the speakers, that everything will be okay. Here's what I know to be true: everything will be okay.
A tried and true worrier with a heart like swiss cheese that lets everything in and through, I was terrified I'd never survive the uncertainty, never make it through the work and the waiting. As someone who's always thinking/predicting/planning what may come that shouldn't, I wasn't sure I'd be able to live through the days of just, well, living right there and then. The only thing I knew one month ago was that I needed to move, so move I did.
In the first week working from home, a barista told me that she thought working from home must be so glamorous (it isn't), a few days after that the man at the bookshop told me that working from home must be overwhelming (it isn't), then just today I found myself telling a friend that working from home is the most empowering thing I've ever done (it really is). The nitty gritty is that I don't work any less than before, I might even work more some days, and I have no idea what day of the week it is most of the time, and my "weekend" is usually Monday and Tuesday, but lately that's been more like just Tuesday. I stay up late and get up early, and I draw so much that my hand cramps. I have days when I feel sure I am amazingly talented, and others that leave me wondering who told me I could do all of this anyhow. I laugh so much more than I used to, but I still cry a lot, too - I'm full of emotion that way. In any given moment you could ask me if I feel like everything's working out as I'd hoped, and I could give you one of two answers: yes or no. In any given moment, you could ask me if I am happy, and I would give you the same answer: YES. I couldn't have done that one month ago, so I guess what I'm saying is Happy Anniversary to the light and shadow, and the charm of being alive in a life I love.
One month in, I still hope for all the things I did at the beginning, and this change, which really shifted so much more than simply where my paycheck comes from, asks a lot of me each day. This change asks me to believe in myself, to be brave, to be fearless and fearful all at the same confusing, glorious time, to take myself and my talents more seriously, and in the same breath to stop taking it all so darn seriously. This change asks me to laugh at myself a little more, and to let the changes in schedule, the stretched plans, the unfollows, and the doubts come and go as they will, but not to let them stop me.
The reality is that this is sometimes what I imagine I look like when I am working on a really good day:
when the truth is a little more like this:
I am grateful for both, and maybe even more that neither of them is exactly right.
I have this feeling that someone might read this who is exactly where I was one year ago, six months ago, one month ago, nodding their head, but certain that this can never be them, that they could never take such a leap with so much at stake, and I get it, my list was and is long, too, but the risk on the other side was high, too. One month and one day in, I can still say that I begin each day with the biggest of dreams, and the simplest of plans; I still plan to be happy.