Sometime, in my late twenties, I started asking myself questions. At that point, I had the husband, the first house, the job and my first baby. And I was asking myself "Now what/" Can you imagine...at that age, I was already asking "Now What?" In reality though, it was more then that. It was this sort of uneasy feeling that I just could not shake off. I kept telling myself that it was just a lack of appreciation for what I had. But that just didn't seem to satisfy the little voice in my head. So I set out to try to satisfy the little voice in my head.
I started thinking that maybe doing more of what I enjoyed was part of the answer.
So first questions:
What do I love doing?
Hmmm...I had always wanted to take dance lessons? Truthfully ever since I was a little girl I had dreamt of being either a figure skater or a dancer. Remember "The Solid Gold Dancers"? I wanted to be one of them.
So I enrolled in a dance school nearby and spent two years taking jazz and ballet classes. Here I am with one of my dance troops. Not exactly "The Solid Gold Dancers" but, hey I had a blast and actually got to dance on a stage.
That was also about the time, I found my copy of "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale. It had been hiding in a box or closet ever since it had been gifted to me by one of my grade 13 teachers. Sad to say, but, because I had received it from an adult, and I was a too cool teenager...I figured it was probably educational and/or boring and I had never even opened it.
But...as fate would have it, I happened upon it at a relevant time in my life. You know what they say..."When the student is ready...the book will appear!" Ok, I might have modified that saying a bit to suit my purposes but you get the point.
That was THE book that got me interested in every piece of literature that dealt with personal growth, self-help (which I think gets a really bad rap!!!) and spirituality.
Then life continued, I had my second baby. I actually got pregnant just a few months after that picture was taken. We moved into a bigger house and my days and weeks were filled with working, being a mother and taking care of our home. I did not give much thought to that uneasy feeling I had felt in my late twenties. I was busy and content. All was good...
Then, something happened in my mid thirties that would reopen that self-discovery can of worms (yes sometimes self-discovery can feel like opening a can of worms!!!) and become an important turning point in my life.
I had been working on a project with a group of teachers and we were being led by one of the board consultants. I didn't know this particular consultant very well, other then having seen her at few work related functions. But she had always struck me as being very zen and intelligent. Not sure why, it was just an aura she gave off.
During the time this project was going on, she would come to school on a regular basis and one day, out of the blue, she walks into my classroom, grabs a chair, and sits at my desk. I just looked at her thinking maybe she wanted to talk about the project...had I done something wrong? was I being canned from the project? was she going to tell me I was an awesome team member?
"Joanne...why are you angry?" ...those were the actual words that came out of her mouth. There might of been a sooooo in there somewhere but I didn't want to exaggerate the story given that I don't quite remember if there was.
Remember, this woman had a very zen aura about her, so I was not so much offended by her question as I was stunned and surprised. The interesting thing is that the first thing that came out of my mouth was....
"I'm not angry. I have a good life. I have a job I like, two wonderful boys and a husband I love." Not sure what that had to do with me being angry or not but it seemed relevant at the time.
Was I getting an opportunity to gain some insight into that uneasy feeling I had first felt in my late twenties? She suggested I try therapy and I thought...Wow...this woman really thinks there is something wrong with me?? Then, we both stood up and she gave me a hug. I wasn't much of a hugger at that point in my life. It felt awkward and uncomfortable to me. But, there was something very compassionate about the way this woman spoke and the hug she gave me seemed authentic and caring.
After she left, I just sat there, kind of in a state of chock. But because of the way she had shared her thoughts with me, I couldn't help but consider that she might have seen something in me that I hadn't seen in myself. Something real and important....maybe one of my Own dragons. Those who have read my, The Dragons in Our Way story will understand this.
That day was the beginning of an exciting, sometimes very scary journey of self discovery for me. One that I continue on today.
I hope that if we met today, my consultant friend would find I have changed. I know that the uneasy feeling is gone. I know anger is no longer my go to emotion. Now most days are filled with appreciation, enthusiasm and peace. Most days....
I am guessing this woman has no idea how instrumental she was in my life. Maybe I will write to her and let her know......
Create an awesome day!