"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." ~ Carl Jung
A writing friend here in Portland, Kim Kasch, sent me a list of questions about my decision to quit my day job and go full-time with the writing thing, to feature on her blog. I've been working on those questions this weekend, and I realized I haven't shared a lot here on my own blog.
One of the questions was whether or not there was an "ah-ha" moment involved, and I loved that question, because I think many times, there is such a moment, and those moments fascinate me. So today, I'm going to share that moment with you.
It was a day in mid-December and I had a huge project at work I was muddling through. On this particular day, I went to a meeting at 4:00 and was assigned another big project. In the meeting, people joked about how I didn't really want any time off around the holidays, right?
Imagine a person carrying a heavy load on her back, one that brings her almost to her knees but somehow, she remains standing. And someone comes along and says - oh, you're still standing, I guess you can carry more, and adds another few bricks. That was me. With Christmas looming and all of the things that go along with that in addition to a YA novel about to be released, I left the meeting nearly in tears, and yes, almost to my knees. I held it together until I got home, and then I couldn't stand anymore. I crumbled in my big, red, comfy chair and I cried.
Later, after dinner and homework, my younger son and I cuddled up on the couch to watch The Biggest Loser. This particular episode had the trainers going to the contestants homes to see how they were doing before the finale. One of the contestants wives admitted to feeling left out and jealous of her husband's success, and she started crying. Jillian, the trainer, pointed to her and said, "Don't ignore that emotion. It's telling you to make changes."
My son didn't quite understand why I started crying again. I honestly felt like God himself had sent me a message.
Something had to change.
I think the quote by Carl Jung is similar to what Jillian said that night - we must not be afraid to listen to our heart, our emotions, and move in the direction they are telling us. Easier said than done, I know. But when we do, we open ourselves up to all kinds of possibilities, and to living the life we dream of having.
I don't know what the future brings. No one does. No matter what decisions we make, we must remain flexible, and willing to change again if we need to. That was key for me. Leaving my job didn't mean I'd never work again. I may have to some day, and that's okay. But here, right now, I believe my life is as it should be. All because I looked inside, and I listened.