Spring Cleaning

After one day in the office, I've realized a lot has changed in the month I've been on leave (with me, not the office). I don't know if it's the obvious Spring weather, or that my soul is urging me on to go further, but I've acquired a sudden clarity of thought. I've started on the first steps to spring-clean in corners that are very, very dusty.

And I'm not only talking my house here! :) (Much needed though - if my mind's not right, my kitchen often reflects it)

Nearly 11 years in the same job, only slight side-ways shifts in responsibility. It's a long time to be in one place, especially if you're a mere 34 years old. It's become comfortable to stay, and I could give any number of reasons why I might carry on for another 11 years - at the expense of who I am, deep inside.

I suspect it's like this in many organizations - we're all just humans, but one job title seems "higher" than another, more important, and those underneath slowly have the life and spark extinguished out of them. They cease to really matter, they're the workers who move the machinery along and nothing more. Or so I've been feeling.

I've let others push me down until I felt like nothing, like I had no valuable opinion or successful streak. Unique jewels of ability and talent were swallowed up in a forced conformity to how one should act, what one should think and believe, and how one should look or speak. I've been compromising for so long that I started to lose my essence.

But I can no longer do that. I can't let another human degrade me or make me into nothing simply because of a job title, or a label I'm assigned. While away from the daily grind I've recaptured something that was lost for a very long time.

Bear with me - I'm thinking out loud here. And it's not that I work for the worst place on earth! Many can be very happy here their entire careers - others aspire to work here. It's rather that I've never quite fitted in. Where employment may be seen by others as their mission, their all-encompassing life - for me it's a job and a roof over my head. There are aspects I enjoy, but more often I find the routines, the tasks, the expectations grating on me. I long to shine!

I'm not there yet though. I have a lot of inner boundaries to cross, some self-percetions to shed, and a sense of my own strength to fully recover once more. I need to believe with all my heart that I can do anything - and that life will not collapse if I have to change. It will, in fact, be better than I could have dreamt.

What's kept me back? Fear. Worry that I won't be able to provide for my son's needs, and that I don't have what it takes to make it outside there in the "big bad world". And yet, somewhere deep in my heart, is a certainty that I will not merely survive, but live a life of awesome wonder. I am desperate to live with passion in every way possible - to "dance like no-one's watching, love like I've never been hurt"... But I need to shed the self-conciousness and risk letting people in.

A bit of mental spring-cleaning, yes. And while my mind works my hands are busy too. I dug into the veggie bed and waded the overgrown lawn (I'm sure there's a dog lost somewhere in there). I uninstalled superfluous computer programmes and cleared out the junk in a good few folders. I even did a bit of load-shedding, allowing myself to get really angry over a recent injustice, and not trying to smile and nod placidly while inside I seethed. Still some ways to go on that one!

I've often found that cleaning, cooking, gardening - working with my hands - are when I think best. I've done the cleaning and the gardening. I wonder what cooking supper will bring forth! :)

Making supper brought forth both the seeds of a Plan, and a Timeline. Told you it works! :)