Like the butterflies that grace my page and make my logo, I have been in the process of undergoing a metamorphosis.
I haven’t updated this blog in too long. Part of that was because of a mental shift that allowed the mundane to take over. I let my passions take a back seat to merely getting through busy days that turned into busy months.
A trip far outside my norm woke me up, triggered the beginning of the emergence from the chrysalis of the old me.
I went to Africa on a dream trip – one that included meeting some friends face to face I had made through online communities as well as a photo safari!!
For the first time in I can’t remember how long, I totally relaxed. I didn’t worry about home or work. I just lived in the moment. And it was awesome!
It’s one thing to see animals in the zoo. And quite another to see them in the wild! I count myself lucky that I got to see all but the leopard of the Super Seven (African lion, leopard, rhino, African elephant, Cape buffalo, cheetah and hyena). I also had a chance to see the Painted Dogs, a rare treat according to the drivers, as well as many other animals.
That vacation trip was a bit out of the box for me; definitely not in my normal comfort zone, especially when my phone did a factory reset and I lost all contact with the few folks over there I knew! If I had stuck with what was “practical” and “comfortable” I would not have gone on that trip until I retired, if then. And with the fast decline of the rhino populations towards extinction, who knows if I would have been able to see them at all.
The trip was oh so amazing, I loved it, and I am so glad I went! It also helped me realize I don’t want to wait for “someday”. If I’m going to do certain things, I need to start doing them now.
When I got home I wanted to continue on some fitness goals I had started before the trip. Some of the photos I took while in Africa would probably meet with good peer reviews like some of my other photos have recently. And I wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year.
I started getting excited about all three endeavors.
All because of a step outside my comfort zone, and a major mindset change!
I did well on NaNo even though it wasn’t an official win. I have had this “author” platform for a while without even finishing one of my novels. I had lost the drive and passion to eventually publish because I allowed myself to believe no one would care anyway. Yet I care. I love my stories and my characters and I want to finish the works in progress and take this to the next steps.
I am doing very well on a Holiday Challenge fitness program, which is just one step along the way to a big, scary, long term goal; a goal I never would have dared reaching for as little as three short months ago.
I even dare to believe that I can grow as a photographer; that people enjoy my work and I should share it.
Without a doubt, I will be a much happier person if I make time for my passions in amongst the mundane tasks of daily life. I will be a better person if I stretch the boundaries of comfort and work toward big scary goals; if I truly LIVE rather than exist; if I believe in myself again.
It’s not just big dreams and rose colored glasses. In order to balance all aspects, I have to have contingency plans for when things don’t go as I wish. I know that. But now I know I CAN and I WILL succeed at anything I really want to enough to put the work into it. I know I am worth the time and effort it will take to reach some of those lofty goals.
I know I will regret playing it safe and staying in that cocoon when I can spread my wings and fly.
As my metamorphosis continues, there may a shift in the content here; a balance of those topics rather than just how my “other” interests inspire the writer side of me. I am exploring avenues that each of these endeavors could take me on, open to ideas I would never have dreamed before. (For example, one person planted the seed of combining the writing with how inspirational I have been with the fitness group; an idea that gave me serious warm fuzzies because it is neat to know I have inspired other people.)
The mindset change didn’t happen overnight, and there is still work to be done, but I wouldn’t be making the progress I am without it.
I love the person I am becoming!
Although this post has been focused on me, I would love to hear about other people who have had similar experiences. How has a mindset of what is possible led to greater things than you could have imagined? Where on the spectrum are you? Are you still in your cocoon playing it safe? Or are you flying?