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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Leap of Faith

About a week ago, I gave my notice at work - 6 weeks notice, to be specific. My last day of externally-employed work will be August 31. For the last year and a half, I've been working for a local Self-Publishing company that's enjoying increasing success and experiencing tremendous growth. It's been a bustling, interesting, creative environment, but I've been feeling a pull to provide Editorial services on a freelance basis for some time now.

It has been in my heart to work freelance, and I felt even more equipped to do so once I graduated from the Computer Graphics Techniques program in 2010. However, because of relocation from Montreal to Victoria, I needed to be grounded locally and to nurture community while I was growing local credibility.

6 months ago, I was asked by my new manager what it was that I really wanted to do. My first answer was that I wanted to work freelance as an editor and desktop publisher, but then quickly followed up with an explanation that I wanted to make sure that I'd explored every avenue with this company. I meant what I said, but in light of the potential of the company's imminent growth explosion, I was projecting that my freelance life was still years down the road.

Recently the issue came up again more pointedly, and again, my intuitive manager asked me what it was that I really, really wanted to do more than anything else. The visceral agitation I was feeling around that question revealed that there was one major thing holding me back: fear. Fear of giving up a stable job, fear of being broke again like we were for a full year after we relocated. Fear of failure. But the inspiration and desire to lay hold of the things that are at the core of my interests and talents outweighs my fear. I have always known that I need to return to words, to written words, to reading and writing and sculpting them. That's where I find my flow every single time, without fail.

It's not just about my own words; it's also about the words of others. I love listening to and supporting the ideas formed by others and to help them be heard more clearly.  I get a very real charge out of offering tools to deliver their message in a way that feels right to them. It's what I have loved most about working in production: helping authors produce books that represent their dream.

Because of the amount of editing work that is available through the company I have been with, and because I have forged a strong relationship there, I feel confident in taking that leap of faith now, even though I am not sure where it's going to take me in the months and years to come. I know that I have the qualifications, talent, and motivation to handle the work and then some - and I love that I'll be working side by side with my husband and partner. I love that we'll be in stride with one another throughout the day and that we'll be determining the pace of our days together. I'm excited to be working from home instead of stumbling out the door in the morning and stumbling back in the door, exhausted, at the end of the day. Most of all, I'm thrilled that I'll be tuning in to the essence of what I can lose myself in for hours: reading, writing, the sound of language, the look of language, the layout of type, the feel of words in my mouth, the shape of words in my imagination, the sound of words in the air.

Bien dans sa pea

It's a familiar cycle: planning to lose weight for the New Year/Summer/Wedding/Class Reunion/etc., and making all sorts of resolutions to lose 20, 40, maybe even more by said date or event. I'm 42 years old and if I am honest, brutally honest with myself, I have been making this resolution for the last 18 years, since my first child was born. I've managed to shed a few pounds a few times in the those years - though never to pre-pregnancy weight - but I've not maintained it.

Currently, I'm the heaviest I have ever been.

Last year I got remarried after a three-year engagement, and instead of losing weight in the time leading up to it, I put weight on. On my wedding day, I was the heaviest I had ever been., and now, 10 months later, I am about ten pounds heavier than that weight. 

I want more of a sense of feeling good in my own skin - the French call it "Bien dans sa peau". 

I find myself increasingly admiring women whom I find beautiful , and they are not fashion models or Hollywood actresses. These are women who are friends, women I see on the bus, or in a restaurant, or in passing on the street. Women of varying ages and shapes and weight. I find that I want to look at women who are casual and healthy and curvy and vivacious. Instead of making a million resolutions based on perfectionism and insecurity, perhaps the best thing for my mental, emotional and physical wellness would be to make feeling good in my own skin my ultimate goal. 

What's stopping me from feeling sexy and comfortable and confident now, today? 

Clinging to the past
Low self-esteem
Depression and anxiety

I will be exploring these barriers more comprehensively in upcoming posts, and would love to hear from you if you can relate. 

I'm also seeking to open up a meaningful dialogue, online and in person, with some of the women that I've had the pleasure of meeting in the last year and a half in Victoria. I'm having something of a dream of having a group of ladies that feel safe and comfortable with one another, and talk about realistic ways of feeling better, taking care of ourselves, feeling sexy, and rejecting stereotypes and media messages. I'd like to do this via Twitter, under the hashtag #yyjcurvyladies. I'm also running a bit of a Tumblr (as an experiment) in this same vein. Not sure where it's going to take me, but here's hoping it helps move me past spinning my wheels.