As some of you may know, I recently moved to Denver to pursue my writing. Upon my arrival, I started a new blog entitled: Success in the City! The purpose of which was to provide motivation for anyone struggling with a drastic life change or embarking on a path to reconnect with themselves. Originally I wanted to keep that journey separate from the writing of Insane Roots, but I realize now that it is impossible to have one without the other.
Therefore, I will no longer be posting updates to Success in the City. Instead, I will be channeling all my energy in keeping up to date with Insane Roots and Random Thoughts from Insane Roots (my poetry blog).
Thank you all for your support on this blog and the others. I look forward to having more time to connect with all of you and I am excited to read all of the wonderful pieces you have to share!
To get the ball rolling, I have decided to share some of the original entries from Success in the City. Over the next few weeks, I will share my journey to where I am today. I believe reflection is a very important part of the spiritual and emotional growth that comes from a drastic upheaval in one’s life.
If we are to truly grow, we must break free from our subconsciously programmed thinking. It is one thing to become aware of our unhealthy behavior, but to know ourselves well enough to stop it in its tracks is another story. Reflection, allows us to look at the big picture in the hopes that we are able to locate these patterns of behavior before they give us the outcome they always have in the past. Moving forward, this realization could end up being our saving grace.
And on that note, here is the first post to Success in the City.
Originally posted: February 4, 2015
Well, here I am in a brand new city. It is definitely not the environment I had grown accustomed to living in the Midwest. Not better or worse, just different. I will be honest, the first few weeks were pretty rough. I missed my friends and the comfort of a dependable job that I excelled at. Despite my ability to adjust to change well, I am still not a fan of it! I knew this was a necessary one for me though. Hence, I jumped in full throttle before actually realizing the challenges that were ahead of me.
I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, fairly content, but feeling there was something more out there for me. I didn’t know what that was, but I knew I needed to figure it out before it was too late. I was working for a family owned company, making good money. I was surrounded by friends and family that I hold very dear to my heart, but I still felt lost. Maybe not lost as much as disappointed. There were many nights when I would come home from work (or drinks after work) to my one bedroom apartment (and my cats) and think to myself…what now? I wasn’t satisfied. I tried picking up my various hobbies, such as painting, scrap-booking, and photography, but I never felt inspired to continue any of the projects I started. I had taken great joy in these outlets before, so why not now? What had changed?
I pulled out one of my many scrapbooks from years past and as I flipped through it, I realized what had changed…I did. As I looked through the collections of memories, I barely recognized this version of me and my life in the pages. I used to have such a love for life. I was determined, optimistic, creative, ambitious, healthy…all things I no longer attributed to myself. An overwhelming sadness came over me and for a moment, I just sat there staring off in to space, trying to figure out how all this had happened and what I could do to fix it. Something needed to change.
I went on this way for months; feeling defeated and overwhelmed by the notion of needing to reconnect with myself, but having no idea of how to do that. I resorted to a method of expression I had used in my early adulthood to cope with these emotional barriers; writing. Off and on through out my life, I had been working on a memoir recounting my life growing up with a con-artist for a mother and an unidentified father. Many had told me that my story was interesting and inspiring, so I decided to start trying to piece it all together. I had no idea at the time that this would someday lead to the very journey I am taking now.
I decided to start my 1st blog; Insane Roots. I did not realize it then, but the sheer act of writing the blog was exactly what I needed to do to get the ball rolling in finding that “something more” I was looking for. Writing the blog forced me to revisit some of the most challenging struggles in my early childhood and most importantly to work through the emotions surrounding these events. I wrote several of the posts through tears, but after I was finished, I felt better. It was like a therapy session for me each time I logged in. I guess I did end up using that Psychology degree after all…on myself!
Several posts later, I attended an Author 101 Conference in L.A. I was invited by a dear friend of mine who was also working on a book. I am truly thankful for this opportunity. It was at this event that I made contact with one of the acquisitions editors for a great publishing company. I pitched him my book, gave him my card and sent him a follow-up email when I arrived home with a link to my blog. I didn’t hear back from him, but I figured it was my first try, so I wasn’t that surprised.
A few months later, I was waiting for a friend in the parking lot after work. I saw that I had a missed call from someone in Colorado. I assumed it was a sales call, but I decided to listen to the message anyway. It was not a sales call….
It was the acquisitions editor I had met with months before. He was calling to tell me that they wanted to move forward with my book. I was speechless. Could this really be happening? Just to be sure I was not dreaming, I pinched myself….Yup, it’s real! Several conference calls later, I had a signed publishing contract! I stopped my book blog and began working on the manuscript.
At this point, I was feeling more optimistic that I was on the right path to reviving myself. I was feeling less defeated and more restless. Getting my book published was a dream come true, but it wouldn’t solve all my problems. A common misconception is that when you publish a book, you can quit your job and become a full-time author. That is rarely the case. And even if that were true, that doesn’t mean that there will not be other areas of your life where you still feel unfulfilled. However, knowing that my book would be published gave me the courage and optimism I needed to make my next life changing decision; moving to Colorado.
In the years prior, I had grown very close to someone whom I considered to be one of my truest friends. I am ashamed to admit that because of these feelings, I allowed this person to influence me and manipulate me in to acting in a way that I am not proud of. In trying to be someone I was not, I lost myself. I became more like him and less like me. I was oblivious to the reality of our relationship and the harsh truth that I was being used. When the final stab in the back came, it was truly heartbreaking. I had already made the decision to move to Colorado and this event only reaffirmed that it was time to move on.
So here I am. Living in Colorado and making a new start. My mindset has changed and I am ready to conquer! I am optimistic and confident that I am on the road to success. Maybe not success in the way that everyone views it, but success for me is knowing who I am and what I want. Only then can I know how to pursue my true happiness!