It’s January 2013. New beginnings, new resolutions. Definitely new me. Sometimes it’s hard to see change when you are in the middle of it but just as the weather is calm in the eye of the hurricane while on the outside there’s a fierce storm, change feels the same way to me. It’s not like I’m changing into something new, I’m just going back to my real essence, to the real me that’s been covered by all the layers that I acquired in my thirty two years of existence. I’m ready to take flight. My wings are strong and shiny.
I realized that even though most people say they like change, it’s really hard to embrace it. Let’s face it: changing is scary, not knowing is terrifying, entering the forest of the unknown is frightening… but it’s also liberating. Being able to let go is not something that it’s easily attained but it’s such a great thing to do.
Nine months ago the 180 degree change the card reader predicted back in July 2011 started happening. In April 2012 I was let go of my job. It was rudely done, it was unexpected and it felt like somebody emptied a bucket full of iced water on me. I felt unappreciated, not cared for, just another number on an Excel sheet. I became the vague memory of the girl that sat on that desk. My ego was hurt and my sense of identity was lost. But it was one the greatest things that ever happened to me.
I was unhappy at a job that made my life monotonous and unfulfilling, I felt like I had no purpose, everything was different shades of gray, even when the sky was blue and the sun was shining. Somehow the Universe heard my silent screaming and life got into motion and started shifting things around and inside of me to make room to let go.
Little by little I was able to let go: let go of the fear of not having enough money, let go of what other people would think if I just took some time off to play and figure things out, let go of the idea of my husband providing for me, for us. Let go of the masks: Responsible Ali, I Can Handle It Ali, Manager Ali, Strong Personality Ali, Moody Ali, Depressed Ali, Eternally Missing My Friends Ali, Occasionally Happy Ali… But mainly, let go of the person the world thought I was.
All the layers and masks started to peel off. I started asking myself a lot of questions, journaling every day and every night, digging, finding. The layers went from me to the canvas forming collages. Giving myself permission to play was the best gift ever.