Starts and stops

I’m happy, and it’s not just because I’ve been keeping a gratitude list (though, from a neurobiological standpoint, it certainly helps.) I’m happy because I’m emerging from a set of challenges feeling stronger and more prepared than ever before.

Running a website isn’t free. And rent doesn’t go away when you decide to start blogging full time. So, I went back to my old company. Why? Because it was my safety net. It was the thing I knew I could count on when the circumstances dictated that I get a regular 9 to 5 again. You always have a safety net, and there’s no shame in using it. Sometimes we forget that. There’s never any shame in taking a break and recognizing that each part of your life—health, wealth, relationships, etc.—is going to demand your attention at different times.

Now, I’m interviewing again. In fact, today I talked to person #8 at a company I’m really excited about. And you know what? Person #8 had actually checked out this very blog when they were looking into me. This blog demonstrated a competence in skills that my “real jobs” never did, and it’s the reason I’ve gotten to this point in the interview process.

Our dreams and a day jobs don’t have to be different, but even if they are, they can often play off of each other. The things we learn from our jobs can provide us with the knowledge and skills necessary to better achieve our dreams, and tackling our dreams can provide us with the experience and confidence to move into a day job that isn’t too far removed from the dream itself.

I’m excited and hopeful about my new job opportunity. Not only does the company profess a great work-life balance, but the commute is shorter (plus, I’ll be making enough move even closer), and so there’s a really good chance that I’ll be able to start writing more while I’m working. It’s a win-win. This is all hypothetical until I get a definite yes, of course, but it’s looking like all the work I’ve done since my last post has been paying off, and now I’ll be able to start sharing more of what I’ve been doing with you all.

The take home lesson, I suppose, is to expect starts and stops. Expect challenges. Take them as opportunities to grow, and don’t be blinded to how your dreams can help you face your challenges and vice versa.

In other news, do you remember the date I mentioned in passing in the post before last? Well, I’m still seeing her all these months later, and we even had a really nice holiday celebration together. And that gratitude list I mentioned? It’s something that she and I are maintaining together, and it’s really doing wonders to relieve our stress and remind us of what’s going well in our lives, despite any challenges. You’ve probably already heard that you should be keeping a gratitude list, and it really has been a transformative experience. I plan to write more about it in the near future.

I made it to 2013, and not just barely. I’m glad for the challenges and experiences I’ve had over this past year, and I’m glad for the growth I’ve experienced as a result. I’ve found more happiness, more social connection, more life satisfaction, and so much more as a result of everything that’s happened. And for those of you who’ve kept me in your RSS readers, waiting for the day that this post would come along, I want to thank you for being part of that growth. I owe you a lot, and I only hope that my words are payment enough.

Have you grown in the past year? Have your dreams improved your jobs, or your jobs improved your dreams? Share it in the comments!

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