My journey has been somewhat amazing lately. I keep sharing about it because there was a time when I was so stuck and hopeless. Almost ten years ago I was so depressed, I went to the south of France to sit on the beaches of Nice (even my depression is glamorous - what can I say?) to contemplate life. I once lived in France, and I wanted to return to a spot I used to sit and ponder life there.
I realized I had lost all goals and dreams.
I hope by sharing my story others can maybe begin to figure out ways to make new dreams, and even fulfill old ones. I have a number of friends who are stuck, just like I was. When that state of inertia sets in, particularly when you are out of work, it is hard to move forward.
I was so bad that at one point I went to a counselor with whom I had to check in once a week because I couldn’t do anything, even pay bills on time. I was staying inside for weeks at a time, only going out for doc's appointments and to take the dog out. I even have had my groceries delivered online.
It’s been a long road since those days.
Because of my experiences and the people I know, I want to write about what’s going on for me. My hope is that if others can see me taking risks, they can too. There is no “secret” to it.
It all starts by taking baby steps. Sometimes there are set backs, but I’ve always had to pick myself up and keep moving. I was overwhelmed by grand plans and goals. I had to do it bit by bit.
Having goals is important. I needed something to work towards, even though I’ve always worked in a very exploratory fashion. I’d say to myself, “I’d like to try this and see what happens.” I think the most important thing is to take risks. I took a make-up course and ended up being a make-up artist and corporate trainer for a well-known make-up company. I had no idea if I had any talent at it.
What interests you? Who cares if you think you might suck at it! Just try. Sample it and give it a try and see what happens. We don’t need to be perfect the first time. I remember feeling like I was the worst make-up artist ever when I was first hired. What I did was ask other make-up artists if I could watch and ask questions. Eventually I picked it up. My former experience in public speaking got me into the trainer role. I was shocked at the time.
I won’t get into the more colourful parts of my past other than to say that even when I did those, I applied myself and did well. Those experiences left me with very fertile comedic material for later in life.
Often when I am in the moment I fail to know that I am sowing seeds for later on. How will those seeds germinate? Who knows? I believe the universe is working in the background like life’s spyware, weaving and stitching our actions and experiences together for the future. The key is to be open-minded and seize the opportunity.
Fear has been my number one blockage. There have been many things I’ve wanted to do but have simply been scared of failure. Doing stand-up was one of those life-long dreams that I never thought I’d actually get to realize.
It’s not by accident that I became friends with two comics. Doing stand-up and being successful at it is a dream come true. Never in a million years did I think that I’d get invited to do another show.
It’s about finding out about what you’d really like to do, and figuring out how to get past the fear. It took me a good year and a half hanging out with comics for me to do stand-up. And even then it was because of the Stephen Lewis Foundation fundraising opportunity coming along that I did it. It felt like the universe was bringing all the elements together.
I just really wish that more people who feel stuck could find a way to move forward just a little bit. Being proactive even in the smallest ways has the power to change your future. It's opposite to “The Secret” method, which says you need to set out big goals, write them down in a book (which doesn’t hurt) and that says all that "law of attraction" will somehow tune into your energy and make it happen.
We all need ideas of where we'd like to go. However, simply being in a state of vibrational harmony with your desires will suddenly bring everything you've wanted. One action takes us out of a state of inertia and creates movement. These changes don't happen overnight.
Time is an illusion. We can’t see what the effects of our actions are until sometime way into the future. We need to turn ourselves around from being the effect (feeling hopeless, no goals) to being the cause. Being the cause in my life takes me out of being a victim. It brings in so much light where there used to be the dark
Bring a sense of adventure into your life, no matter what the outcome may be.
How are you the effect in your life, and how are you the cause? How can that change?
My challenge is to write down 15 goals, interests, passions, dreams. A bucket list. Whatever you’d like to call it. Things that you’ve always wanted to take a stab at but didn’t know how to do or are afraid of trying.
I will write mine and share them next post.