I'd been planning this post for a while. For a couple of months in fact.
And this is not at all the post I'd planned to write.
My two-year blogiversary was 6 October and I was really looking forward to sharing my blogging 'journey' over these two years. I'd wanted to look back and celebrate what I've learnt and how far I've come.
I'd been entirely planning to talk about just 'starting' - if you don't just start doing something ... well, how can it ever improve? The whole point is just start and then you learn and develop along the way. You have to start even if you don't know how to do things, or how to make things look the way you want. If you've got something to say, or you want to do, you need to start, or it's just an idea.
I kept meaning to see if I had any screenshots of my incredibly basic (and not beautiful) first blog and had been going to just share some of what my learnings have been over these two years and journey from wordpress blog to WP site to Squarespace and through four different domain names. (Oh the torture of changing nameservers and all that stuff).
And I think I will share that ... another time.
Something was holding me back from actually writing this post and I'd started to think that maybe I just wouldn't write it at all as I wasn't feeling it. After all - you don't have to celebrate blogiversaries.
But I do want to write it; it's just not the post I thought it was. It's not a celebration of having been blogging for two years.
It's something much bigger.
The blogging is a symptom, not a cause. Not sure that's the right metaphor I have to say but the blogging is the outward sign of a much bigger inner shift and just a visible action of a much much bigger internal action.
This is a celebration of two years being conscious about creating my life and choosing to do things that matter to me, and that make me happy.
Like a lot of us, I'd spent until that point never really choosing what made me happy - oh I'd think I was but I was only choosing from what was there and what I could see.
I could choose where to live, who to see, what jobs to get, which parties to attend, where to go on holiday - but I only chose from the choices I could see available, not consciously thinking what I wanted.
I travelled, I had fun, I had a good and interesting career in magazines ... but eventually it felt like it was all consuming me. I was working hard but not feeling I was getting anywhere and I can see now when I look back why that was.
I didn't know where I wanted to get to, for one. And I never really felt in control and more than that I don't think I felt control was an option. It just never occurred to me to take charge of my own life and to think and actually decide what I wanted.
And it took a very very long time and until things got quite dark and difficult before having my own personal epiphany.
Working in a stressful totally all-consuming job that wasn't for me (or my increasingly high blood pressure). Spending and consuming to try and make up for that life and stress (that meant I missed seeing friends and missed out on life as I felt forced to prioritise work) ... being in debt that I wasn't really taking responsibility for.
Well of course I wasn't!
If I wasn't taking responsibility for my own happiness and my own life, I wasn't taking it for anything else. And it sort of got worse and worse. Inside anyway. Outside I still looked fine and normal (if grown a little quieter) - with a mortgage and my job and all the rest of the trappings of normal life.
One day - I just came to the end. Nothing was really worse than anything before, but something small happened that was the straw that broke the camel's back and I just had a feeling of utter tiredness that I just couldn't do this any more.
And suddenly and very clearly, with excitement and honesty and a feeling of joy and strength - my inner voice finally spoke up and said:
''Well, don't do it then"
And so I stopped. I didn't do anything that outwardly looked huge. It was a huge inner shift, a personal thing and outwardly, all that people saw was that I changed jobs.
But for me - I finally took control of my life.
I gave in my notice at the job that wasn't for me, without a job to go to. I had three months' notice to find one. And for the first time ever I asked myself what I wanted from my next job. I didn't jump into a huge change of working for myself, or running away around the world, or a career change. Small steps, but big ones. Staying in the world I knew but consciously choosing something that I would enjoy and that would also give me time in my life to do other things and to work out what things those might be that would make me happy and fulfilled.
I found it. A job with a good publishing agency and - unexpected bonus I hadn't been looking for - walking distance from home. I consciously took a role that was a step 'back' (something I might not have considered before as we're all so conditioned to keep pushing 'up') and yes, I took a bit of a pay cut. These were conscious decisions to change my lifestyle and start creating the life I wanted.
Two months after I started my new job - and my over-worked over-cooked brain started coming to life ... (and I'd got my head round the new job a little) - I opened my laptop one day and signed up for a free blog site. I wrote my first blog post (a recipe for a spicy pork Thai salad) and with a little nervousness and a lot excitement, I posted it on Facebook.
And that was the beginning. One day, I'll be back to talk about my blogging journey from that first post and that first site and what I've learnt.
But for today, I'm celebrating (a month late) my two year anniversary of starting to create my own life and choosing what I want to do with it; choosing what makes me happy.
Happy 2nd happiversary!
PS. Can you relate to any of this and more importantly, what do you consciously choose to do that makes you happy? Did you have a moment that's your own happiversary too? PLEASE SHARE!