I started thinking about this. On paper, when I write out my last 5 years, it would look like this…
Wow… it looks like insanity all written out. Hahaha. It also LOOKS like I’ve “started over” 7 times. In one way, it LOOKS like it could have been as a result of me being a SEVEN on the ENNEAGRAM Personal Assessment Test (needing adventure, fun, excitement, change etc.) However, when I really delve into the depth behind this, there are so many more layers to the “WHY” behind this outline of my life the last 5 years.
My first move to Los Angeles from Seattle in the summer of 2008, was an adventurous one. It was exciting, it was fun, the sky was the limit for me and I had SO MUCH going for me. My sister and I were writing, recording, and performing music. We almost signed a record deal. I started working as an event coordinator for Wolfgang Puck Catering and throwing all kinds of parties for the “STARS” in Hollywood! Let’s just say, it was definitely exciting and gave me a high on life.
However, I remember after 6 months of this high, my sister and I were LONGING for community, a church, a healthy atmosphere where we could be authentic, grow in our faith and be grounded. We found a great church in Los Angeles and DOVE IN head-first. After growing up in such a rich family environment, rich community, and a healthy balanced life, we were so hungry for this aspect of life to return to our Los Angeles “normal”.
When we dove into community, it was amazing for our souls. We felt refreshed, gained a family community in Los Angeles, and felt like we belonged. During a few years in that context, we built what looked to be like a healthy “family” away from family, being SUPER involved in church and the community of the church. It was great in its own right, however, it also took a slight twist. My life became a bit of an ingrown bubble without any life outside of that bubble. In great efforts to “belong” and feel loved, my world became small and focused on a limited aspect of what my life really COULD be.
It’s amazing what lengths we will go to in order to feel a sense of belonging, of love, and of acceptance. Whatever we have learned to put our value in, we could search and strive forever to feel like we belong WITH wherever that VALUE lies. Can you think of what that might be for you??
For me, I was a people-pleaser at the time and I also wanted to be accepted and important to “church people”. I never wanted to do anything wrong. I wanted to be perfect and I wanted to be seen as such. I also wanted to be a GREAT example, a GREAT achiever, be seen as successful… particularly in the areas I placed most value in at the time, which happened to be…
For fear of being “normal”, I put great value on rising above anything “normal”... standing out in my “greatness”. That sounds very selfish haha. Well, though I had many great intentions, yes, it was also very selfish too. Being human makes our intentions messy… we are selfish in nature, and it gets mixed into all that we do… even the GOOD STUFF! Wow, does it ever.
So all this being said, this is the background and groundwork to the OUTLINE I shared above about ALL MY “starting overs”.
These “starting overs”, weren’t MERELY “starting-overs”, but mere capstones to seasons that brought me to new layers of understanding myself, my desires, my needs, my strengths and my weaknesses. It has been said that it’s easier to create NEW NORMALS when you’re in NEW ENVIRONMENTS, otherwise, it’s so easy to fall back into old habits, old thought-patterns and old comfort zones. Not that everything OLD is bad, but the quest to walk in different strengths, vision and growth has demanded NEW environments and NEW opportunities for me to become made NEW over and over again.
I am, of course, the same person at the core from 5 years ago, but I am also very different. I love who I have grown to become as a result; and there is so much more change and growth to be experienced! It’s difficult… being challenged continually is difficult (oh life) … but the reward is so great! I’m learning things about myself now, that are shaping my next steps in even greater ways than before.
No… life is not all about knowing SELF… BUT… I believe (and have experienced) that the greater understanding I have of myself, the greater understanding I have of humanity as a whole: compassion and empathy increases, purpose solidifies, and vision expands to be so much greater than prior to my awareness.
So this being said… I have been putting this understanding of myself to work… to knowing my CORE VALUES, creating my PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT, and now putting legs to this realm of understanding in the form of my living and my career path! It has been INVALUABLE!!! I will be sharing more steps along the way, but wanted to share this first one with you as 2018 is already upon us!!
Love you family! Looking forward to sharing more with you!! xoxo