So much has happened this year. By this time last year I could feel something big was about to happen, and indeed something big happened for me in 2016.
As you may have read in this blog, back in January I took a 12 month career break along with Imogen to do Crave for Crafts our full time endevour.
For nearly 12 months I have lived and breathed Crave for Crafts 24/7 which has been amazing. But most importantly, I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with myself, a luxury in these times of busyness.
I already wrote in the blog that working for yourself is not easy. It requires a lot of discipline to wake up in the mornings and give the best of yourself every day when no one else is watching. All your actions are your full responsibility. Bye bye regular payslips.
Over these months I have sat with myself and the computer for hours struggling with the technology, doing the accounts, squeezing my brains to make the most of our little budget. And Imogen has worked on lots of projects while breastfeeding and looking after a toddler, cut kilometres of rope, painted hundred of beads for our kits, and do daily trips to the post office to ship boxes.
But at the same time, in this year I have had time to do the things I love. Some of them I didn’t even know I loved them.
I have realized that the things I love (as in TRULY love) are inexpensive.
When working at companies, I used to drink wine after work mostly every night because I needed to unwind. I used to go shopping after a stressful week because I deserved it. I don’t want to unwind anymore, I love what I do. And there are other things I prefer doing these dates that don’t affect my budget and do me a better favour.
I have gone on daily dates with myself, attending yoga classes at the studio or in my living room, going for daily walks, sat at cafes writing thoughts and dreams, cooked for myself every day, sweat at Lydia’s classes, read a lot. I have done meditation courses, I have volunteered in farms and I have also had time to network with new friends, gone to many cool events, and spent a lovely time with my chosen family in Brisbane. Many of Crave for Crafts customers have become dear friends. I now can do a headstand.
Over this year I have had time to watch documentaries and read articles that I wouldn’t have time to watch otherwise. They wouldn’t have caught my attention really. I used to be more like a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills documentary type of girl. And I won’t lie, I still love watching those mad ladies but learning about sustainability and the future of the planet has had a deep impact in me. I have developed an interest towards permaculture and living off the land. About the reality of animal farming. You probably know about all these things. I didn’t. I didn’t have time to read about this stuff, I was too busy looking at my own belly button.
But now that I know, I can’t ignore it anymore. And I have finally started taking responsibility over my actions. I didn’t use to care that much about recycling. Even the climate change seemed something you would blame big corporations about it. This year I have awaken to my own responsibilities and this has been a big thing for me.
By mid year I started doing a list of things that I could do to help the environment. Among others, I resolved to follow a part-time vegan diet. Which means that Monday to Friday I try not to eat anything that comes from animals, in particular beef. In the weekends I eat normally, specially if I go to someone else’s place.
I bought a portable coffee cup so when I go out for coffee, I take my own cup instead of using a cardboard cup. You might do this already, but I didn’t. It did never cross my mind.
Geoff and I decided to pay a bit more in our electricity to ensure it comes from clean energy.
I recycle as best as I can, although I am still learning. I buy at the Farmers Markets as much as I can to support the local community.
By any means I am trying here to preach about what everyone should do, because I don’t know, I am learning and I understand that everyone’s has their own views, needs and issues. But it is good to be aware of how much our daily actions and choices impact the environment. I had no idea.
Back to today’s topic. In this year I have had time to discover myself. That has been the most amazing experience of my life, better than any of the travels I have ever done. Better than moving to Australia. Now I can say I know who Ana is. I have finally met her. I now understand why she cries, what makes her excited, what triggers her temper. The things she stands for and the things she needs to work on.
For many years I winged about working in jobs I didn’t love, staying late at night at the office, attending meetings to have other meetings. I went through a divorce, I struggled with being away from my family and my friends and I realized how difficult I could be with other people who love me.
But all these experiences were worthwhile. Hadn’t I gone through that, I wouldn’t have touched bottom and taken the leap. I would have been too scared to lose a job. I wouldn’t have been able to afford it. Today I am immensely grateful to my previous experiences, because they mowed my path.
What is next? I plan to keep this time for myself. I have realized I want to keep doing Crave for Crafts and have time to make it happen properly.
I recently took a part time job at a lovely non for profit organization that provides social services across Queensland. I have realized I don’t need as much as I used to think I needed. What I need is time. Time to do some crafts, time to develop new ideas, time to work hard and time to just be. I need time to keep my dreams become true. I want to continue Crave for Crafts in my fullest presence, enjoying it, loving it.
I have also enrolled in a Yoga Teacher Training that I will do over the next year. This is something that has come to me as the year has unfolded. I want to lead meditations and share them with whoever is interested. Yoga and meditation have saved my life, and this is not an overstatement. Yoga has helped me whenever I have needed. Same with meditation. I have slowly adopted a very simple yet regular meditation routine that helps me stay happy. Every morning, I take 10 minutes to listen to my breath and to hear my heart. I love it. It is a way of saying Thank You to my body that keeps me alive, that has been working for me when I was sleeping and that is much stronger than what I sometimes credit it for.
I plan to keep working in my relationships with others. I want to help more. Do more for my partner, my colleagues, Imogen, our dear customers and friends.
I want to be open to whatever miracles happen in my life.
I want to continue growing and learning.
I am 34 and I have a feeling that this has just started.