The more I learn about who I am, the more I yearn to express fully as me. This may not seem like such a difficult undertaking, yet for someone who has focused on work first for most of her life, this is not an easy or simple undertaking. The most familiar way for me to express is through my work. Any alternative is challenging, and sometime feels very foreign. I find my freedom through my work – whether it’s for payment or pleasure.
I discovered in my early teen years, that by going out into the work world, I was not so easily relied upon to take care of younger siblings (four of them). I found it easier – and more palatable to my sense of independence – to go to school, work part-time, and pay room-and-board at home, than to be a teenager in the house, taking care of little ones, and being under the scrutiny of my parents. Working gave me a little money for my own spending, yes. But more than that, working gave me freedom!
Being in the workforce so early in life (babysitting at 9, restaurant at 14, bartender and office worker at 18, etc.) planted seeds of a workaholic behavior to which I now pay close attention. It’s often difficult for me to slow down or find balance in life. I dream of extended vacations, but I don’t often take them. Instead, I do refreshing mini-retreats each day through meditation, reading, and tasks that require minor brain energy. It’s a beginning toward greater experiences.
The act of working gave me the opportunity to discover how I fit into society, the world. I discovered I learned quickly, retained and honed skills easily by challenging myself through accepting tasks of greater difficulty, and was (am) able to complete projects efficiently through constantly improving production processes (specifically, desktop publishing, editing, and marketing tasks).
It’s interesting to observe how much I expect of myself. However, when I get lost in the creative flow of a project, humming along and losing track of time, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like a graceful dance, a euphoric ballet, or high-energy hip-hop routine. I’m in the flow of Spirit; it’s Oneness in action. My time and energy become an easy give-and-take of talent and a creative expression of years of finely-honed skills. There’s a mental committee urging me on, encouraging me to challenge the status quo…watching my progress as I stretch myself and reach beyond previous levels of achievement.
These are moments of freedom to be me. I determine with a somewhat critical eye if I’ve done my best…at least, this time…where I can improve…and how I can explore diverse interests. I get to dig deep into my years of experience, get lost in a puzzle of complexity, and come up with answers or ideas that resolve a riddle or challenge. Then, I take a breath, turn around, and look for another set of questions that has no answers.
In that break between focuses, no matter how long it lasts, there is freedom to dream new creations, new endeavors, new accomplishments that bring new skills…and the cycle continues with great anticipation…the freedom to express as me!