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1000 words, 1 photo: consider yourself warned.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

When I was little, we're talking 9 or 10, I used to help my mom host dinner parties. She'd put on Shania Twain music and I'd put on my apron and flit around to "who's bed have your boots been under' lighting candles and putting sweet peas in the guest bathroom. I called myself Cinder-Sara (a nickname that still haunts me today) and I quite liked pressing napkins and making place cards out of crayola markers and folded pieces of card stock. I was always crafting things: 'do not disturb' signs, origami throwing stars, contracts for the 'Little Maids Club' we started because we were too young to babysit.

As I got a bit older and a lot more passionate about dance - yup I was a dancer (even with these thighs), - I fell in love with backstage. The quick changes, the exaggerated cues, the hard whispers, the good luck hugs. It was utter and ugly chaos right up until the moment we sashayed onstage with high buns and ruby red lips. The audience saw nothing but smiles and well choreographed perfection in blush pink pointe shoes.

Over the years I'd forgotten about these Sara'isms. I forgot that the sole reason I signed up for grad committee senior year was to have input on prom decor. That I colour coded my closet and watched taped episodes (VHS) of Colin Cowie on Oprah. I'd forgotten about the dorm room mood board I created out of magazine clippings and glue sticks. I'd forgotten that after graduation I moved to Kamloops to pursue a Hotel & Resort Management degree. It didn't matter that the curriculum excited me or that I got the highest mark in every single one of my classes,

I turned 19 and reality came knocking. 

All my friends were off becoming doctors and nurses and teachers and I was what? becoming a banquet manager? My ego and entrepreneurial spirit directed me towards a Bachelor of Commerce and off I went to Calculus class. In hopes of meeting a boy with an accent, I applied to study abroad and was accepted into a university in France. Prior to my departure I moved escaped to the Okanagan after a failed tree planting effort and who should I meet that summer?

Trevor.

Insert true love. I gave up Paris and he gave up the right side of his bed. Ten months later we were engaged, I enrolled in the Social Work program and Trev started SilverCrest Trucking & Excavating. Fast forward 10 years - a house, a business, a degree, a blog, 2 babies, an intact marriage, 6 years of pensionable service and an air of smugness. By society's standards we were doing okay.

but then I turned 30. 

despite all our acquisitions and pats on the back, my feelings of inadequacy were stronger than ever. I was hyperaware of all the things I was failing at and who was doing them better than me - parenting, blogging, exercising, decorating, dressing myself, dressing my kids, playdates, date nights, girls' nights, photography, work. I was suffocating. Drowning in self-doubt and self-imposed expectations. 

I became the meanest bully on the playground and my target was me. Not good enough, try harder, be better, you can't give that up, you can't drop that ball, this is your fault, you chose this, look at you.

I became angry. The 'I wanna flip a table and punch a wall' kinda angry (which is slightly out of character for me). 

The child welfare system in B.C. is broken and no matter how loud I screamed - and trust me I did - it just kept rolling along bulldozing everything that stood in its way. I was a casualty of the machine and this sort of political injustice infuriated the h-e-double hockey sticks outta me. I fought the good fight but at the end of the day I was the only one left with any scars. 

Insert stress leave.

Did I choose the wrong career? That question scared the bejeezus outta me. Between school and work I'd dedicated over 10 years of my life to the profession of social work; that's 1/3 of my existence. Could I really just give it all up? And even if I did, even if I was brave enough, what would I do?

You all know what happens next. I spent the next 7 weeks crying and reflecting on how I got here and where I needed to go next? I called on friends, called in favours and found enough peace within myself to hear the answers to my above questions*.

*I can't believe I just wrote that last line; it sounds totally barf but it's totally true. 

I'm not a sit around and wait kinda gal, but when all the wise women in my life told me to "calm the f*ck down", write out a career wish list and trust in the universe/God - I took their advice and what happened next both shocked me and shook me. I still get goosebumps just thinking about it and you will too (I think hope).


Ummm since when do I type novels? Jeesh. Sorry guys, I'm a bit longwinded this evening #clearly. I probably should've started things off with "Dear Diary". Anyways I'm going to leave you with that and see - based on all the above and what you already know about me - if you can guess what my next chapter will be? How it all came to be is absolutely insane and I think you'll all agree it's the perfect fit. I can't wait to hear your predictions (no cheating for those who already know) and share my newest news.

...

P.S. I'm 99% certain that if I didn't have this blog and all your wonderfully inspiring and encouraging messages I would not have made this leap. It was your faith and the support of my family, friends and mentors that gave me the push I needed to free fall. Moral of the story: if you anticipate a life crisis in the future, start blogging now.

P.S.S. blog rule #88 clearly states that no post should be published without a photo. remember my dilemma in the Winners' change room? I asked, you answered and here I am in the little jade dress channeling my inner Syndey Poulton (the pockets proved VERY handy - is that a pun? I can't tell).


33 comments:

Offer KINDNESS. Choose GENEROSITY. Give LOVE! said...

You crack me up!
Can't wait to read on....
JERK for not putting it all in one post!

andrea hanki said...

i don't want to guess -- i hate being wrong -- but i have goosebumps already. no lies. so excited for you sara :)

del09 said...

Yay go Team Sara. You will be fabulous at anything you tackle.

grillfusion.me said...

I love reading your posts Sara, they make my day. (Thanks for keeping it real with a great sense of humour! and you are definately not the only one who feels inadequate) So while I don't want to guess what your next adventure will be, I know it will be perfect for you!

Shelley Jacobsen said...

You are one of the most, if not THE most hilarious person I know! I'm gonna guess...writing a book? For a mag? Can't wait to hear about this next chapter:)

Nikki Miller said...

you inspire... that is why I come back to read this blog. It is funny, poignant and sincere!
P.S - I am obsessed with dresses with pockets

Susan Sykes said...

Great post Sara. I can totally, 100% relate. I quit my job a few years ago too. You are not alone! I'm sure you are going to rock your next adventure.

E said...

SO proud of you!!
(P.S. I owe you a good email, sorry I've been so slack!)

Erika said...

I can't wait to see what happens! And this is SUCH truth: "if you anticipate a life crisis in the future, start blogging now." Way back in 2008, I had this thought: "We are going to get pregnant soon, and I will DEFINITELY want to have a blog when I'm pregnant/have a baby...but it looks dumb when people just start blogs when they get pregnant. I should start one now so that it is 'established' for a few months before I get knocked up!" HAHAHA. And....the rest is history. Still no pregnancy, but at least if/when it ever does happen I will have a VERY ESTABLISHED blog!!! Ha. But seriously...you never know what kind of crisis life will throw at you next...best to have 'established' your blog before it happens!!

MSDeyle said...

The suspense! You are killing me over here. I'm excited for you and this new direction even if I don't know what it is. :)

Kelly @ A Swell Place to Dwell said...

I think it's incredibly brave of you to trust in yourself and do what feels right. Sometimes it's so easy to just keep on keepin' on and not realize what it's doing to your soul. Looking forward to seeing what your next chapter brings.

christine, just bella said...

SO happy for you!!

Alex - northstory said...

Oh you know I know I can relate to this. I understand exactly what it's like to 'grow up' and still feel back at square one in high school trying to embark on the next path of a career. For the record, this is the best entry I've read all morning. Man do I EVER miss reading bloggers who write like this. I look forward to hearing your next step.

Randalin @ Harvesting Kale said...

Dude, you're inspiring the pants off me. For real. I'm taking some serious notes over here. As for my guess....I'm going with par-tay planner! Whatever it is, you'll be amazing.

Ashley said...

Tightrope walker for the circus? No really, I think you could rock even that job. Whatever the next step is, you're bound to make a good one. Can't wait to read more!!!

Sandra Kohlmann said...

Photographer? Event planner? Trucking and excavating (Trev needs a sidekick, right?)?

Whatever it is, I can't wait to read all about it. I am inspired by, and impressed with, this leap you've taken. Now stop teasing us and tell us what it is!

Marisa B said...

You gave us quite a few insights to your past so I think those are hints - my first guess would be Ringmaster and I thought ha-ha that's funny! Now I am thinking TEACHER, which can be considered as a Ringmaster!!!!!! With all the crafty talk I thought the next Martha Stewart!

What ever it is Good Luck!!!
Marisa

Mama said...

You are an inspiration! Event planner? Interior design? I have no idea. Whatever it is I'm sure you are going down a creative path that will take you on some amazing adventures. My husband is a photographer and quit his (coveted) full time job as a staff photographer to go freelance so he could also spend more time with our kids. When I took my maternity leave this year he had to step it up a notch so we could stay afloat. He was PETRIFIED that he wouldn't get any business, but in the end the business found him and things just kept working out for him. It's amazing how it all comes together. It's hard to see it when you're in the tunnel but like you have learned, you will always find the light.

Sara S said...

I have experienced similar feelings of not really feeling like I was quite satisfied with where I was in my own life...so I completely understand and am inspired by your courage to take the next steps forward! :) Can`t wait to read more!

Erinn T said...

Well, my beautiful {BEAUTIFUL!] redheaded friend, since I already know [hehe, I feel like one of the coolest kids in school!] I'm just going to tell you that you are going to be amazing at it. AH-MAZING! No joke. You were made to create and that you will! I only wish you were around 3 years ago to help this blonde out. I'd fly your ass right here to E-town and we'd go from there. Like old BFF's or something.

Anyways, so happy for you and so glad you are following your dreams [cheesy, but true]
xoe

Erinn T said...

ps. Green dress = great choice.
xoe

Sian said...

You wont regret it! xxxx

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