Last Wednesday was my 35th birthday. My amazing sister-in-law and her husband agreed to babysit and James took me out to a nice French restaurant in Pacific Beach. After dinner, we rented Bird scooters and rode all over town like we were 27. It was exhilarating.
One feeling I kept having around my birthday was a sense of awe of how much happened this past year—events I did not expect or knew how to ask for. Around this time last year, my son was a little over one year old and I started feeling more motivated to dream bigger for myself although I didn’t know what that “bigger” looked like. That first year of my son’s life took all of my energy as I was nursing and working full-time as an associate minister in Arcadia. I was perpetually tired and the biggest dream I had for myself was making sure I kept up with my family and work responsibilities. So it was quite a noticeable difference when my energy level shifted and I wanted to rev up my game in some way.
I started very small and starting writing for the public in January of this year. I have always been a writer but most of my writing has been for the academic and church world. I pitched to HuffPost and had an essay featured pretty early on. I then started a blog and gained a quick following by writing for Medium. One thing led to the next and I was being contacted by literary agents to write a book! In the midst of all this, I received a call from the Bishop’s office with a new job appointment for me as a Senior-Minister-In-Transition at a sizable church in San Diego. So my family uprooted ourselves from the LA area and resettled in San Diego where I started this new job that I absolutely love. I also keep writing and receiving new opportunities every single week.
This is crazy.
I would never have imagined this for myself just one year ago. It all began because I noticed I wanted more and got curious about what that could be. I then started to take small steps in a direction I wasn’t sure where it was going but felt compelled to go.
Just a caveat that I don’t feel like this every year. On some birthdays, I look back at the previous year and think, not much happened. Or I think, wow, that was a rough year. Rarely do I think, hot damn, dreams can come true really fast.
If you feel this sense of wanting to do more, don’t ignore it. Observe it. Ask it a lot of questions. Some of the questions I asked myself to figure out where my energy could take me were:
1) What gives you life and energy?
2) What do have an unusual love or penchant for? Even more so than others?
3) What would you spend your time doing if you didn’t need to make money?
4) What do you love talking about? That perhaps others even get frustrated with you because you predominantly want to talk about these things?
5) In what areas do your friends seek your advice and/or assistance and you are happy to give it?
These are some good starter questions to guide you in a direction. Then take slow and small steps and see where the road takes you.
As tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I think it’s a good time for me to tell you how grateful I am to have connected with all of you in some way, even if we’ve never been introduced—if we’re strangers on opposite sides of the country in front of our screens with the internet ether in between. I am honored that you spend time reading my words and even more honored when they help you in some way.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.