I was slowly pushing all the negativity away from me and all the people surrounded by drama were exiting stage left in the story of my life. All I needed were people that brought happiness into my life and did not suck the energy and passion out of my daily existence. I needed to clean house and all of those that did not make the cut I was having no problem tossing aside.
I had regained my focus and each day was becoming a blessing again; the way I felt when recovering from my experience at the hospital after open heart surgery. I remember that someone I spoke to called it the ‘pink cloud’ period after you had survived a traumatic experience. It was a period where you were in a state of elation each and every moment of every day. I do not know about the each and every moment as the pain of recovery can wear thin, but things do not bother you as much when you have come so close to death.
I sometimes think that the reason you are so elated during this period is because the stresses of life do not really affect you. Normally you do not have a job during this time due to the inability to perform tasks at a high level. You have bills to pay and recovery to go through but people are there to help you in most cases. You are not thinking about dating or trying to start a family, You just want to live each day and enjoy the fact you are not 6 feet underground. Life’s daily stresses and frustrations are basically non-existent or at least they are very quickly pushed into the back of the mind.
After going through this recovery period you are expected to take responsibility for yourself and your life very quickly. People only have a limited amount of time that they want to spend helping another person. It is just human nature to want to focus on themselves and their own lives. What you went through becomes less important as they feel that the time they have put in was enough. For me, I was thankful for everyone that was there to help me get better and to see me through those hard nights. You truly see who you real friends are during your times of need and I found out I did not have many, but the ones I did have I will cherish forever.
I remember when I was going through rehab in Houston, one of the psychologists there said you have to remove yourself from the people, places and things you are accustomed to in order to beat your addiction. I think this goes for life in general when it comes to becoming your true self and finding happiness. All of those things around you that mentally push you each day have to be removed from your life. This includes pushing those people that drag you down away from you no matter if they have been in your life for years or just a few weeks. I had to learn to say “No” to people when I did not want to do something and to stop being so non-confrontational in order for people to not get their feelings hurt. Yes, the truth hurts sometimes but it needs to be said. I had people telling me all the time when I was drinking that I was throwing my life away, but I never listened to them. I think I did hear them but I was not ready to face the fact that if I quit drinking and things did not work out I would not have an excuse.
Waking up each morning I had a fresh perspective on life. I had a puppy that adored me and it felt good knowing that there was unconditional love in my life even if it came from a different species. Sundays were spent with friends away from work for most of the day. The projects I was working on were coming together and although not as quickly as I wanted, I had patience and knew that they would. I was done with the 16 to 17 hour work days. There is only so much productive work that you can accomplish in one day and after about 9 hours it drops off sharply while only causing stress. I did not need to take on any more projects and the focus was just on the current ones.
Once the negative things were out of my life everything started flowing in a new direction. It was not hoping that each day would be one step forward and that the steps back were limited, it was seeing the giant leaps taking place to accomplish the dreams I had in my head. The shipping company was doing great. The SEO clients were limited to a select few that paid on a normal basis. The guy’s trips were moving along and would soon be producing more income in time; it was all about building a sales pipeline. But most importantly the journalism internship program was about to kick off.
There was a vision that was about to be attained in regards to helping students and young adults with both journalism and life lessons. Everything in my life up to this point had been about the almighty dollar. I thought that I was nothing without being able to make a certain amount of money. Being brought up in a private school where the kind of clothes you wore, or the car you drove, or the country club you belonged to defined your social status became ingrained in our minds. This is pushed in your head through all sorts of media as well each and every day of most of our lives…but what if happiness is breaking away from what is presented to us as how we are supposed to live our lives according to society.
I was going to break the norm and find my follow my own dreams. It was time for me to start ignoring the doubters and put together a life that I was proud of. It did not matter what my parents thought or anyone else. Who are we living for? Ourselves. We can only follow our own dreams. Epictetus said “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid”. That was what I was going to do. I had a vision and a dream and although it might have seemed stupid to many others, it did not matter. I saw the ability to wake up each morning and teach kids and guide their futures, to talk about lessons I had learned in life both in Costa Rica and growing up in the USA, and to generate capital from the project as well. Once it was going it was everything I had ever wanted in one program; journalism, internet marketing, teaching, helping other, community service, and accomplishing my dreams while guiding other’s dreams.
With the help of a few others around me this dream was about to become a reality…
Next Up – Opening my Heart to a New Life