I’m nearing a year on a very important journey; I find it easier to measure the distance in life’s journey using units of time, rather than distance.  It has been a most singularly choice-driven year of growth for me. It is no surprise to me, considering the matter, looking ahead to future years, looking back on years past, this year is defined by my choices.  It hasn’t always been so obvious to me.

Going the distance isn't about someone else's destination.

Going the distance isn’t about someone else’s destination.

My difficult day at work, at the start of the week, culminated in a profound moment of self-respect, consideration of my own needs over time, self-compassion, and real regard for the work I’m putting into myself to heal and be whole. I’ve invested a lot in my own experience this year. Rather than have any piece of that derailed now, seemingly so close to… something… I made a choice, and after so many opportunities in life to choose the needs of others over my own, to support something outside what I, myself, truly value and support, the choice I made this time is for me.  I resigned from my current employment, and only a few days remain to rise before the dawn and walk in to this office each morning.

I don’t write much about work, in part because I don’t define myself by how I am employed – nor do I define others by what they do to earn a living. I look for something beyond that in the people who are my friends and associates. There was a strange disconnect in my values there, that finally became a challenge. A new bit of life’s curriculum appeared on my lesson plan, because although I don’t define myself by how I am employed, I had been – for many years – allowing employer after employer to have an effect on my sense of self-worth.  The thing is  – it’s not real, any more than any other label we choose to wear.  I am at a place in my life where my needs are vastly more important – and more worthy of my attention and my time – than the needs of any one employer.  The time I spend investing in my health and wellness right now is significant, and worthwhile.  With the encouragement of my partners, I’m taking an opportunity to stop for a moment, on another level, and find stillness – and maybe clarity around my desire to find purpose, and meaning in what I do; something that has value beyond a paycheck.

I didn’t know in February that I would be capable of making a choice like this. I didn’t know I might want to. Hell, in February, I just wanted a reason to go on living. What a very long way I have come this year. What I choose to do to earn a paycheck does matter.

I’m looking forward to the holidays. I’m eager to take a break from the work routine and breathe. It’s premature to retire altogether, but I’m overdue for a break, and an opportunity to reconsider the future, my needs over time, and ‘what I might like to be when I grow up’.  There’s more to life – and success – than a paycheck.  We each define who we ourselves are – and this year, I have changed the way I define myself.

Today I am content, and I am optimistic. Today I am compassionate, and responsive to my own needs. Today… I will change the world.