When I was redecorating my condo the first time, I had a great idea to stencil a quote on my bedroom wall. I wanted a verse or lyric that I would see first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I wanted words that meant something to me, something that would make me think. I was intent on changing my life and I thought this was a good way to motivate myself.
The quote I chose was: Happiness, not in another place but this place… not for another hour but this hour. – Walt Whitman
A temp at work made fun of me when she overheard me talking about it. “Can you believe that? What kind of person needs to write a note on the wall to remind themselves to be happy?” But I liked it (and I was the boss so she wasn’t invited back =D). My morning affirmation made me happy. It made me happy enough to realize that the closed mindedness of others was a reflection of who they were and had nothing to do with me. And she was nowhere near who I wanted to be, so her opinion being so different than mine also made me happy. Not for another hour but this hour.
I turned 35 a few days before that picture was taken. I had achieved everything I set out to do. I had responsibility in my job, I liked the people I worked with and was making more money than I had even considered making, I had my own home, a great car, a man who loved me. I also worked 60+ hours a week, I was constantly frustrated and stressed, I ate junk because I didn’t have time to prep anything better, my only indulgence was to go to a movie and turn off my phone for two hours every Friday afternoon. And I spent too much money on more junk, more stuff, more more more. And yes, I had to write a note on my wall to remind me to be happy. Actually it was to remind me to be happy now, it reminded me to try. It worked.
The next time I redecorated the condo my life was very different. I liked it even better.
It was: Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Confucius
This picture was taken one month after I quit my job. I had moved back to my condo about six months before after my attempt to live with the man I was with when I had the blue walls. My happiness didn’t wain but life wasn’t turning out as I’d planned. I loved a man who loved me completely but we could not communicate, we lived on very different plains, we could not live together.
I started having fun with the idea of “falling” and getting back up. I started looking for opportunities to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I redecorated my condo and had an absolute blast, planning and matching and ordering. I custom designed my closet, I had my sofa, desk, and bedroom suite custom made in a style I liked in the colour I wanted. I bought everything from scratch – if you look at pictures of my condo at that time and this there will not be a duplicate – apart from some beloved artwork- and I loved it.
A year later, when everything was complete and exactly how I wanted it, I sold it and moved into a basement suite a few miles away. I didn’t take a picture there but my quote was:
Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars! – The Internet
Cheesy, I know, but it was a short term rental so I had to by one off the shelf. What can I say, poverty was rough. But I was still happy, and the move was another challenge, another push out of my comfort zone. Then I pushed myself out of the province to my sister’s, then to my parent’s house in another province for two years to help during dad’s last days and beyond (a.k.a. so far out of my comfort zone I nearly lost sight of it completely!), then another push to Ontario, to try my hand at the love thing one more time.
I pushed myself again recently, as regular readers know very well, and this is the first time I’ve lived alone and had the opportunity to paint a new stencil on my bedroom wall. Now I just have to figureout what I want it to say.
What help do I need that I can get in the form of a quote/note on the wall to remind me? I’m happy, I beleive in the moment; I’m not afraid of a challenge and push myself out of my comfort zone routinely, when I fall I believe without a doubt that I will rise again; and I’m perfectly content among the stars, but if I’m still planning to reach the moon some day.
As you can tell, this quote has a lot of pressure riding on it. I’m going to have to think on this.