Monday, October 18, 2010

Lady in the Mirror

As I approach the one-year anniversary of my layoff, I've realized that I’m light years ahead of the old me.

A year ago, I was an angry workaholic. I threw myself into work to avoid other areas of my life that needed much attention. I let the demanding, dysfunctional world of advertising agencies rule my life. I was overweight, exhausted and miserable.

As of today, I can honestly say that I’m in a much better place. Since my re-birthday (10/23/09), I’ve (started) to learn to surf, do a mean vinyasa, written a 46-page non-fiction book proposal and go on dates at least twice a week. I’m working on a standup act, blogging and selling designer shoes, clothes and handbags on eBay that I never should’ve bought in the first place. I’ve been a movie extra, gone to countless TV show tapings and have met some really interesting characters. I had a hat project (I “borrowed” cute gentleman’s hats for photo shoots), learned to love quinoa and was enamored by Mad Men and MI-5 on DVD. I even gave my number to Scott Speedman.

Most of all, I’ve learned that I need to do a better job expressing myself, that spinning and running provide a means to process my anger and frustration, what my real strengths and weaknesses are and what I really want in the man that will be my husband. I've lost 15-20 lbs. and no longer have chronic dark circles under my eyes.

Make no mistake…losing one’s job can be a blow to self-esteem and I’m no different. I’ve had to learn to like myself for achievements and activities that are outside of work. In fact, I’ve learned that I need to like myself even if I achieve nothing. Since I’m an overachiever, it's been hard but I finally feel a little bit of peace. I'm not running to out do myself.

So what's up for the next year? I'm living the question. But I'm hopeful, much more so than when I was working. Every once and a while, I see the ghost of my old self in the mirror and I barely recognize her. She fades, but is not forgotten. I'll never let myself slip that low again.

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