This is a guest post from the lovely Célynne ~ you can find her blog here.
My name is Célynne, and I am HAPPY! I recently acquired my certificate in Basic Pastry from the Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute and I’m pursuing a new career in the food industry. I’m soon going to be working full-time as a bread baker in a large artisanal bakery, and I’m already working part-time in the evenings in a wonderful little Italian restaurant. I face new challenges on a near daily basis and I’m constantly pushing my boundaries. My life is exciting and fresh and there are so many possibilities in front of me.
If you’d told me a year ago that I would be where I am now though, I’d have thought you were crazy. Each day I went to work at a very well-paying job working in a business library, something for which I had studied and gotten my diploma. Except it brought me no personal fulfilment, and I had no pride in my work. There was nothing to show for my time at the end of the day, and as the years slowly crawled past me, nothing changed either. I was stagnant and it felt indescribably wrong.
But then something unexpected happened. The library in which I worked was slated for closure, and my position at work was deemed surplus. I was notified that after a set amount of months, I would either have to leave my employer with a sizable severance package, or accept another permanent non-library position in the organization. At this point, I’d had the same job for over three years. My life was comfortable. But that’s the thing with comfort, it’s too easy to just stay where it’s comfortable and safe rather than take risks and go out for more. I spent so long in a safe, comfortable lifestyle that event the smallest of risks, the smallest of changes, seemed monumental to me.
It all came back to the fact that I was unhappy however, and that I couldn’t ignore. After turning over all the options, thinking of all the possibilities, I took the plunge. In the summer, I left my job. It was like a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was still terrified though, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t certain if what I was doing was the right thing for me, but I forged ahead.
When I started my classes at the Cordon Bleu, I couldn’t believe how much I was enjoying it. I hadn’t minded acquiring my first college diploma too much, but this I actually liked. I was looking forward to going to my classes. I was learning so much, and they were things I actually cared about learning. I was surprised at myself for the skills I was gaining and the progress I was making, because it had been so long since I did anything new. Graduating from the school with my Basic Pastry Certificate was one of the proudest moments of my adult life. It was something for which I had taken great risks and worked hard to attain.
It’s only been a few weeks since my graduation now, and already I’ve been hired at this bakery. I’m myself still amazed at the events taking place, that this is indeed my life. While I do still have a lot of fears for my future – I’m still dealing with the drastic change in income for instance – I know that I will at least be happy with what I’m doing. I know now that being happy is the important thing, much more so than money. I also know that fear is only my reaction to new experiences. The more new things I do, the less it feels like fear and the more like excitement.
When I think ahead now, I don’t worry about spending my days doing something that makes me miserable. I’m going to be learning, growing, evolving, progressing. Living! I feel like a completely new person, but I think it may be that I’m finally just allowing me to be myself. I’m no longer stifling my desires and my urges and my needs for happiness and fulfilment in life. I’m learning to accept that living life requires me to take risks, to accept challenges, and to deal with occasional discomfort and fear. There’s so much to gain if you are willing to deal with those things.
Of course I didn’t get through all this alone. I had friends and family to fall back on, to talk to and to lean on. Most importantly I had the help of the wonderful Katie. I’m pretty convinced that without her, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. She was cheering me on the whole while, helping me deal with my fears, to understand how I was feeling about the changes happening to me. I had the good fortune of being a Love Ninja during this time in my life, and not only did she accompany me through the rocky journey into a new life and career, but she helped me grow as a person too. I’m much more open about my feelings, willing to take leaps of faith, to be more accepting and loving. All around, I’m happier in my life and with myself largely because of her help. I’ve thanked her countless times for it already and I’ve fallen into the habit of updating her on my successes and milestones, thanking her again any time something big happens.
In less than a year, I’ve gone from living a listless and unhappy life, to a happy and dynamic life. I still have days where I worry, where I succumb to my fears. But I know that with the good comes the bad and I’ll get through it. Things will be better because I’m working towards them being that way. For any of my failures, I try to learn as much as I can and use it to my advantage in the future and not dwell. I know I have it in me to do what will make me happy, to be the architect of my life. I’m never going to let myself be so unhappy for long, not again.
We’re all capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for and it’s always worth taking a chance, because there’s so much out there to gain. Life isn’t meant to be easy, it isn’t meant to be comfortable. It’s exciting and frightening and fun and scary and so many wonderful things! I’m going to squeeze as much out of life as I possibly can from this time forth, and I hope those of you who feel like I used to can work up the courage to do it too.