Monday, January 7, 2013

Looking Back - Moving Forward

After a unplanned break from blogging (and a few other things in life.) I'm trying to get back into a routine and trying to find my voice again. I've made it a habit to keep this blog and my real job separate for a couple of reason - first I'm a consultant so I feel an obligation to my client's business private and, more importantly, my job is the kind that has the ability to take over my entire life if I'm not careful and keeping it out of this blog leaves me a job-free creative outlet. I'm going to see if I can skate a fine line with this post and talk about work without actually talking about it.

A friend asked me a week ago after I shared some of what I'd been up to in Istanbul over the past two months if I took the time to journal or write down some of the things I'd learned, because it was one of the periods in my life where I experienced a lot of growth. I realized that this is the only place where I actual take the time keep any sort of a record so here goes nothing.

I spent the last three months in Istanbul working on a project with impossible deadlines and immense pressure - and I was the project's team leader. We joked about how the project felt a bit like climbing Everest: impossible, exhausting, dangerous and strangely exhilarating. I didn't sleep much and each morning I started the day with a prayer that I was up to the challenges I'd face that day.

I don't think I've ever worked this hard, been under so much pressure or had so much responsibility. It was scary and empowering. I walked away feeling like I could take on the world and like I could sleep for a week (which I did.) I've always carefully filtered myself and my opinions, waiting to make sure when I said something I wouldn't make too many waves, worried a lot about having everyone like me - not necessarily bad traits, but traits that can be somewhat limiting. I felt like surviving this period I broke free, I feel like I've found the confidence to be myself and if people like that great, if not, I don't feel the need to try and be something else just to make them happier or more comfortable.

I'm not sure that lesson will always stick - but just having that realisation once in my life is pretty powerful. And I hope I can always reflect back to how amazing it felt to just be true to myself and not to try and mold myself into whatever it is I think people want me to be. Starting 2013 on a high is an incredible feeling.

Hey Marseilles - Looking Back
"If you're looking back you'll never move your feet"

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13 comments:

Dagmar said...

Glad to have you back..I applaud your personal decision to keep work and personal life separate if that is what you wish..your photos and music bring such joy into the lives of us who follow you..just stay true to yourself❤

Angela Willis said...

Congratulations on, first, completing your job on time and, second and probably more important, having that aha moment when you realize you are you and no-one else and no-one else's opinion really matters; you will know if you're on the wrong track instinctively without anyone else's input. And, judging from your post, you're absolutely on the right track!
Happy 2013 - let's make it a great one!

Courtney said...

Hey, Stranger! Glad 2013 is starting off on the right foot for you! Your experience sounds amazing. Trying to get back into the swing of things myself. Hope to catch up with you!

Lisa Gordon said...

What a great post this is, Jamie, and although it sounds like it was tough, I am just thrilled for you!

Thank you! I truly enjoyed reading this.
xo.

~Kristina said...

How awesome! That's such an enlightening moment when it all comes together.

Joanne said...

Well said! you are truly amazing, I can hardly wait to see what 2013 has in store for you.

Susan said...

That's not too much mixing biz and blog at all. Congrats. Amazing how great it feels to push outside the limitations we tend to put on ourselves. I'm glad this was a positive experience. Now don't wait until you're in an impossible situation to use those skills again. They can be handy in the more ordinary places too.
Hope you can keep up with blogging...hope I can keep up with blogging. We do what we can do, right?
PS...love that gorgeous photo.
Happy New Year Jamie.

Karen said...

Welcome back! I'm always glad to see you here. I never had a job with that kind of pressure, but I can imagine the exhilaration of completing a project like that. I think your new year is off to a wonderful start!

Shannon Gabor said...

This is a great post! It's so powerful when you reach self realization. Remember that empowering feeling as you move forward!

iris said...

It sounds like you really got something worthwhile out of that time period! Hopefully it lasts awhile. I always have difficulty holding onto my new-found self confidence that a successful project brings. 'Here's to you having better luck than me :)

Anna said...

Jamie ~ sounds like quite the adventure you've been on. With all the places that you've lived and worked, I would definitely think you would feel like you could handle and do anything! So you've climbed one more "mountain", congrats to you! i hope that 2013 is a wonderful year for you.....with pleasurable strolls and no super step climbs, unless you choose them. Take care and enjoy!

Jerica said...

I loved reading your thoughts on this post. What an incredible way to overcome trials, and I'm so glad you came out on top. Congratulations on your aha moments and making it through your busy workload.

Diana Joy said...

Hi Jamie; I loved reading this post; digesting it. You and I have gone thru a similar enlightenment only in different ways and eons apart in age. I wish I'd reached the point I am now at an earlier age but alas it was not to be for me. It is eerie in a way to be free to be me and know I am still accepted by those that love me. freeing for sure. Happy 2013.

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