RE: the WP DP Challenge
At various times in my life I’ve started over, and after a while I began to think of myself as a constant work-in-progress. Each time you begin the process you think to yourself I can do this! I just need to re-group. Start over. Figure out what I did wrong so that this time I can do it right. Thus, the challenge to do better, to make it happen, to work smarter not harder begins and you jump into whatever project it is. Sometimes the project is you, sometimes it’s a novel, or a piece of poetry, or a song you’re learning to play on the guitar or piano or one you’re learning to sing. Or maybe it’s your career, or a new relationship, or re-decorating your home, or re-organizing your closet, or a new hobby like scrapbooking. The last few years, for me, it’s been a lot of things.
Last year at this time I was about to be engaged. I had recently moved in with Mr. Rockstar, I was unemployed, and I had recently started over (we both had). Neither of us were looking for a relationship or wanted one, but we met and we were drawn to each other and when I was around him I was so happy–the happiest I could remember being since the birth of my children, which was a completely different kind of happiness. We both started over–with each other.
Over the past year, many things have improved and changed, but that happiness has not. He still makes me the happiest I’ve ever been. Part of starting over (with each other) was understanding that the baggage from our past relationships had nothing to do with us–it didn’t belong in our relationship. We both had to start over in how we thought about how a relationship worked, as well as how we individually handled things. Now we’ve been married for 4 months, and he’s supporting me in another attempt to start over–this time I’m starting over in the area of a career change.
Sometime in February or March I’ll be starting photography school. I’ve wanted to be a photographer since I was in high school (and that was a long time ago). Mr. Rockstar’s nickname for me is “paparazzi,” because I’m always taking pictures. Since there is a lot going on right now, as usual since real life is filled with yields, speed bumps, pot holes, and sharp turns, I have to wait to start school until we can afford it. So I’ve been researching, studying, reading, etc on my own. It’s fun. It’s exciting. But it’s also a bit frustrating because there’s all this stuff I don’t know, can’t afford right now, etc. At the same time, I’ve never had anyone support me, believe in me, or encourage me the way he does. I actually believe that I can do it, as well as a few other things I’ve re-started, begun to work on again (like writing a novel, writing poetry when I’m happy and not just when I’m melancholy).
What is it about starting over that leaves you hopeful, refreshed, and at the same time a bundle of nerves that go off randomly like fireworks? For me at least, starting over is a chance to improve your life, to set things right, to change things, to atone for things–in a way it is a chance at redemption. Starting over is freeing yourself from the things you’ve done wrong, or you couldn’t quite get right (like that piece of poetry you’ve been revising for years and you never could get it right so you tossed it in the back of the file or drawer, but then a few years later you’re cleaning and organizing and you come across and decide to start over). Starting over is liberating in the sense that you’re free to begin again–like starting a new career, or writing a novel starting over on the novel you began years ago, or maybe even moving somewhere completely new and getting a fresh start. Starting over also gives you the chance to let yourself off the hook if you’ve been trying to accomplish something and you’re getting nowhere–sometimes all you need is a fresh perspective and then BOOM you see exactly what you’ve been doing wrong and you can start over and get it right.