Holey moley. What a year I’ve had. Lots of extremes and discovery, lots of sadness and an abundance of clearing: old ideas, habits that no longer serve me, and fears that hold me back. I have a new way of eating, a new way of healing and a new approach to managing my bleeding disorder. All of this is enormous. I don’t really know what to call it aside from that. Well there’s one thing that might explain it:
When I was at university I took philosophy. I remember one lecture on metaphysics where the lecturer told us the following story. Imagine a ship – a large, grand ship that sails across many seas. While it is strong and well made, eventually, parts begin to wear down. A rudder gets replaced, bits of slowly rusting iron are removed for newer items. One by one, each of the bits of the ship get repaired or removed for a newer version where time or advances in technology demand it, until one day, there is not a single item aboard that is from the original construction. While the question at the time was is the ship now the same one as it was originally, today, I want to use this story to explain another phenomenon – the part way through stage.
I feel a bit like that ship, but at the 2/3 mark. I’m new in may ways, both inside and outside, but there’s still one noticeable chunk that permeates everything else where the old is holding on to the last breathe it can take. For me, this is my career/work/life purpose. At the moment, I’m not fulfilled in my 9-5 role. I am bored (I’m actually writing this mid-morning), I don’t feel it supports my health in any way, whether that’s recovering from a period or supporting me emotionally, and I also don’t feel this kind of work or the management support me given my illness.
Its become increasingly obvious over the last few years that I really don’t fit the usual description of a patient with type 1 VWD (though I’m also beginning to doubt if many people do!) – where the average person with this diagnosis (around 75-80% of type 1s) have the condition so mild they either don’t know about it or only need to worry about it when they need surgery or have a major accident. I am more mindful of it on a daily basis – watching for random menstrual spotting, taking care in the kitchen with knives and graters, icing mild bruises to assist in healing and doing the work to ensure my body is as healthy as I can make it, just in case. That of course means that I need more freedom and space to be able to take care of my body. Sure, on a good day/week/month I will work (in a functional kind of a way) just like ‘normal’ clotters. But that good day has had a lot of care and preparation behind it, through keeping up my exercise, chugging down my green smoothies and taking care of my liver and gut. This kind of focus, and the mostly random nature of how bleeds present means that agreeing to a regular, 9-5 Monday to Friday, every week kind of a situation is not practical for me.
To be able to make sure I’m the best version of me for most of the time, I need the space to be able to honour my body’s needs, and that needs a bit more flexibility. So that presents my current challenge – to find a way to contribute that honours my health and those around me that I work with (without going completely broke. Coz this girl’s gotta eat!). I’m in the process of finding a way to combine my health needs with my desire to share, help and inspire others while still earning a living – especially those with chronic health and bleeding disorder challenges, because I get your issues. I’m still tinkering in my mind on what this might look like specifically, but I’ll keep you all updated on what I choose to do. I’d love to keep you all along for the ride!
I also adore my work with The Art of Tea – my market weekends are just so much fun, and I’ve recently take on managing the Facebook page and creating a blog for the company. This is another dream job – to talk about tea all day and get paid to write about it is just bliss. This job (and my other idea) work for my health – they allow me to be more flexible with my use of time and respect my body’s needs, which is exactly what makes me happy and healthy.
So I’m a 2/3 replaced ship – with a vague idea and path, but still a bit fuzzy on the details of what it will look like when I’m done. Like the ship, even this idea and model won’t stay static – I’m sure I’ll want to keep changing and re-focussing when new challenges appear (change is the only constant, right Buddha?). I’ve spent quite a long time, in retrospect, feeling unhappy with my work/life/health balance, and I don’t want to feel that any more. This direction feels right.