When I was younger, I planned a long career of tilting at windmills. I went to class in order to sharpen my lance, to prepare for the great battles ahead. I dreamt of the day when me and my trusty partner would battle the machine and win — ensuring a better world for all people. Especially the people who didn’t have the skill, strength, and courage to tilt at windmills.
It’s 20 years later and my lance is hidden somewhere in my garage, covered with layers of dust and only slightly nicked by early battles that lacked conclusive victories. I still carry it around with me, from home to home, in the hopes that I might require it someday…kind of like my golf clubs and my woefully unused trombone. These items are symbols of a Wendy that once was full of passion and hope for a better future, who wanted to change the world.
My trusty partner now lives almost 2000 miles away, and I don’t think he’s kept his lance sharp either. But I have another friend, a companion from those bygone days of lance sharpening, who is still fascinated by the battle. He recently reminded me of my old dreams, and suggested that perhaps it was time to dust off the armor, sharpen the lance, and ride out into the brave new world to find a windmill.
It’s a pretty compelling argument.
I’m writing this post as a gentle reminder to Future Me. I haven’t been writing many blog posts since my unemployment, which is a shame because I should really make an effort to capture all my amazing and happy moments. I’m having the time of my life, and I haven’t made enough time to blog about it. Just in case I continue to be remiss, here’s a note to Future Self about what I’m feeling right now.
I’m happy – I sleep, I exercise, and I take time to connect with people I love. I’m sure I’d eventually stress over money, but not right now. I’ve returned to Elemental Wendy – my natural state when I’m not overcommitted, stressed out, and deadline driven. Elemental Wendy is almost always wearing a smile, wakes up looking forward to the day, and tells jokes all the time.
My heart is full – so many people have offered advice, help, or commiseration. Every prospective employer has understood my story. Friends have taken me out for lunches, dinners, and drinks and we’ve shared stories and laughs. I’ve had so many “real” conversations and connections it’s just astounding.
I know that this inner peace, happiness, and gratitude comes with clarity of purpose and reflection. I’m so happy for this time, and I want to bottle these emotions and experiences and ship them to Future Me. I want to use them as an elixir against stress and heartache and future troubles.
The world is a beautiful, wonderful, happy place. I am so blessed. I just might have to quit again in a few years if I need to remind Future Self of this moment.