I am not entirely sure what this blog will end up being about. I just know I haven't written in 3 weeks and I am itching to do so now. This happens to me when I am taking on something new. I use the majority of my energy learning new things, so sometimes the other things in my life (writing) suffer. Once I've got it sorted out, then I get back to a more normal routine. In this case, it happens to be a new job, working at Voicebox in SE Portland. If you have no idea what Voicebox is, take a peek at our site. A "private-suite" karaoke lounge, the only one of its' kind in our fair city. I make reservations over the phone for people to come in and sing their hearts out in the privacy of their own rooms. We also have a full bar, and tasty food options. Pretty cool. For the first time in maybe my whole entire life, I am working at jobs I enjoy.
For a long, long time, I didn't realize you could create a life you love. I didn't realize I had the choice to make my life exactly as I wanted it. I took what was offered, having little in the way of knowledge about who I was and what my heart desired. It's taken some time. Years, honestly, for me to figure this out. I still don't have it totally figured out, but I've got a lot of it figured out. At least some of the parts of what I want to spend my life doing.
Tomorrow, for the first time in over a year, I will be working an 8-hour day. That in itself is something for me to celebrate. I technically work three jobs, part-time. Lyft, Uber and now Voicebox. I tend to count Lyft and Uber as the same job though. So in truth it is only two. And then there's the writing. That is not something I have figured out how to monetize. Once I get my Voicebox training and schedule down, and my driving schedule down, I will shift my focus to what my writing career is going to look like. I don't know if I can ever go back to a 40-hour work week. I love this freedom too much.
We all have dreams. Some of us figure out we can live our dreams, and some are buried deep, and some rise to the surface by an unexpected turn this way or that. Whatever the case, the last year has been incredible for me. And I intend my life to keep going in this trajectory, upwards. Maybe not in the ways you think. Not in terms of promotions, or a fancier car, or a bigger place. But in the ways that count to me. Finishing my books. Working on my original music. Refinishing furniture. Taking more photographs. Traveling to even more places.
I learned recently, from Felicity Hayes-McCoy, that for pagan Celts, November 1st was the beginning of their year, Samhain. Felicity is the writer of "House on an Irish Hillside", a book I picked up at a bookstore in Dingle while I was in Ireland. I was lucky enough to get a signed copy! Samhain is still the Irish word for November, and the pagan Celts started their new year in winter, rather than spring, as "their world-view celebrated dark times, recognising that life itself comes from darkness and a dormant seed." Our Halloween "is an echo of the ancient Celtic belief that on Oíche Shaman (Samhain or Halloween Night as we know it) the spirits of the dead returned to the homes they'd once lived in. People believed that - provided the living recognised and respected their ancestors' presence - the dead would protect them. So each year the dead were welcomed with food, fires, music and dancing. That way they they wouldn't get offended. And get nasty."
Samhain is a time of transition, and this time of year I always seem to be in that transition period. This year, I started a new job, and I will be on the move again. I've spent the better part of this year living in NE Portland, renting a room from a long-time friend of my family. Now, I will be relocating to Sellwood, in the SE part of Portland, and renting a room from good friends of mine.
It's been an interesting journey over the last year. I have revisited a lot of the places where old wounds needed to be healed. Kind of like a do-over for me. It's like all of the circles are closing, healing over. NE is where my parents lived, where I spent my teenage and young adult years. I'm not going to go into all the stories, but this and many other locations held painful memories for me, and now they have been replaced with good memories. I went back to Montana to see my Dad. I went back to work for a company that let me go some years ago. I guess perhaps Sellwood is my last "do-over". I am very excited about this new chapter in my life. And, many of the most important things and people in my life are in that area of town. So here's to the transition times, to Samhain, to death and rebirth and the life that comes from a darkness and the dormant seeds within us all. Perhaps next year I will celebrate Samhain in Ireland.