The "perfect" solution
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
I am not exactly sure when it was that I started feeling dissatisfied with the direction my life was headed. Perhaps I saw the first signs back in the summer of 2017, after several failed attempts at dating and the hope of finding the ever-elusive love of my life starting to fade away.
I spent a lot of time with myself that summer; sick and tired of the dating games and of always attracting the same type of guy: player, not showing his true intentions, and always making me feel as if I wasn't good enough. That led me to pull myself aside into a deep introspection; trying to figure out what was wrong with my behaviour and belief systems, which kept me in the same vicious cycle of heartbreak. Luckily, the other aspects of my life seemed to be working fairly well at the moment: I was very happy in my new position and with my new team at work; constantly learning and surmounting professional challenges that I hadn't been able to conquer in my previous position. This time it was different: I felt empowered professionally, and people in my division started to respect and value my work. I had already settled in my new apartment as well, and I enjoyed its outdoor pools during the beautiful Montreal summer as often as I could. Honestly, I had nothing to complain about, but sometimes I admit I felt a bit lonely. Perhaps it was the fact that my family lived so far away from me. Perhaps it was because I was finally at such a stable phase in my life that I was finally ready to share it with someone special.
I dare to say that the summer of 2017 has been one of the best summers of my life: I visited every hotspot in town every weekend; I went to every concert and social event I could get tickets for, and I discovered my favourite restaurants (I love food!). I made a pact with myself to never settle again for anything less than I deserved, as I got myself ready to go out every weekend on my "hot dates" with myself, as I loved to call them. During the course of those summer months, I developed such a deep connection with my inner self, that I don't know how to put it into words. I loved the thrill of wearing my nicest dresses, getting my hair done and putting my makeup on for no one else but me. I loved seeing the reflection in the mirror of the empowered woman I was becoming staring back at me, as I could feel the connection I had with her start to mend and to become full again, after being somewhat severed through my insecurities, negative self-talk, and settling down for less. I was so happy and relieved to finally be stepping back into my power, that I made my happiness and well-being my number one priority from then onwards.
As my 34th birthday approached at the end of the summer, I felt happy and fulfilled, and for the first time since I turned 30, I stopped worrying about getting older. I guess there was still a part of me that had been buying into the program deeply embedded in my gender, and specially in my culture, stating that women had to be married with kids by a certain age. Well, by those standards, I was definitely a spinster (LOL!), but after that summer I had made peace with the fact that I might have to fly solo for the rest of my life; making my career my priority instead, while enjoying the luxuries of the single life (traveling more often and indulging myself in temporary whims). Perhaps this was my destiny, and I was fine with it.
The rest of the year went by uneventful, and as we were getting ready to welcome a new year at the office, I suddenly felt dread: "What is this year going to look like? Leaving the challenges I faced at the beginning of the previous year aside, is this year going to be a carbon copy of the previous months?" To be honest, I was starting to get bored of the same routine: wake up, rush, commute to work, work, yoga (or the occasional after-work drinks and get-togethers), shower, dinner, bed, repeat. I felt as if was living my life in a loop; with every day looking terrifyingly similar to the previous one. Plus, the weekend left me with barely enough time to run errands, clean up my apartment, do laundry, rest and have a social life. I was exhausted all the time, and this went on for months.
I started to question whether this was the lifestyle I wanted to have for the next 30+ years until I retired, and whether it all made sense in the end. After all, I was only seeing my family once or twice a year, either when I traveled back home for Christmas or when they came to visit me during the summer. I started to think, "One day, when you fly back home, your grandparents are not going to be there anymore, and you will have missed spending more time with them during the last years of their lives. Not to mention your nephew, whom every time you see, seems to have grown over 10 cm., and he's no longer the baby you remember. Think about it: you're missing a lot by being away, and for what? Where is it that you ultimately want to go?"
This was the question that really bugged me: I knew how much effort I had put in and how much I had sacrificed to achieve everything I had up until that point. Perhaps it was just a change in outlook that I needed. "What is it that I want to change, though?", I asked myself. "Is it my body? Perhaps, as I have been overeating lately; specially when I work overtime, and my way of rewarding myself for those late nights at the office (which have been more frequent lately), is to stuff my face at one of my favourite restaurants as soon as I finish work." So I bought an online diet and training programs, which of course I never followed, since my issues ran deeper than a mere temporary dissatisfaction with my body image.
"What is it that you want to change, Georgette? Perhaps you finally want to buy your own condo? Yeah, that seems like it!", I told myself. So I started exploring the housing market in Montreal, only to conclude that, given the cost of life in the city coupled with my salary, the only option for me would be to go into debt by signing a massive mortgage, which would have meant putting on some big, golden handcuffs on my wrists, which would have kept me bound to a pay check for at least the next 20 years of my life, as the risk of quitting my job seemed too high at the moment.
Given all the latter dilemmas, plus the fact that I was quickly approaching 35, I found myself literally at a crossroad in my life: staying would mean maintaining the status quo. "What if I left, then?" And by leaving I don't mean going back to my home country. So I started to flirt with the idea of going on tour with my company. Perhaps I just needed to try new challenges, and going on tour seemed like a good solution: I would save a lot of money on housing and living expenses, as these are all paid while on tour. Perhaps I could eventually save up enough to buy my own place. I would also have the perfect excuse to dodge the annoying question as to why I was still single: "Sorry Karen, I am traveling all year long, so it's hard to meet someone". Ding, ding!!! I had found the perfect solution. Now it was just a matter of setting it in motion.
Part of me wishes the solution had been that simple. They say awakening is not for the faint-hearted, as I would learn soon enough.