For the last several months, I’ve heard the gospel of “change” preached from pillar to gallows, like a love song to the forlorn and forsaken. I have heard reams of speeches spun with the gold of hope, inspiration and motivation, and a few hundred star-crossed renditions of the American Dream.
The nearly hypnotizing din might have driven me to deafness, but a strange thing happened.
I started to believe.
No, not in the would-be prophet, or the media personalities, or the career analysts. It was all of their tiresome talk – vaguely similar to a long-distance lover who frequently calls but never makes the trip – that drove me into introspective silence.
And in that silence, I just happened to open my eyes to the tarnished and less-than-grand reality in front of me.
Tarnished meaning tainted, not shining, not in good condition. Less-than-grand meaning not what I ever aspired to or could ever want.
It began to sink in that there was a rightful replacement for the hand-wringing zeal that has filled my senses this election season. After all, the only real effect I can have on the political scene is my vote. And I’ll vote my conscience, which is in opposition to all things Bush and patriarchal, including war, greed, imposed religion, corruption, waste, and the erosion of freedom. But that one act, while important, is only a checkmark, a few moments in one day.
I started to believe that what was necessary was a real revolution. Beginning with me.
How much, I wonder, can I change in one year? How thoroughly can I live my beliefs? What difference might it make to me personally, and possibly to others, if I reached farther and strove harder than I ever have before?
A woman can grow and nurture a new human being in her body in just nine months. What can she do for her own life in one year?
Can a 46 year old woman set aside all that she has grown dissatisfied but comfortable with, to risk — as she did in younger years — the unknown or once-failed?
Body. Mind. Health. Career. Finances. Love. Sex. Friendship. Spirit. Passion.
They will all be part of a one year experiment, starting now.
When it comes to work, I have mastered the drill. Show up. Be productive. Do good things. Make a difference – a dent if you must. Like most women, I have spent the majority of my life working for other people. This year, I will still have to work, but my first job – my first priority – will be to revolutionize me.
I’m going to document everything, from health to jobs to people. Every attempt, every milestone, and every setback will be written about, photographed, maybe even taped so that eventually I can share the results.
Those who know me know two things for certain. I can be relentless when it comes to achieving a goal, and I can just as easily slip into the shell of a hermit and spend years ignoring the larger part of the world.
I have been in hermit mode since 1995. It is time to break the shell. It is time to become the changes I seek – or to at least make the bravest, most focused and daring attempt ever.
On April 15, 2014 I will let you know – everything. The good, the bad, the embarrassing. The successes, the failures, the in-betweens.
How much can a life change in one year? I will let you know. Until then, as part of a strict new schedule I’m adhering to, this blog will be updated only once weekly, on Sundays. I hope you’ll stay with me – and maybe even start a revolution of your own.