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Happy new year, new me, new you

It is said, "change is the only constant in life." If this is true, and it certainly seems to be, then one's attitude regarding change dictates how one deals with the fluctuations, twists, and turns in this journey called life.

I suggest making a Big Deal out of Major Changes. Mark them on your calendar, have a small ritual (for example, a lot of folks I know burn their mortgage note once their home mortgage is paid off), write down a list of all the things you plan to do, or a list of things you're grateful for, or all of the above.

Today, April 3, 2018, is a day of new beginnings for Esther. While my divorce will not be final for a few more days, today is the day when it feels to me like all the chaos of Q1 2018 is finally behind me. To recap - between January 1 - April 1, 2018, I:

- was unexpectedly recruited for a "dream" job

- split my law firm to make time for said job

- started new job

- had the sad-but-long-overdue "it's over" convo with Hubs

- quit new turned-out-to-be-toxic job

- drafted and filed my own divorce paperwork

- started rebuilding my law practice

- resumed

a local writing gig

- got hired by HorseNation to begin writing more stories each week, and for a bit of $ :)

- took back a foal I had originally rescued in utero last summer from a local kill buyer, sent him to a "sister" rescue with his dam, realized that was not the best place for the foal, and went through the efforts to get him back home

There are a few other things, but you get the idea: Q1 2018 has seen major changes in Esther's world by anyone's standards.

So, after taking yesterday off from every commitment so I could spend the day thinking and processing, it occurred to me that I could either sit in my quiet house and wonder what the future holds for me, or I could embrace the future like a college freshman must surely do once they're settled in their dorm and thinking, "okay; this is what it feels like to be truly 'on my own.'" (I had a horse while attending college, so I never experienced "dorm life" but always lived off campus so I could have Sam with me.)

I made a couple of lists of things I want to accomplish, and gave myself "due by" dates to keep myself accountable to those goals. I prayed for wisdom, so I do not waste any moment of this wonderful life and health with which I have been blessed. I enjoyed an hour of "forest bathing" - one of my very favorite things to do - on my own ruggedly hilly East TN farm. I read an inspirational book. And lastly, I lit a scented candle, put on some "zen" music I enjoy, and took a soak in epsom salts, as a sort of ceremonial bath. Washing off all the old, the sad, the uninspired, the weary . . .

The path ahead will not always be sunshine and butterflies. But it will be honest. It will be authentic to me - "Esther" - as I continue figuring out who I truly am, what I truly love to do, and what my purpose is here in this life experience. Striving to avoid conflict as an abused child and striving to always, always be compliant and pleasing so distorted my own sense of self, I had hidden "me" away deep down inside for the vast majority of my life. It has taken me four very difficult years and a great deal of emotionally challenging work to get this far in rediscovering myself. "Esther" is a quiet person in new settings. I'd rather observe than jump right in. I like conversations of substance. I loathe gossip and drama. I like quiet and kind horses. "Hot" horses make me anxious, as do yappy dogs or dogs that jump on me or bury their nose in my personal regions. I prefer elegance to coarseness, and in every respect - music, artwork, fabrics, language, humor, people, etc. While, on the one hand, it is sad that so much of my own life has been wasted trying to be what others expected me to be, or wanted me to be, or needed me to be, the beautiful thing is I AM learning who I am, and I like myself. I am enough. My highly-sensitive, conflict-averse self is not for everyone. And that's okay.

I want to serve humanity for the greater good. I want young people, and those yet unborn, to know a world filled with kindness and joy and gratitude, not hatred and division and extinction of every good. I want to contribute positivity anywhere I can. This is my purpose. Happily, (and perhaps not by coincidence? who knows?) my name, Esther, means, "radiant one." And now it is my time to shine, so others may realize they, too, are enough - just as they are.

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