A Change of Direction

I feel like I’ve taken many plunges in life but apparently I can’t get enough of them because I just took another one.

What did Hazel get up to today?

-Woke up

-Got ready for work

-Grabbed an almond tea

-Worked on a report (90 pages and counting)

-Had leftover pasta for lunch

-Did three gym classes (Body Combat, Fitness Yoga, and Body Pump…overkill, even for me, but I’m not here this weekend and wanted to fit in my gym sessions)

-Oh, and I handed in my resignation.

Yes, yes, another job bites the dust. My CV/resume is pretty colourful because I’ve had quite a few jobs in the last decade. The good thing about this is that I now have a wide range of experience in multiple sectors. Another good thing is that from each job I’ve gained a better perspective of what I want/don’t want out of a job. The bad thing is that it’s taken me a while to figure out what I really want to do as a profession and as a result, I haven’t been able to hone skills in a particular area, so rising up the ranks and getting a senior position won’t be happening for me anytime soon.

But I’m hoping all that will change! For the past year I’ve been toying around with the idea of taking an intensive computer programming course. I love the start-up/tech industry and know that’s the direction I want to head towards but I’m sad to report that my current skillset just won’t cut it. For what I’m looking for, I’ve basically got the technical skills that are equivalent to that of my grandmother (with dementia). Programming bootcamps are all the rage at the moment and I’m just itching to be a part of the cool kids again. Ok, I jest, but after months of research with a dash of soul-searching I decided that taking a fully immersive course in Web Design and User Experience would be a great way to combine my love for marketing along with technology.

Startup Institute

Enter…Startup Institute! As of yesterday at 4pm my placement in a 2-month immersive program Web Design course was confirmed. And the cherry on top…I’ve also been offered a 50% scholarship! And the cherry on top of the cherry…the course is in Berlin! Although the idea of moving away for the course was initially hard to digest the thought of it now has me pretty excited. Berlin’s a modern and vibrant city that’s a melting pot of cultures and fresh ideas. They have an ‘anything goes’ kind of attitude that seems to be attracting many technology companies to set up camp. I thrive off of other people’s energy and everyone I’ve interacted with at Startup Institute is so passionate about what they do and what the program has to offer that they’ve got me jumping off walls with excitement. That feeling of a weight being lifted off your chest because you feel inspired and you’re doing something good for yourself – it’s incredible. For awhile I felt like I was wallowing in complacency and that’s something I’ve always sworn to myself not to do. I knew I had to get out of that situation before my rut was too deep to dig myself out of.

I'm in!I’m in!

I have to keep on taking plunges in life. I love exploring new depths and seeing how far I can go. I’ve only got one life (none of this after-life business for me) and living one that’s etched with regret isn’t something I really fancy doing. So Berlin, heeeeeeerreee I coommmeeeeee!!!


The Re-identification Process

Over the past 5 years I’ve received more wedding invitations than I can remember. Yup, I’m at the stage in life where my Facebook feed has gone from pictures of wild weekend benders to photographs of people ‘naturally’ sitting on a sofa in a field of wild flowers (aka engagement photos) and white gowns. Actually, to be honest, I’m past that stage…that stopped 2 years ago. Now my Facebook feed is filled with baby photos and articles about daycares and anti-vaccination debates.

However, there have been a handful of people I know who didn’t take the wedding plunge, but instead went the opposite direction. The past year seems to have been a ‘make it or break it’ year among my unmarried friends and the majority of them in this situation broke it. I can understand it being a scary step when you feel like you’re going against the grain by not following the norms of tradition, so hats off to those who broke out of their comfort zone to venture back into the scary world of…singlehood.

But why do so many venture back into this world with such trepidation? And here’s one of my burning questions: Why does being in a relationship define someone SO much that not being in one any longer basically strips them of their identity to the point where they don’t know what to do with themself anymore?

I noticed that upon being newly single many seem to pursue interests that used to sit in the back of their minds. From my observations I’ve noticed that people pick up previous interests or take on new projects that they didn’t bother going ahead with during the relationship stage. Someone I know who recently broke up with his girlfriend of 9 years got together with friends just 3 days after the breakup to discuss starting up a hobby club that had been on his mind for quite a while. When I heard this I just thought “Why didn’t you pursue this earlier if it was something you were really interested in? Why did it take breaking up with your girlfriend to get involved in something?” And the thing is, he isn’t an anomaly. It’s common to hear people hitting up the gym again, getting back into an old sport or starting up a new interest after a breakup and I’m not sure why being single seems to be a requirement in pursuing any kind of personal interest.

What is it about being in a relationship that makes people not care about personal growth anymore? Are nurturing a relationship and nurturing self-enhancement mutually exclusive activities that can’t be done in conjunction with one another?

I hope I’m never in a situation where being on my own leaves me feeling empty and unsatisfied. I’d like to think that being in a relationship is complementary to your lifestyle, not something that defines you. I don’t believe in a ‘better half’ or a soulmate or that there’s someone out there who can ‘complete me’. I believe I’m whole on my own and that anyone (who deserves to be!) in a relationship with me is just an added enhancement.

I noticed I’ve asked a lot of questions in this post…if you’ve got answers, please feel free to answer!