For the first time in over five years, I feel truly happy. It feels like an enormous weight has been lifted. I'm filled with an overwhelming sense of relief. Ever since I turned 30, I've been remodeling my life, not wanting to look back later in life and be filled with regret. But after a divorce, job lay-off, and major career change, it's been hard to have faith that I've been making the right choices for myself. There has been a lot of doubt and second-guessing. Midst it all, I continued somehow to trust my gut, have faith, and keep on putting one foot in front of the other. Ironman helped immensely, giving me a sense of routine, normalcy, and incredible achievement when my life was everything but. There were times I felt like I'd lost all hope and faith. I'd look at other happy people incredulously, sure they were just naive and lucky to be so. I had gotten to a point where I didn't think there was such thing as happiness or true love. I'd lost my innocence.
Over the last few months, my life has begun to change. It's as if all my patience, perseverence and hard work has finally begun to pay off. I've fallen in love, despite myself. And for the first time in a long, long time, I believe in love again. I feel like I have my innocence and naiviety back. And it feels so good. At the same time, working towards my new career (from scientist to teacher), I begun applying to jobs all over the county. Since Blake lives up in O.C., I began to apply to teaching jobs there too. As usual, the job search was discouring. I heard nothing but jaded cynicism from others in the educational field, conversations laden with words like, "lay offs, budget cuts, and bureacracy". This was nothing new to my ears. I figured it couldn't be any worse than trying to find a scientist job. The only difference was that I actually wanted a teaching job. The universe must have known the difference. Amazingly, a few weeks ago, I landed an amazing teaching job only 10 minutes from Blake's house! I am a math and science teacher at a small, private high school in Mission Viejo.
I started my new dream job 2 weeks ago. For the first time in my life, I can honestly tell people that I LOVE my job. I can't wait to go in. I get in early and stay late. I work on lesson plans late into the night. I go to sleep thinking of ways I can help my students do well on their chemistry tests. I am brimming with ideas about school science projects. I love the other teachers at the school; I love the students; I love the atmosphere. It feels so good that I want to pinch myself.
Now I just want some traction and to settle into my new routine. It's been crazy living between Carlsbad and Orange County but despite it all, I actually feel more balanced than I ever have in my life! Somehow, all my errands are chores are up-to-date, I'm doing awesome at my new job, I'm happy in my relationship, and continuing to work out. I know it's only going to get better as I plan better and organize more in the future. Believe it or not, I've actually been swim/bike/running 6-8 hours a week, including a long run of 10 miles on the weekends! It's not perfect but definitely worth a pat on the back.
I used to say that I wasn't happy but hadn't given up on the pursuit of happiness. Well, for the first time in forever, I'm happy. Happiness exists. Don't ever give up the pursuit.
--Riding the 40 mile MTB race in Ensenada a few weeks ago.