Sunday, February 10, 2019

Welcome to Authenblissity

Five months ago, I worked my last day at my full-time job. I had spent 18 years in the corporate world, and I thought I had it made. I was good at my job, I didn't have to work long hours, and I was compensated well. I was able to spend (and save) a lot of money over the years, and I relished in buying whatever my heart desired. My husband and I regularly splurged at nice restaurants and vacationed at least twice a year. As I kept spending more and more money, and having more and more fun, I started wondering: Is this all there is to life?

At some point, all the treats and all the fun stopped masking the stress and boredom I felt at work. I had a lot of interests and hobbies, but none of them related to my 9-to-5. I ached for more free time and more flexibility to pursue passion projects. Work became more and more tedious, and I started dreading going to the office--a place where I've always felt I couldn't be my authentic self. I started feeling a lot of anxiety, irritability, anger, and sadness. My personality started to change, and I became highly reactive and resentful. I was annoyed at everyone and everything.

I started experiencing physical symptoms during this time as well: brain fog, heart palpitations, shooting pains up my arms, tightness in my chest, headaches, and dizziness. I was worried about these symptoms, so I went to see a naturopath and multiple physicians. The tests came back normal except for some adrenal fatigue. However, my mental health continued to deteriorate. I tried taking several supplements, but the symptoms persisted and gradually worsened over what ended up being an 18-month period.

In May 2018, after coming home from a trip to celebrate my birthday, I had pretty much all but decided to quit my job. I had enough money saved up to take a gap year, and I needed the time and space to heal. On June 26th, I submitted my resignation notice. It was a tremendously difficult decision, but I received so much support from my family, my friends, and even my colleagues. My last day of work was August 31st.

For the past five months, I've been adjusting to my newfound freedom and flexibility. I was terrified of being bored and having nothing to do during my time off, but I found myself feeling the exact opposite. My zest for life is stronger than ever, and I have so many interests and ideas I want to pursue. I spent the last five months experimenting with different types of creative content, exploring my hometown of Toronto, spending time with family and friends, volunteering, attending a 10-day silent meditation course, and learning more about myself through journalling and self-reflection.

Everything I learned during this time led me to create Authenblissity, a concept that was born as I arrived at the realization that knowing myself and living a life that is authentically me is the key to a life of contentment and bliss. Indeed, knowing who you truly are seems to be the basis of nearly all the self-help paradigms I've come across, but how do I find my authentic self amid the noise of societal pressure and social media? How do I know what I truly want? How do I know who I truly am?

While I've discovered a great deal about myself in the last few months, there is still so much to learn, and I'm excited to continue my journey. I hope to share tools I've encountered along the way, and have conversations with like-minded people who are also passionate about self-discovery, self-improvement, and self-actualization. We are all complex, multi-dimensional, and ever-changing human beings, so it seems natural that the path to finding ourselves would also be complex, multi-dimensional, and ever-changing. We all try to do the best we can in any given situation, and Authenblissity is about the journey to finding our best self and living our best life. It won't be perfect, and it may be messy, but let's each find our own unique path, together.

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