I find it a bit difficult to know where to begin writing my little blog again after so long. It has been an amazing year of studying, traveling, researching, writing my thesis and graduating with my Masters in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Italian Art History (always the practical one!).

An old corporate sales colleague of mine made a comment on Facebook about this particular photo from my graduationGraduationProfile; he wrote ,”so perfect for sales”. I know that he meant it tongue-in-cheek, but I immediately reacted with the reply “I am SO done with sales.” I think it was the first time I truly wrapped my head around that. I know to never say never, and that I might just wind up in some sales related position in the future, but I cannot ever imagine going back to a high pressure commission-based selling environment. I paid my dues there and fortunately that world was good to me for a long time and has given me the freedom that I have now. But I have traded for this freedom with much and now live a simpler life; I own no car, I own no house or condo–but I do own my life–and that is freedom for me.

I often tell people, when they ask about how I came to be here, that perhaps I would find it more difficult to be here and to have arrived here if I had not experienced a different life in the past. It was a blessed life in many ways, and this one is also blessed, but in many different ways. I once had beautiful cars, enjoyed expensive trips and big houses;  I entertained with holiday and birthday parties for which I prepared food for days, I presented lovely dinner parties, I shopped without much worry as to what I spent, and I worked for days decorating my houses for Christmas with trees that were at times a dozen or more feet tall and loaded with beautiful ornaments. That life was good, but it simply no longer exists for me. And yes, at times I do miss that life-don’t get me wrong. However, what I have come to realize is that having had that life at one time has helped me to arrive to the place in which I now find myself. If I had not been blessed to have experienced that life, I would perhaps always long for it. Although now at times I miss those luxuries, it is more with a nostalgia and appreciation, and sometimes a bit of disbelief that my life has changed so very much, as well as a touch of surrealism that I once lived such a different life. For this is the life that I have chosen and the life that in many ways has chosen me. It has been a long journey and a journey not yet come to closure, but here I am…at least for now.

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