• Claudia Steele

Day one of the rest of my life!

Updated: Jun 8, 2018

A few weeks ago, on a Wednesday I walked back into school after 16 years. This was a long time coming. You see every little one has a dream and it might be as simple as digging holes with a big machine or as out of this world as being an astronaut. Sure we all have a time in our lives where we want to be everything. Changing back and fourth from day to day, some of us never fully figure out what we want to do but regardless, we always have a little voice inside that knows exactly what we love to do and what we would love to get paid to do. Eventually we narrow our sights more specifically on what we might want out of our life and careers and as long as we don't lose our way we pursue those goals. I however lost myself. Now let me be clear the losing of myself was entirely my fault and my doing and perhaps had I not lost myself I would never be where I am today and that is something I can't envision.

There are many things I love to do but the things that stood out most were... I love to entertain, help others and serve. In entertaining I love every part from acting to story telling to singing I mean really if I had an audience I'd put on a show. I'm loud and some have said I have a personality too large for my short 5'3" frame but some how the universe crammed it in there. This of course led me to things like film making where I might be lucky enough one day to both write and direct and maybe even...dare I say...Act! Helping was something I did naturally. To be honest sometimes it felt selfish because in helping others I felt better about myself and so it never seemed like a grand gesture, besides I always used to need to be liked. However there were jobs in which I could help that I always knew weren't for me and I was sure of that. Serving was easy I grew up where you were taught that you had value if you served others in some way and well when you think about it serving and helping can be similar in notion.

As I reached the latter part of my high school days, I was told that I needed a back up as if acting and making films weren't real work.....pff. So with a heavy heart I looked deep inside and found my passion for food and not just any food. I loved the creativity of fine dining and all its exquisite gastronomical master pieces. Food paired with drinks and desserts so decadent they made your mouth water and your heart rate escalate at the mere thought of savouring bite after bite. I decided to go to college and study hospitality and restaurant management and I fully loved every minute of my time in that field. I was fortunate enough to have a great mentor, serve at charity galas, meet countless A list actors and celebrity chefs, work with the olympic culinary team for one high energy night and even serve the president of Portugal on one incredible occasion. I had all my many experiences close to my heart but then one day I got lost.

I Think this was my point of decent. I decided to move further North to save money and ended up not finding the same quality of food. I took on a job as an office manager at a company that was already doing terribly and the owner decided to work all alone to save money leaving me unemployed. I started cleaning some cottages and found an entrepreneurship program that helped me get my business off the ground and I made a plan....grow the business enough that I could sell it and take the money and go back to school for film in either Los Angeles or Vancouver. This obviously didn't turn out as planned as little does in life.

As I was starting my business I met my husband who was then in the military and when he got posted I moved with him. For the next 14 years nothing was as I planned. I did odd jobs and cleaned both as an employee and then again as the owner of my own cleaning business. I convinced myself that if I just waited till my hubby figured out what he wanted to do and got his career going, I could then return to school and get my own career going but that never happened. You see the mistake we make is telling ourselves that if we make our loved ones happy then we can finally be happy. However we aren't responsible for other peoples happiness and nothing we do can make some one who is lost or sad happy, only they can do that. My desire to help and serve others was my greatest detriment and when my daughter (a great and amazing surprise) came to be, that just set me further back and I was more lost then ever.

A lot can be said for the years that followed, but I will save those tales for future blogs. One thing was for sure as time went by I became more and more miserable. Have you ever heard some one say "when Mama ain't happy, nobodies happy."? Well that is kind of true because in order to care for others we must first care for ourselves. Then this year while I was on an incredible family vacation with my amazing in-laws I came to a stark realization....I can't do this anymore! Now I had told myself that many times and had even tried taking steps to change it, going as far as making some really insane attempts at opening different businesses I thought would make me happy, but they didn't.

You see when there is a hole inside us, filling it with the wrong things is like trying to fix a hole in your houses foundation by stuffing it with garbage. Sure the hole is now full but its not going to help, it will continue to crumble and eventually its going to stink. You have to do the work and support that foundation as well as fill the hole with what it needs so that you can carry on with your life knowing that foundation is now solid! That my friends is what I failed to do for years. I tried desperately to fix myself without really knowing what was broken.

So now what? I'm 35 and a mom, my hubby works a lot and that makes me an alone parent a lot of the time and how can I change my situation? Well, after that vacation and my husband deciding he wasn't going to change careers as he had planned...I said screw it, we will have to find a way....I'm going back to school! Making that decision and actually meaning it was the scariest thing I've ever done. I could really fail at this. I could bomb epically and it would be all my fault. This was my choice and only I had control over school and how I did and my decision in what I chose. Just writing this now is giving me anxiety or maybe its the Earl Grey tea. LOL

Now what to go back to school for? Of course film was the first thing that popped into mind but considering where I live and what money can be made I knew going in for film could mean I'd come out and have to do a job I never planned on and possibly for a lot less then I planned while paying student loans. After some research and internal reflection, I decided on communication and journalism. I have always loved communicating in fact try to get me to shut up for a really try, I dare you! I have also always loved writing everything from scripts to stories to blogs. I recall a time in my youth when my parents got a computer for the first time and instead of doing my homework or going outside to play I would sit at the computer and write episodes to my favourite shows, I think I still have some kicking around. This would also help me with my blogging which in reality I would love to do for a living. However if i couldn't wing that this degree would open up countless doors and opportunities to do work I Both loved and paid well.

That brought me to the first day of the rest of my life the day I walked back into university for the first time. Full of excitement and fear and hope for a better, happier future for my family and I, I sat down opened a book, took out a pen and became a student on an adventure who chose never to look back on the past with doubt but instead fond memories of lessons learned. So I now go head first into the deep future. Sink or swim I can say I stood my ground and I can show my daughter its never to late to find yourself and follow your dreams.

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