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A Year? Already?!
I cannot believe it! I have been a member of HubPages for 12 months now. 12 months! One year! My...how time flies when you are having fun! It seems like only yesterday that I was the newby...
Last January I was living in Maryland, working in a job that was slowly trying to turn me into a cynic, and wondering how I could break out of my rut. I had seen the ads...make money on the internet. I loved to write, although, other than policies and procedures, I had not written in years.
However, I needed a change, I needed to find myself again. I needed a revolution of self! Maybe I could find a path to the change I wanted to be.
I've Got to Get Out of This Place
"We need a revolution. Did you know that originally the word 'revolution' doesn't mean a switch to a new system by way of an insurrection destroying everything in its wake, but a change in thinking and action that returns life to a path from which it strayed, a path of dignity, and righteousness."
I needed to find the return path. I needed to find others who thought as I did. I was disillusioned with my life. Finding the path that would allow me to maintain some innocence in my life became my new goal.
Change is never easy, no matter how much we want it. My life may not have been entirely fullfilling, but it was safe...I knew the routine...it was the path of least resistance to continue. But it was killing me slowly, killing who I was and who I wanted to be. It was time to stop being so attached to how things were and try something entirely new!
"We live in a world of duality, and because of this, we will always experience cycles of growth, and others where life slows down and gives us challenges.
It is not the challenge that really matters, it is how we deal with it; how we perceive it; how attached we are to wanting things to be a certain way; it is this attachment which causes suffering."
The time had come to leave my attachments to the safe and easy.
Make Money on the Internet
I decided to try! First I would have to find another source of income. Something that would allow me to work from home and did not take time from my family. So many people were making money on the internet, there must be a way for me to also.
I searched...they wanted money...I searched...I could make millions...but they wanted money...I searched...and I found Mark Knowles. I can't remember exactly which hub it was, but Mark showed me the path and introduced me to HubPages.
I did not realize it, but that one click to a writing site was going to change my life forever...
I started writing didactic hubs, but soon graduated to writing about personal experiences. Events and feelings I had never been secure verbalizing with others I was now writing about. I soon discovered that the act of writing cleansed my heart and soul of these experiences. Pain that I had kept close for years was released...I was free!
"Stop! Halt! Decide right here and right now to stop rewinding and replaying the painful memories of the past. You have grieved. You know people have been cruel and yes life is unfair. But if you want to live a beautiful life, it is time to resolve to let go and forgive. It is time to write a new chapter. Your past will not define your future unless you allow it to. Give yourself a chance to move forward."
Finally, I was moving forward. I had been in an emotional vacuum for years, and now I was making progress.
Friends? Now I have Friends?
And then a really amazing thing happened. Suddenly the comments flooded in. Loving and supportive comments from strangers to my life. I read them with no small amount of unbelief...but it was true! People CARED! I was confused...but it was true...people CARED! Suddenly I had friends who cared what happened to me...and cared for me! I felt so blessed to have this community in my life!
"Every day be thankful for what you have and who you are…
A friend is someone we turn to when our spirits need a lift. A friend is someone to treasure.
For friendship is a gift. A friend is someone who fills our lives with Beauty, Joy and Grace and makes the world we live in a better and happier place."
I have found several "gifts" here at HubPages!
I had often felt very alone in how I thought. I had hope...I had love...but so often these values seemed lost by most people. On HubPages I found others who loved...others who hoped. People who found love and optimism more important than money and power. I was no longer the alien...but I did meet an alien.
I met an alien named lxxy. His thoughts seemed to echo my own. Even though he was an alien, lxxy seemed to know about life in a way most I had met did not. lxxy wrote in his hub, "We're Almost There, 2.0":
"There is never an end to hope and love, these are humanity's greatest gifts and most infinite resources."
This alien also knew how action defines our world. In his "Message of Hope" he wrote:
"My message is of peace, is of hope. Quit worrying about your regrets, what you may or may not do. Worry about your actions, take that first step and help steer your life and community into the direction you wish it to go."
We all need to steer our lives in the direction we want to go. Regrets will never take us there, only action.
I came to realize I wanted more than the life I had been living. I was existing, but not savoring the joy as I should. Life should be more than mere existence...there should be joy, excitement, exuberance...
"There is a devious sadness to the world in which we live – a sadness that comes to find us in the night, when we're all alone under the canopy of a million stars. Something within us knows that we ought to be better – that our love ought to burn brighter and shine more fiercely – that our passion and conviction for life ought to be strong, and lead us through that nagging temptation to settle for the ordinary and mundane. Something within us knows that life was always meant to be lived to the full. And this something, when it comes to find us, convicts us of all the cheap and common things we often settle for."
I no longer was willing to settle. This something had found me and now pushed me.
I read more...and wrote more. I experienced a growth spurt of consciousness. And as I grew, my dreams grew with me.
"See, the only thing that necessarily changes with age is knowledge and, if one plays the cards right, also wisdom. The rest, dreams, attitude, courage, spit, energy, you name it, may perfectly stay the same, or improve. Yes, it can get better because as a child one doesn't have the tools to engage the world around, but as one grows up one learns to engage and work with whatever cards life throws at you."
I needed to engage these cards...I needed to work with what life had given me.
I worked to find the life I wanted. I began to live again and left my old state of existence behind. I stepped down from my management job to free myself from the constant back-biting and greed wars. I had more time now...less money, but more time...and it was well worth it!
I reacquainted myself with the fact that you don't need to have money to be happy. Money is convenient, but not necessary once the basic bills are paid and the food is bought. My kids still loved me even if I could not buy every new piece of tech-ware. We still laughed and had fun...probably more often than we had done for the past few years.
There is much truth to the saying that you can never have enough time or money. The difference in my eyes is you can always make more money, but you can never make more time.
"There is no such thing as money. It does not exist, and like time we use metaphors and symbols to represent its passage from one hand to another, from one wristwatch to a clock. It's not there. Similarly, stocks and shares don't exist, either -- they are fictional speculations. Time is represented with numbers. So, too, is money. But it is all fictional. We agree that it's now 8:08 am, because we have decided to use these numbers to quantify time. Likewise, my bank statements show numbers that I agree quantify an idea. It's an idea that limits me, sets restrictions, and controls my life to an alarming degree…there exists a middle ground for those of us who can enjoy a rich and varied intellectual life, for whom poverty becomes an empty concept indeed…I am as rich as I choose to be. As long as I have just enough (whatever the figures are) to pay commitments and feed myself, I am as rich as Bill and Melinda Gates."
I remembered that there was so many riches in this world...and that we are only as rich as we think we are. It's all in the priorities...what's most important in life. I realized that money is a fantasy...one that restricts our freedom of thought and happiness. There is so much in life that is important...
As I reflect back over the past 12 months, I realize that HubPages gave me much more than just money. HubPages gave me friendships and the support of a community. This world-wide community did not care if I lived in a different country...did not care what color my skin was...did not care which God I did or did not worship. This community cared for me, the person.
When I was down, they lifted me up. When it was dark, they brought me light. When I felt I was alone, they were there at my side. When I laughed, they laughed with me and when I cried, they comforted me.
Many things have happened to me since I joined HubPages. And for many of them (the good ones at least) I blame HubPages. I have recently relocated to sunny southern California...I have a new love in my life...a new job...and I am so much happier than this time last year.
That innocuous mouse-click had changed my life...
Thank You My Friends
I want to thank all of you! You have enriched my life and blessed me by being a part of it. The happiness I feel today is enhanced by this wonderful community. Please know how much I appreciate all of you!