After the Rebuild, Life.
If you had told me a year and a half ago that I would be in the position I am today, I would never have believed it.
By choice, I gave up everything I knew to start my life over, the only constant being my friends and my career in clothing design and manufacturing, which I also nearly chose to change out of fear of failure. I speak about my journey as an overcoming of sorts. Even though it was my choice to leave my life as I knew it, at the time of making that choice, I did not feel that there was any other option.
So the difficulty I was faced with thereafter may have been a chosen path, but in order for me to get to where I am now, I needed to shift my energy.
That meant changing my work, love and personal life in almost every way. I call it a blind leap of faith. I had hurt people in the process of making this decision, but to this day, so many people do not realize the pain that one has to endure when making changes in their lives, to this proportion.
I talk openly about my journey so that others can see it is possible to start over. To make changes that suck so hard that you wonder why you did it in the first place. One of the things I held on to, to keep me in the light, was that whatever happens, I must hold my own integrity in place. It doesn’t matter what people do to you, all that matters is what you do to others. That is all you have control over.
I carry this belief into work as well. With honesty and accountability becoming a fundamental part of my virtues. I learned in the darker part of my life, pre-making-these-changes, how dishonesty and inauthenticity just leave you in a toxic loop, never really getting anywhere of value in life.
The truth hurts. But it hurts more in the long run if you remain in a lie. So as I left my old life behind, walking forward into the unknown, I found myself doubting every move I made. Not sure if this will lead me back down the same path as before. Fear is a debilitating thing. In hindsight, fear has no place in any of our lives. Calculated risks are fine, but nothing with fear of loss.
Making bold decisions are intimidating, but the magic that can come from having the courage to follow your dreams with conviction far outweighs the risk of failure.
I have learned finally that there is a next phase after the rebuild.
Yesterday I was doing a random journal entry, and found my written ramblings leading me into the awareness that I had exited the rebuilding phase. I could feel the disconnect from my past. My past was no longer this weight weighing down on me. It felt like my mind and heart were clear of any burdens I had held on to as a form of mea culpa.
I then recognized I was now in a phase I had not recognized: the phase of newness. The blank canvas arena of life. Rebuilding your life and having a blank canvas are not actually the same thing. Rebuilding is about restoring things you had lost, whether it is social standing, belongings, relationships… but having a blank canvas is the part that happens once you have built that canvas.
The rebuild is the creation of the blank canvas.
It’s regaining the security within your life to be independent or the confidence you had lost. In separation, there is far more that gets lost than just possessions and people. You lose a part of yourself. A part that became the everyday you.
A gaping hole is left inside you when you make massive changes in your life, because you play different roles in every encounter you have in your day-to-day. Without that part of yourself, you aren’t sure who you are anymore. You know who you are in some instances, but never quite certain enough to have any belief in your ability to make choices. Your ego is bruised too, which is the victim mentality that sets in.
But all of this does leave you, if you allow it to.
Letting go is a tricky thing. People always say, you need to let go, blah blah blah. But nobody actually knows how to do it. Most people just deny their pain or issues and assume they have let go, but it is still there inside them, making them sick as toxic baggage they hold on to.
Real letting go happens in teeny tiny baby steps. So small you don’t notice them until months have gone by and you realize how far you have come when you look back. I feel my letting go has happened through living in the present. Living in a future that has not happened can be as equally toxic as a past that you cannot change. All you have here is now.
And in this moment, my shiny new white canvas is getting some color appearing on it in the guise of rainbows and unicorns.
I wanted everyone to know that it doesn’t matter how crap your life is right now. I am walking, living, breathing proof, that you can rebuild and you can have a blank canvas to shape the reality you want. Even if you don’t believe it now, just trust in the path you’re on.
Do the self-reflection work needed, let go of the bad eggs and the bad choices you can’t change, and think about what you can do now, today, to make your life a better life, even if it starts with a small adjustment. A minor act of kindness. Anything you need to bring sunshine into your life. Take responsibility for your own happiness. Nobody is going to make that choice for you.
Genna-Wae Webster is the creative mind behind the clothing brand Wae West. She was named after a character played by Priscilla Presley on Dallas, Genna Wade. She is a free spirit, a lover of furry beings (especially her cats) and believes in existing within the positive realm when it comes to how she lives her day-to-day life. Commercial clothing and costume design have been her passion since her early teens. Unicorns, mermaids, fairies and all things fantastical inspire her. Collecting superhero things, My Little Ponies and shoes get me excited. Getting lost in movies and TV is what she does for escapism from life. Being involved in helping others with guidance wherever she can is also a big part of who she is. She never tires of talking, and fights for the underdog with a strong will, big ideas and bold opinions. Yoga is how she keeps fit, and doing photo shoots for fun is how she grows in confidence by putting herself under the very uncomfortable spotlight. She believes that facing your fears and being authentically You, no matter what people think, is how life should be lived, and living in a state of unconditional happiness is how you maintain a positive mindset.