acceptance · humility · recovery · self-acceptance · work

“Finding His Way”

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Today will be my first day of training for women’s clothing
sales at Neiman Marcus.
I never imagined I’d write that, but I’m not ashamed of it
either. Nervous? Yes. Worried I will have to be aggressive to make sales?
Yes. A little trepidatious at having to learn all new things about brands and
quotas and sales targets? Yes.
Grateful? You bet.
An interesting thing happened the other day. I was asking a
friend about a guy we both know, who I’d just met: What does he do for a living?
“He’s a server. He dropped out of law school. He’s finding
his way.”
Aren’t we all, I replied.
And I noticed something. Although I still believe that
pursuing our passions and earning a
livable wage are ideals for me in my own life and in the life of a potential
romantic partner, when I heard what this notably attractive man did for a
living, I accepted it.
This, is new for me. Call me a snob, and perhaps I have
been, but because of my own vicious drive to “do something” worthy in my
lifetime, because of my own aching need to “move the needle of human progress
forward” through my employment, I have been judgmental of my own jobs. And of
others’.
But I noticed that I didn’t have that same snobbery come up when
told about this guy’s job. Perhaps, I have gained – or been brought down to – a
level of humility around what people are doing in and with their lives.
Which means, perhaps I am finding that same compassion and
acceptance for myself. Perhaps. Maybe. Surprisingly.
Do I still want to do work that enlivens me and helps others
on their own path? Yes. But I am accepting where I am today for the first time
in a long time.
Partly, it’s because I’m taking action outside of my
“regular work hours” to engage in activities like acting, and singing, and
getting ready to make this video-ask to help get an art studio. Perhaps now,
for reasons unknown to me, I am beginning to call those other hours worthy,
enough, more than enough. And they begin to settle the aching gnaw of “WHAT ARE
YOU GOING TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE???” that dogs my every step.
Perhaps, although this new work could be considered
not “high” employment (working toward a greater good and utilizing my skills
and talents), perhaps I’ve just become grateful to have any employment at all.
Or at the very least, employment that doesn’t sit me behind a computer screen
40 hours a week.
I am delighted and surprised at this internal shift. This loosening
of the noose around myself and others’ over how they pay their rent. Obviously,
it’s none of my business what others do for work, but it’s a question we all
seem to ask nonetheless. And in its answering, we begin to categorize and label
people according to a caste system.
Maybe it’s realizing I’m part of the caste of people who are
bright, creative, and longing. I am one of those “finding his way.”
I have found a compassion and acceptance of this place.
(Though the shrewd part of me wonders if that means I’ll now move into the “found”
category because of my new “achievement/enlightenment”… And I can offer a wry smile to that “never good enough” part of myself.)
To finding our way, be we server or CEO – Humans, all. 

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