"Waiting" to "Pausing"
interview from Monday. I was put in a mock session of what the job would
entail, and though not mind-blowing, it would be a nice stop-gap for the time
being, I think.
Trying to angle whether this is a good fit for me, if it’s better than the
unknowable, and … I’m tired.
emotionally, mentally. When I was on the phone with my mentor on Sunday, after
unloading and processing through a lot of muck, she began to respond, and I
stopped her by saying, hang on, I just want to finish:
I was going to do to support my job search, cleaning up my home, other
housekeeping style work like going down to the parking ticket office.
really hard for you to let yourself rest, isn’t it?
was … positive. That it was showing I’m not slipping into despair, that I’m
keeping the jackals at bay with all my activity. Isn’t that what an unemployed
person is supposed to do? Keep busy? Do the footwork?
day, with plans to get out of the house and meet up with people, I went back to
bed for an hour. The caffeine kept me from sleep, but the resting was good. I
am exhausted. It’s been mentally and spiritually challenging to show up as I
have these past few months. It’s been hard, and I feel at the end of a
grin-and-bear-it period, without the relief that comes when you stop grinning.
letting myself actually sleep in, to restore what’s been missing, and to gather
energy for what’s next.
think being unemployed would mean a break, but I’ve got shit to do I can’t
excuse myself from. However, I can sleep in, and let myself have that relief. I
can allow it not to mean I’m lazy or going to fail or am being irresponsible.
the moment is to take extra special care of myself, even if it makes me squirm.
Today ends the 21-Day Meditation “Challenge” by Deepak Chopra and Oprah I’ve been following this last month. Today’s “thought” is about Fulfillment.
And despite coming home on Tuesday night (finally tucking into bed after a chaotic day of work and a busy night of rehearsal) and bursting into quiet tears of overwhelm, today as I get ready for the day, the soft tears are of a different sort.
Two years ago on Yom Kippur I was diagnosed with Leukemia. Last year around this time, I hosted an “I Didn’t Die” party and played in a band on the bass I’d carried for over a decade but never learned to play. This year on and around the anniversary of my diagnosis, you’ll find me onstage in musical theater, another dream set down for over a decade.
In workland, I continue to feel like the hockey player who gets checked into the boards, my own path crowded out by the demands of others and by the very nature of the perpetually-behind game in which I find myself. I continue to know that things need to change, want to change them, do research on changing them, … and haven’t (yet) changed them.
I continue to desire giving myself the “right” kind of time to flesh out ideas for a different mode of working, one that means more fulfillment, less time, more stability. I continue to lament that the nature of the game I’m in doesn’t allow for pausing. Except when you’ve been sent to the bench. Which I call Netflix-binging. But that kind of pause isn’t productive, and I know this.
I am looking for the space in which to create a different kind of life, to have the space to dream and plan and implement. And, it’s not this exact moment. Which can be really hard for me. Believing as I do, that my stasis in this position (over-working and underearning) creates a dissatisfaction in me that bleeds into other areas of my life, and keeps me feeling less-than and stuck and not ready or viable or worthy.
As I’ve spoken of it, one foot may be in the bear trap, but the other is passionately trying to walk anyway – or, as in the Addams show, to tango. I continue to have one foot in the direction … no – in the reality of a vision and a dream of mine. It’s not the direction, it’s the reality.
And truly, how different I know this is than it was. To be in it, instead of dreaming of or lamenting it.
Can you be half-way fulfilled? I dunno. But, I do know that the hours spent in band, in rehearsal, in laughter, and in friendship are times of pure engagement, presence, and self-forgetting (sometimes!). That absence of commentary, of doubt, feels like the presence of fulfillment.
If I have created, and worked hard toward creating, a third of my waking hours to be ones of fulfillment, I have to acknowledge that the scale is tipping. It isn’t there yet. I still lament and cry and question if I will pursue, but those hours spent in joy …
*insert silent wonder*
"We Need Back-up!"
told me a few weeks ago. Trying to figure out if she could go back east
for a family reunion and see her great-aunt probably for the last time. To
figure out if she should bring her kids, even though she couldn’t afford it.
Trying to figure out who would take care of them if she went, because “he”
The kids’ other grandmother would be happy to come up and stay with them, it read. No
the energy we put into feeling terrible about things.
friends how she’d found a house in the town she wanted to be in because of its school system for her son. I hadn’t heard this part yet. Only how pained she’d been in the
looking, months and months of looking. Fearing, wondering.
the house on Thursday, and on Friday, signed the lease.
school she wanted to be in? $800 a
Each little piece of it having fallen firmly into miraculous and perfect place.
Each need met, better than anticipated. And “right on time.”
resolutions that worked out in her favor. Eventually.
present hidden behind its back. “Oooh… Look how upset she is that she has
nothing, that nothing’s coming out right – She’s gonna be SO BOMBED when I show
her what I have for her!! What I’ve had for her this whole time — Ha! It’s
gonna be AWESOME!”
“miraculously.” It’s that she had been reaching out for help, grasping at any
straws, and finally, some of those straws bore fruit (to mix metaphors).
at feeling abandoned by the Universe, lost in this HUGE transition in her life, she was asking for help. She
was taking action.
produced the miracles… to my mind, at least.
when people have things to say. (Even if I’ve heard their advice or platitudes
before and are silently telling them to shut it.)
wondering and flailing and floundering. In short, I am feeling just as she was.
least I, want to make sense of
everything, even the things that don’t. So, I know that I want to make meaning
out of her story, make it into a tale of heroic action and divine
end I get a flock of sheep, too.
Look. I know this sounds like a lot of self-obsessed, self-centered bullshit. I know this isn’t Rwanda, or even East Oakland. I know that no matter what happens, I’ll likely have clean water to drink.
I suppose, having always been a late bloomer, I just am getting an advanced jump on the whole mid-life crisis thing.
I think the argument with authenticity is an important one to have. I think the screamings of a soul that feels trapped is an important one to answer. I get that that looks like a lot of navel-gazing sometimes, and I get the pain all that staring causes in my neck.
But I just want to say that I see both sides, here. I see that I have it immensely “better” than a hundred million people around me. I get that my life is infinitely better than it was 10 years ago.
But, I also have the capacity to listen to myself at a level that I have never been keen enough to hear before.
Last night, someone recommended I read the chapter on Withdrawal in a 12-step book. I did. This “not quitting my job without having another one lined up” thing IS withdrawal for me. It’s causing me pain. It’s causing me to act out. It’s causing me to have conversations and intrigue with inappropriate people, and to eat enough cupcakes to stock a shop.
I’m in pain, and it comes out here. This is my place. I feel badly about putting it up so that you have to read daily about it. But, you don’t have to read. And I don’t have to feel.
And yet. Here we both are. Xo.m