career · courage · self-pity · self-support · uncertainty · work

worker bee.

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I’ve been funky and introspective lately. A little unmoored.
After all that excitement in April of the trip and offering my own job proposal/promotion, and getting flat
results from it, the job at least, it’s felt like I’m back at square one again.
Back at the crossroads where it’s my turn to figure out what I’m doing with my
life. What I should do, what I want to do, what I can do.
And it feels disheartening—I guess that’s pretty entirely
how I feel. A little flat, a little steam-less. My friend told me yesterday
this too shall pass; even though that makes small comfort when you’re “in it,”
she is of course right. But once again, folks are suggesting ideas for what I
should do next, and nothing seems right.
Do I stay at the job I have with a salary and
responsibilities that don’t reflect what I can offer? Do I stay here because
it’s stable, because my boss said he’s willing to offset some of the costs for
a non-profit management certificate course? Do I stay because it’s “easy”?
Though, is it? Is it easy to feel so small in the work you
do? Is it easy to know you can do more but stay put? Is it easy to accept the
minutae and banality of office clerkness? NO. Of fucking course not.
This is not the
easier road, but it is currently the one I’m standing on, and the one that is providing
me a livelihood. And when I come to consider it, it’s a decent, if on the
meager side, livelihood. Do I stay because
other people have it worse off, and struggle harder?
Haven’t I learned the foolishness of martyrdom?
It’s not like I’m not trying. I’ve sent out two resumes, one
rejected. And assume I’ll send out more. But my heart is not in this. I guess
I’m just disappointed at the moment – having put a lot of energy into offering
my job some ways to increase their success and my own, and was told, “Not now,
and probably not for at least a year, if then.” Do I hang on for that??
I need more clarity from my job about what that really
means. I want more clarity around if this is just going to be me languishing
for another year—and also, if I am owed that annual cost of living increase
that my coworkers receive. And if that bit is worth it anyway?
I pulled the 4 of Cups this morning, the card of
self-absorption, apathy. They really nail me sometimes.
Introspection can be a healthy habit, when it’s accompanied
with outward action. But when it’s just mental masturbating, or emotional, then
it’s not really effective.
It’s hard to pull yourself out of the mire though. But, as
my friend said, this too shall pass. More will be revealed, the cloud will shift
from in front of the sun, and I will know what to do next.
Much of it starts with asking the real and hard questions to
my boss. If this is really worth my while to stay, to build toward what I
offered them, then I really need to know that in more than
empty promises of someday. That doesn’t work for me.
Is that too much to ask? I don’t know, because I haven’t
yet.
I was brave enough to ask for what I want; having been told,
“Not now, maybe someday,” am I brave enough to ask for what I need? It’s not like I have other offers rolling in.
But, the answers to my own questions and to my boss’s will help
determine whether it’s time to seek those offers or not, and I can stop feeling quagmired again.
Life is way too short to languish in “maybes” that you can
get a clearer answer to. 

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action · addiction · clarity · commitment · community · fear · fortitude · procrastination · progress · recovery · self-esteem · self-love · self-pity · self-support

Forte. Più Forte. (Loud. More Loud.)

It’s come into my awareness again this week the fallacy of
perfection, and its venomous tendrils. The three “p”s: Perfection,
Procrastination, Paralyzation.
I’ve also read that procrastination is simply another way
for us to prolong feeling crappy about ourselves, and to delay feeing proud of
ourselves.
This week, after a conversation with some people of
authority at work last week about my position, my ambition, my vision of “Where
I’d like to be;” after I was given the feedback that, great, sure, put it in
writing and we can talk more… I stalled and dragged my feet.
It wasn’t acres of time, this time; it was only from Friday until
Tuesday evening, when I finally wrote what I needed to
write. But I could see those tendrils curling up around me, waiting to choke my
ambition and self-esteem from me. The tendrils of hopelessness (What the use
anyway), uncertainty (What about acting, my art, moving), and simple
perfectionism (If it’s not perfect, they’ll reject it, and then I’ll be stuck
answering phones the rest of my life, anyway, so f* it, I’ll just watch some
more Once Upon a Time).
It was so helpful to hear other people talk about how this
weed of perfectionism crops up in their lives, marring their attempts at a full
life—it reminds me that I’m not alone, and mostly, as I heard people talk about
their struggle with perfectionism, I sat
there in that chair and decided (for the hundredth time) to go home afterward
and do the write-up I needed to hand in to my superiors.
I heard them battling the beast, I heard them being flayed
by it, and I decided I wasn’t going to let that be me, if only for an evening.
I cannot tell you how many times I make this declaration to
myself. And then, simply do come home
and watch Netflix, or surf Facebook. I wonder if the advent of television and
internet has created in us a generation of procrastinators, but I certainly
know that I am none too helped by it! (in binges, especially)
But for whatever reason (and I won’t call it exasperation,
because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been exasperated, and still done
nothing), I came home on Tuesday night, wrote what I needed to write, emailed
it to a few friends for feedback, and handed it in yesterday.
And here’s the/a reward for overcoming perfectionism: It may not go the way you wanted anyway. I may hear, “Thanks, Molly, but we’re not
in a position to… We’ll think about it for some undetermined date… This just
isn’t in our vision or budget… We just need someone (you) to stay doing what
you are doing indefinitely, or at least through the next year or more.” I may
hear things I don’t want to hear in response to my action on behalf of myself
and my ambition, BUT, the reward is that I get to hear something at all,
instead of sitting, spinning, resenting, foaming, fuming, and … watching
Netflix.
The reward for overcoming perfectionism (and it’s
paralyzation) in just this one moment is that, no matter the results, no matter
the response, I am actually moving
forward, internally, for sure. What this does is tell me that, See Molly,
once you did something. One time you took action on your
own behalf, and instead of delaying your good, instead of languishing in a sea
of self-pity, you get to feel proud, pro-active, like a leader. You get to feel
like yourself, instead of like the skin of mutating fear that creeps up yours
and mimics you out in the world.
I don’t know the result of the action I took, externally, at
least. However, having put things in writing and gotten clarity around my
vision and desire, if I don’t get the result I “want” here, in this environs,
then I get to take that information and that knowledge and shop it around
elsewhere. Because I took the action that I did, suddenly, I have a beginning
instead of what my brain and that malevolent skin tells me is an end, a sorry, pathetic end.
Finally, I’ll repeat something I heard a long time ago,
which I’ve agreed with and disagreed with over the years: We ask “god” for what
we want; “he” gives us what we need; and in the end, it’s what we wanted
anyway.
I know that what I wanted anyway was clarity and
self-esteem, so, Team: Mission Accomplished. 

frustration · progress · school · self-pity · writing

Veysmere.

I called a friend yesterday to go over the content of the May workshop newsletter, and told her that I’d turned in my final copy of my thesis, and she
asked how I felt – if I was excited. Decidedly not, I replied. There’s all the
administrative rigamarole to go through before I can call this chapter of my
life closed. Turns out one of the professors won’t be on campus to sign off on my
thesis – literally, sign it – so I now have to see what my options are without
that signature as the thing is due tomorrow. But I’ve seen some chatter about
Monday being “okay,” but I have to find out.
I’m SO over it. Over it all. I don’t really give a crap. I’m
tired, and broke, and exhausted, and unhappy.
Like today’s blog? 
Sorry for the Debby Downer moment, but
really, I’m tired of this crap. I get
that I graduate with a Master’s degree, but it doesn’t feel that cool anymore.
It feels like a lot of hoops at the moment, and I have no clue what any of it
will “get” me. I began lamenting in my morning pages the same, and then started
to write all the awesome shit that I’ve done and learned in the last year and a
half. How two years ago, I was in a job in a dysfunctional organization where
my position was going to be cut, and I made the decision, finally, to go back
to school.
I know that I’ve done a lot. But it doesn’t feel “worth it”
at the moment. I feel tired and lonely and despairing of what the fuck I’m
doing with my life. I feel … self-pitying, I suppose.
And I know some practical cures for it, and I know it’ll
pass. But right now, I feel like there are too many demands on me, and my
health is fucked up, and phooey.
You may know this isn’t typical for me. I do have some minor
tantrums now and then, but this moroseness and lethargy is not typical. I get
that it’s time limited, and “once xyz is done” then I’ll be better. But I’m
fucking tired of having to do xyz and THEN being better. 
Once the thesis is handed
in. 
Once the thesis is signed off. 
Once the thesis is uploaded. 
Once the school
workshop is done. 
Once the May workshop is advertised. 
Once the flyers are up. 
Once graduation happens. 
Once … what? 
And then What?
It’s not delayed gratification. I’m not sure where the
fucking gratification is. It’s like some carrot on a stick. One more stupid
thing, and then I’ll be happy? Then I’ll know what the fuck to do with my life? One more stupid flight of fancy, and I’ll be stable and secure and loved?
What the fuck? I KNOW it’s all ridiculous, and I thank any
of you who have read this far into my pity party. But, … I am tired. I don’t want any more hoops. I want to be
done. I don’t want to feel so damn lost. I don’t have a fucking clue where I’m
going – what I’m doing – what I want to be doing – where I want to be doing it.
I feel like a toddler and a teenager, without the freedom of their
understandable childishness.
No, I’m not relieved that the stupid thing is done. I don’t
care a fuck about it. It’ll go on a shelf somewhere. Yes, I did it. But so the
fuck what? How many fucking people have Master’s degrees and PhDs and work for
f’ing starbucks. Literally. I went out yesterday, one of my two ventures off
this stupid couch, to get food for my cat, and the woman who works there and I
chat usually, and she said that THREE PhDs applied for her counter job the last
time they were hiring. A PhD. Selling cat toys. Wtf.
Yes, today will give me plenty of opportunities to move out
of or through this funk. Yes, even yesterday, I reached out to a few folks to
make happy plans, get out of myself and this poopiness. I know it’ll pass. I know
other people see it’ll pass, but in the moment, it’s just ass.
Thank you for coming to my pity party. I wish I’d gotten you
a hat.
(*Veysmere = Vey is mir = “woe is me” in yiddish. “Oy vey” is a shorthand.)