Wednesday, June 25, 2008

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

Have I at any point given the impression that this is easy?

It’s not.

It’s really, really not.

To sum it up for you in un-poetic, un-minced words: I’m homeless, semi-broke and unemployed. And while that’s tough for anyone to swallow (and I’m sure rather unattractive-sounding to you, loyal reader), it’s even tougher to wrap your head around when it’s something that you chose. Especially when you’re coming from a more-successful –than-average background. “Overwhelming” is not really an apt description of the level of uncertainty I’m living with right now.

So why would anyone choose this - especially someone who “had it made”? Some may even think I owe it to society to be out there working if I’m so able-bodied and –minded, rather than collecting EI. Besides – who chooses to be overwhelmed by uncertainty?

Despite said uncertainty (about everything from where I’m going to be living in 6 weeks to how I’m going to make my mortgage payment this week to what kind of backpack to buy for my trip), this is the first time in my adult life that I know in my gut where I am right now is where I’m supposed to be.

The first time?

Yeah, the first time. At the age of 39 (and a half, as of the 23rd of June). Hey – some people never get that feeling in their gut – or at least never heed it. I’m tryin’, here...

The career treadmill I was on, that so many are on, doesn’t allow time and space for reflection or self-assessment. I knew if I didn’t step off when I did it would suddenly be October again and then 2011 and then my 20th anniversary at work and then my 50th birthday, and, and, and. It was terrifying. Yes, more terrifying then what I’m doing now.

So I stopped.

I still wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks, but it’s such a better quality of panic than before.

No amount of money or success was worth sacrificing the path of discovery to what makes me happy. That’s why I haven’t pursued any of the career leads that have come my way in recent weeks. One assumes that because my experience is in fashion and PR, that this is what I want to continue to do. It’s not. If I did, I would have never left my cushy job in the first place. (Lest I sound an ingrate, a heartfelt thank you to all. Why would you have assumed any differently?)

I am using this time and this wild ride through the jungles of What the Hell am I Doing to find what it is that makes me happy, so that I can get back to work and resume repaying my debt to society. Happily.

As my friend R told me, “Cara, it’s not supposed to be easy.”

The way I figure it, if it were easy, it wouldn’t be brave. And if it weren’t brave, then a lot more people would be doing it.

Brave = scary. And this is flat-out scary. But it's the right thing. It is. It is. It is.

“Sorrow happens, hardship happens, the hell with it, who never knew the price of happiness, will not be happy.”

Yevtushenko

2 comments:

Aaron said...

It sounds like you really are getting close to that edge, aren't you? I must say I'm really enjoying your blogging, and I'm interested to see what you discover about yourself.

I do love not knowing where my money will come from. Sometimes it's scary as, for sure, but so far I've never come up short... God has always provided exactly what I need when I need it.

Lorraine said...

Yup yup and yup. I hear you loud and clear. Here in my own recently self-fired state we have undertaken a massive renovation of our house. Not a frilly one that will result in fancy dinner guests commenting on our excellent new decor. Rather one that involves digging trenches around our house and making sure the structure is more sound etc. So I can totally relate to your uncertainty, albeit in a different way. As you know I've fired myself before. Perhaps I should warn you that by round three you keep the house and just have no idea how you'll pay for any of it anymore ;-)