Friday, October 25, 2013

Getting Unstuck

I would like to say, just for the record, that feeling stuck has been making me ANGRY.

I have been working so hard on my life for so long now, and thought I was doing it "right" (whatever that means), and so to feel despairing of my ability to figure things out makes me not only sad, but also angry.  Am I really having to deal with this kind of garbage?  Doesn't the garbage ever go away?!

I've been taking some deep breaths.  I've been looking for the silver linings.

Yesterday I moaned on the telephone to a friend about how stuck I was, and how I was ashamed to admit that I'd been watching television in the middle of the day.  I'm generally pretty anti-television, and goodness knows I've got enough tasks before me that I shouldn't even be thinking about being so slothful.  My friend laughed, and dismissed my words with, "Pretty soon you'll be in an office, wishing you could lounge with TV.  Enjoy it while you can, it will be gone soon enough."

This friend is "together" in a way few people are.  Her life sometimes looks like a page out of Real Simple magazine, in a beautifully polished casual way.  I can not even imagine her sulking on the sofa with a laptop running TV shows while the yard fell into disarray outside.

Somehow, her words were a balm.  Permission to slack a bit?  Did I need permission?

I have gone from feeling on top of the world to feeling like I'm a total sham, and like my career aspirations are a joke and I'm going to lose it all because of them.  And then I feel angry because of those feelings, because I know they won't get me where I want to be, and then I feel sad, and then I feel stuck, and then I go back to the sofa and try to disappear.

But I am finding some ways out of the stuckness.

Just do it.

Yesterday I put out several good job applications.  I have my eye on several more for today.  I am going to play the numbers game: there is one job that I reallyreallyreallyreallyreally want, that I think I'm qualified for, that is for a great employer, that would be intellectually stimulating as well as personally fulfilling, and I've pinned all of my hopes and dreams on it.  Unfortunately, that has had the side effect of not only dreaming the "how great would it be!" thoughts, but also the "if I don't get this, I'm screwed" and I've been so scared of the latter that it's consumed me.

The only way out is through.

So, though my heart is in that one job, I'm putting applications out all over the place, for jobs that MIGHT be just as good.  If I get turned down by Dream Job, I'll have other irons in the fire.

Getting off the couch is hard right now.  Everything is on the line, to the point where it feels like I'm walking on a cliff, and at any moment I could tumble off.

If you're going through hell, keep on going.

Being an unemployed single mother is its own form of hell.  Mine is better than most: some unemployment and some meager savings are keeping me going, and my parents have already said "call us if you need help" and I know that I could do that and they would have the means to support me to bridge a gap.  Worst case scenario, I could sell this house and I have enough equity that it could keep me going a bit longer.

But I'm sick of worst case scenarios.

I am not dead.  I am not currently fighting cancer.  I survived my divorce.  My daughter is thriving.  I'm physically more fit than ever before.

But I'm making progress again.  I'm pushing through the ugly feelings, and I'm just going to make this happen.

I want a job working for a world class employer, surrounded by smart people who want to do good in the world, where my skills and talents are used and appreciated, and where I can experience career growth.  I want to earn a decent wage, with excellent benefits, and I want stability both financially and professionally.  I want to show up for work each day with a smile on my face, excited to get things done.

I want to show Katherine that this is how it's done, so maybe she can learn from me, so that maybe she can avoid some of the mistakes that I've made.

When I told Katherine that I was going to pursue work that would change the world and feed my soul because that was my dream, she smiled and said, "Of course you should do that.  That's what *I* am going to do when I'm older!" and I am holding that moment close.  Katherine believes that this is the natural order of things, that all is well.  It's my job to show her that's true.

I refuse to be stuck.  I feel incredibly stuck, but I am fighting that feeling with everything in me.

Today I'm going to go make some things happen.  I'm going to keep networking, and I'm going to do it with a smile on my face, and not even a hint of desperation.  I'm going to find passion to infuse my cover letters, so that the spark of light within me will shine through them and potential employers will think "there's something about this one..." and call me.

"Stuck" is just a feeling.  It's not real, it's just a passing thing.  I will NOT let it rule me, even though I've felt its reign. 

Fake it 'til you make it.

Several dear friends have smilingly told me "It won't be long until this is behind you, and you won't even remember these feelings, because you are certain to find success.  Soon enough you'll be working away at a new job, loving it.  Could be that this time next month everything has changed!"

I sure hope they're right.

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