Monday, July 11, 2011

Same Shit Different Toilet

Career: Pick one You can Live With
In May 2010, in the beginning stages of my plan to leave Utah for my little adventure East, I had a vision. I would focus on my writing, not get my life and my job combined into a tangled mess, and find the mysterious, elusive thing called happiness. I was going to get a menial job doing something mindless so that I would remember that the focal point of life is not a career. (Note: this is for ME. Many people make an excellent life for themselves having a career, I cannot. I’ll explain more) And last, I was going to target my ambitions at becoming a published author.


Before I left, I wasn’t na├»ve enough to think that moving would get me out of the rut of a professional life I had gotten myself into. I did believe, however, that I had fixed my problem and freed myself of its grasp. I thought I had prevail over my professional shortcomings that allowed me to become so enmeshed in my occupation that I didn’t have a life of my own.

I was wrong.

It started innocently enough. I had a job that I loved. LOVED. I was a Family Teacher, which meant I basically got to be a mother to troubled teenage girls. They lived in my home for the duration of their treatment while I taught them life skills to make them capable of handling their world and the trials they encountered. It was the most rewarding job in the world. I have never shone brighter or lived more fully than when I was working with these girls. In this capacity, my job was my life and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Those are some of the best years of my life and it couldn’t have been so without the entanglement between the two.

The problem arose for me when I overstayed my welcome in a position that I had outgrown but refused to let go of. I held on to the memory of how wonderful the job used to be for me, failing to realize that the circumstances from when I once loved the job were significantly different from the situation I was currently living in. This is when I decided to move to New York.

Before the move I worked through many of my own personal shortcomings and thought that the last endeavor I had to tackle was the one of quitting my job. I failed to realize that because I didn’t conquer the feelings behind my reason for staying, I was destined to find myself in the exact same situation once I arrived in New York.

And so I did. I found myself in a brand new job that put me in the exact same place emotionally.

Ya follow so far?

The problem wasn’t so much my job (although, I will place the appropriate blame where it is due there) but my attitude that my job had to be my life. I had been unhappy for a while in this predicament and after moving I continued to live, not for myself, but for the kids and my employees who worked with these kids. Time and again I put their needs above my own, feeling like that was the only way to be effective in my role.

Can you imagine, I felt the same misery I had in Utah. Shocker.

So, I did the first selfish thing I had done since I started working in this field in 2006, I quit my job and the field entirely. And proportionately felt like a selfish bitch for doing so.

Once I got over my feelings of complete ass-hole-ness, I realized that it is actually ok to do things for yourself. And in fact, one should frequently put themselves first if they want to survive around here. No one else is going to make my life a priority, so I’d better do it.

Now guess what I’m going to do? I'm going to be more dedicated to myself. I’m going to be more dedicated to my blog. I’m going to work out consistently so that I’m not feeling like a body building amazon woman one week, and a margarine pile of squiggy jello the next. And I am finally. Finally! Going to make something happen with the novel I finished over a year and a half ago. It’s time to get this sucker published. If I want to be a writer, I have to start acting like a writer. And the first step to that is to write.

And then write some more.

So wish me luck (or don’t) I’m going to focus on me and my ambitions. I’m going to make something happen, and I’m going to follow through on the plan I started last May. It’s gonna be great.

5 comments:

james said...

That is a breath of fresh air. There are far to many examples of people getting stuck in jobs or careers that were supposed to be stepping stones onto what they really wanted. So go for your dreams, as cliche as that may sound, and fail miserablely until you make it to where you want to be. It takes balls to do what you are doing and that is inspiring. I can't wait to read your first published novel. Go get em pants.

Savvy Pants said...

Thanks so much!! And I appreciate you recognizing that there will be failure too. That's all part of the excitement.

Cbear said...

I salute you mamacita! Leaps of faith are frightening and the end path is unexpected, but usually much more rewarding than we had dreamed. Sending love and happy energy your way!!!

Carly

Mom said...

You only get this one life (unless you believe in reincarnation) and it is meant to be LIVED and enjoyed. I am so proud of you! I am so happy for you! I love you so very, very much! You are an inspiration, but it is totally okay not to feel strong all the time. We also gain many strengths from weakness. I feel the goal is in the journey. In the growth. Even more than in the end result. Continue your journey and enjoy the ride!!! (Hang on tight, it WILL get bumpy at times).

Savvy Pants said...

Thanks so much for all of the encouragement. I am so lucky to have so much positivity put into the Universe for me!!