So last week was a deflation, that is, if you don’t count the ultrasound. But even on that day, I probably should have been in a better mood than I actually was. There has been a lot of business stuff hanging over me. Difficult stuff following me like a cartoon raincloud. It’s been troubling because things were just starting to seem sunnier than ever, to continue the metaphor. Anyway, a combination of several things led me to reevaluate what it is I want to do with my life, at least in the immediate future like the next few years.
It’s not a new or refreshing topic, I know, but when you thought you’d found a certain fit–even if it had been something you never expected–there’s a different attitude to this kind of self-examination.
We all have setbacks. I know. We all experience things that don’t play out the way we had anticipated, imagined or hoped. Everyone fails sometimes. Some do it better than others, but I guess we all do it with our own style and recover from failure in our own way, often coming out stronger with the lessons learned.
I believe in the work that I have chosen to do. In all aspects–whether art or poems, the office gig or the sales one. I would never commit myself to something that I did not feel was right in some way. But sometimes a commitment means investing more than you thought it would, changing yourself in ways that might feel almost too uncomfortable. We adapt to fit our jobs, and when quitting time rolls around each day, we slip out of what we do and become more of who we are. Because not every job or career is going to align perfectly, even if it seems to at first. I don’t know about anyone else, but there are many aspects to who I am that won’t ever find their place in some narrow definition of what I do.
Let me take a step back for a moment. I know that work is called work because it’s work. Simple enough. But when work starts infringing on life in a negative way, something almost always needs to change. It could be that I need to adjust my own parameters, but it could also mean that what started off looking like a very lucrative and fulfilling opportunity is actually not the best fit for me after all, for who I am at my core.
Work was bringing me down. Big time. I couldn’t talk about personal issues I was having with the work without the racing heart and shortness of breath that comes with breaking down into tears. So I tried to find solutions. Or turned my attention elsewhere. I tried to look at all the good that was going on around me, for me. I fought on through the hiccups. There are still some things unresolved. But there are items on my little to-do list getting crossed off every day. I see this as progress.
I am being cut deeply by things that probably should not feel so personal. I can blame it on the hormones, which are probably a factor, I know, but part of me wonders whether it’s really that, or just plain weakness. No conclusions there, yet, though I have decided that I will work on what it is in my power to control instead of worrying about what I can no longer change. I will work on work, but I will also work on pursuing what I feel has been my calling my whole life.
I will be launching a new website soon. No exact time-frame because anything I offer in that department will be a lie. I am working on getting my artwork reproduced so that it might be sold and shared. I am working on making more art, and I even anticipate publishing a few poems over the next several months or seasons. Always in my life, when I have found myself in a low place, I have returned to art. Clung to it in times of distress. I am not one of those poets who writes every day, nor am I an artist with a need for X-hours of studio time per week. I do what I do when the mood hits. Fortunately, the mood doesn’t have to be dark, because rarely am I in a dark mood. Anyway, art is a grounding force for me. A focus, a purpose, a huge part of the life that I value.
As for the other work, the jobs that write me checks, those will be what they are. They are work. They are hard and not always fun or calming. But I plan to keep going. To move forward with my lessons and a little bit of newfound strength. I have decided that I can’t let a few troubles cut into the vital organs. So I am turning up the positive, and focusing on what I can do to make that work a success right alongside the art work. Because we must pay the mortgage. We must eat. We must, in just a few short months, support a third member of our household. I cannot turn down paychecks completely. That is not an option for me at this point. But everything else? Choices abound. I am lucky.