a few months ago i found an email that i had written to myself in 2005. i was in a boring administrative job at the time, and engaging in my usual practice of using my hotmail account to write journal entries. i would save them in the drafts folder for posterity.
this particular email described how stuck i felt at my job. i sensed there was something more i could be doing, should be doing, so wanted to be doing. and yet it was elusive to me. reading this email, i could feel my angst in writing it. if only i knew what i really wanted to do, i felt, things would be so different. so much easier. i could then just go ahead and do it! but i didn’t know what i wanted to be doing. so instead i slogged it out, wanting to be more creative, but not knowing how, convincing myself i wasn’t, thus putting me in an endless cycle of dissatisfaction, frustration, and resignation.
now comes the scary part: if i didn’t see that the email was dated 2005, i could have sworn i had just written it.
this discovery was slightly entertaining, but mostly terrifying. in my email i talked about the sense that i was wasting time, and i didn’t want to be wasting more time. and here i was, 7 years later…in the exact same place! different job, different environment…but not different at all. still searching, still going in circles, still banging my head against a brick wall, still drained from all the banging.
i knew then that things had to change. i mean, i really got it then. reading that email was the final sign i needed that i couldn’t pretend any longer. i felt einstein’s quote, which i’d heard so many times: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” i knew i could no longer wait to be okay with something that hadn’t felt right in a long time…and which had now become energetically excruciating.
i now have a choice to make. it doesn’t feel right to quit my job immediately and devote 100% of time and energy into discovering my passion. while i admire that strong whatever-it-takes quality in others, i think i would go into panic mode, my lizard/survival brain kicking in and effectively shutting down any creative inspiration. also, i don’t think my passion works that way. i would rather allow it to take its own sweet, perfect time to reveal itself to me. i want to enjoy the process instead of forcing it.
i do know i must push myself more out of my comfort zone, and act more and analyze less. this means fully trusting that the old way doesn’t work anymore, and that whatever risks i associate with starting something completely new are greatly outweighed by the damage done in trying to maintain the old, expired systems. i have to fully acknowledge that i, and only i, have let myself stay in soul-sucking jobs that aren’t ‘me’, and probably never were. i need to listen to my intuition and go with it. even if it’s teeny tiny baby steps – they are motions forward.
so what have i done since that fateful email discovery? i’ve had a conversation with my boss. i’ve started a blog. and i’ve written a few poems. these acts have made a world of difference to my psyche. they’re affirmations to myself that the creative spark is still there, waiting patiently. they are me giving myself permission to change. and they have have unleashed in my mind other possibilities, which further expand into other ideas. i feel a renewed sense of hope. i realize i don’t need a goal, a plan, a ‘one’ passion that i devote all my energy to pursuing. i simply have to take small steps with no pressure or expectation attached to them, or myself. never mind that it’s taken a while to get to this point. i’m here now.
i’ve also stopped telling myself that i don’t know what i love to do. of course i know what i love to do and eventually my conscious mind will catch on. who knows? perhaps the answer is stored somewhere in my hotmail drafts folder.