We are made from choice

Decisions are made at the very start of your day to the very last blink of your eyes.  Whether it’s what to wear to work, what to eat, or whether or not to exercise.  Decisions are rooted in every act of every day, and the choices we make determine our experience.  Hasty decisions birth hasty results, but sometimes well-thought out decisions can have unexpected outcomes.  The key is to know who you are at every moment of every day so that the choices you make reflect you, the real you.

Otherwise, you end up giving off impressions like this…

I decided to sleep until the last possible moment, which meant I could only body shower.  This choice means that the hair goes up and without enough thought on something like clothing, I ended up wearing substandard – even by the loose moral dress code of MTV – summer clothes.  Without going into one of my short-story-made-long type-a-thons, I’ll just tell give you a brief inkling of the morning…dead car, ripped off by another auto mechanic, $$$, family conflict, and the first day back to work from a holiday weekend.

Needless to say, my think-tank bandwidth was little to none.  By lunch I had to take a walk, so I head into my organic paradise and see an old acquaintance.  I could have ignored her like I wanted, but for some reason I didn’t.  I couldn’t focus one iota on what she was saying, but then again I had decided prior to the interaction that I obviously didn’t care.  The conversation, which was hard to follow, went a little something like this:

Me:  Hey

Her: Oh Hi, how are you?

Me: Eh.

Her:  You okay?

Me: Very well, thank you.

Her:  I heard you got married.

Me:  Yep.

Her:  #$%#$##$%$%$**&^&^& (said in a Charlie Brown teacher voice)

Me:  (Shook head)

Her:  (Blankly staring)

Me:  Huh?

Her:  $#%#&@@()@(@(@*@

Me:  (thinking I need to bail)

Her:  (uncomfortably staring)

Me:  (hurry think of an excuse) Oh, huh?  I’m sorry, I’m not feeling well.

Her:  It’s going around.

Me:  Stupidity?

Her:  huh?

Me: %&%&%&%%&**))*#)*)#*()@

Her: (Blank stare that immediately faded into a WTF face)

Me:  (excuse) Sorry, I’m sick.  I have to….

I walk out.  She makes up mind that I am a crack head, probably.  It was then I decided the organic paradise was merely an organic mirage.

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A calling card charged to career

A coworker stopped me in the elevator bank at work and told me that I seem to be extremely unhappy, at least according to Facebook.  I did?  What did he mean?  When I asked, he mentioned unhappy as it related to work and explained how surprised he was to realize this because, personally, I seemed to be happy by nature.  My prior twelve-year battle with depression notwithstanding, I am happier than ever.  Was I really projecting my career discontent into the world?  GASP, had I truly become the type of person I loathe – a disgruntled employee?

Perhaps my burnout a few weeks back is the culprit of this negative status updating during the weekdays.  Although, I stand by my most recent update that weekends SHOULD be longer.  Nonetheless, I suppose I could be marinating in career apathy since the burnout.  One tremendous realization, thanks to burnout, was that this career was not my ‘calling’ but merely a ‘job’.  In that moment of realization, while freeing, you have a choice to jump ship for a new frontier or continue along the same peaks and valleys in the vehicle of responsibility.  Being as tenacious as I am, I’ve chosen the latter, but not indefinitely.  I’m looking to turn this burnout experience into a transformational experience.

What is my calling?  If you come here then you already know…to connect through writing.

My wife is the type of person that is  good at a lot of different things – almost everything – but not exceptional in just one thing.  I’m average at best at everything – below average in most – except writing.  Had my ego not taking me on a roller-coaster in the entertainment industry, I could have very well been the Nicholas Sparks of fiction.  But, my gut listened because this path led me through experiences that I wouldn’t have experienced in the four-walls that housed a computer.  I was out living my fiction and treading heavily through wonderful chaos.  Maybe I spent too much time carving out a space in an industry that doesn’t respect me or better my life in any way other than financially, but I accomplished my childhood goals.  I set out into the world and did exactly what I said I was going to do.  Goals I couldn’t do in my thirties and dreams I wouldn’t want for my thirties.  Goals that people said were unrealistic, but I proved them wrong.  Nonetheless, the fact remains that my purpose changed.  I don’t have anyone to prove a single thing to except myself, nor do I want to.  While my ego led me down a very intriguing road less traveled where I went off-roading on more than one occasion and slug some mud, I also rode that path hard and in the end ended up riding it with the best in the industry.  All of this was done, in perfect timing, so that I was young enough to sustain passion but not old enough to realize that one day we all sell our souls just a little.  Maybe veering away from my calling to carve out another career path was where I sold my soul, but I suppose struggling artists can only go so far before hunger sets.  I guess I just bought in low and thought I would sell high, but I’ve ridden the ups and fallen with the downs.  What’s riding for a bit longer when I do cash out it’ll be HUGE and to transition into my calling -writing.

Maybe I do seem unhappy to shift my focus to enabling others dreams and goals when what I really want to do is enable my own, but that’s what Sagittarius’ like me tend to do.  I’ll tell you one thing, though, once I pursue my calling there will be no stopping me.  By now, I’ve got an off-road vehicle that will leave most in the dust and I know how to use it.

Until then, I’ll work on happier status updates.

I Could Use A Gap Year

 

I’m afraid my romance with stress has burned me at the stake.  I am hoping that once my feet touch the ground again that all feeling in my toes will come back, but I won’t know until that point – currently I am toast.  Not to drive an analogy into the ground but I have buttered my toast too long to even notice the taste so it’s time for a change bigger than wheat to multigrain.

While I don’t know what this change is, yet, I am certain that I can no longer continue burning both ends of the candle (how’s that for another analogy).  I’m much too emotional to survive very long in apathy, and I have far too many questions to walk around in the meaningless.

It should have been a sure-fire sign that burnout would take a detour in my hood after the traumatizing headaches, which was just one stop before the muscles in my neck and shoulders seized up to cause my body to stall altogether.  I should have taken notice of the one headlight shifting my focus, but when the battery is dead nothing starts.

Analogies said in juxtaposition lack in meaning, which is much cause for burnout.  I need a Sabbatical

Navigating through space.

There is this place.  I don’t know what it this space is called, but it’s a place.  Trust me on that.  It’s a space between two equally but different concepts like creativity and stress.  I’m more of a person that creates to ease stress, so it’s a little like being plugged up – stuck.  While my custody is tossed around – stress or creative – I’m in the middle of this divorce without identity but completely partial to creativity. 

My costly therapeutic tools taken out of the toolbox once the culprit is identified.   

“Here’s your problem, ma’am.”  Holding up a manuscript and a time card.

“I have to work during the day.  I am married.  I have two codependent dogs and a curmudgeon of a kitten.  My new house needs work, and I need a promotion to get ahead of it all.  I commute.  There’s never enough money.  Letters never come, but bills never stop coming.  The house is a mess, we need groceries, and I can’t figure something very important out in my 200 page story.”

“Well, ma’am.”  Laying the time card on top of the manuscript. “Better consult your spiritual navigator and begin training now for when the two connect.”

One Continuous Mistake

Muscles grow between times of maximum stressBread dough rises between kneadings.  The real work of psychology happens between regular scheduled sessions….While the image of a writer in the throes of an idea (consumed, concentrated, riveted) is familiar to the point of cliché , we hardly ever hear about the time, toward the end of the writing process, when a writer (ideally) lets her writing rest…when she allows it to “just sit” (like in Zazen) seemingly doing nothing.  But as anyone who has tried to do it knows, zazen is not nothing.  Likewise, while one’s writing sits, far from nothing, within the writer.”

—Gail Sher, One Continuous Mistake (Four Noble Truths For Writers)

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