Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Waiting for Certainty

A good friend of mine moved out of state in 2007 to take his dream job. I was so happy for him. He'd proven the naysayers wrong; he actually CAN make a living doing what he loves, even if it was by working for another company rather than starting his own (which is his real job).

Last night, he called to let me know the company, which had grown a bit too ambitiously, was now downsizing and, as it happens, last in, first out—so he was laid off. He's also on his way back "home" in the next month or so.

Now. At this point, many people would freak out. OMG, job loss, dream job to boot. Moaning, wailing, feeling like a failure should ensue.

But we both see it differently. It's a good thing. It will, in the long run and retrospect, prove to have been a necessary step along the path.

Before Dream Job, he was a geek with a dream but no idea of how to really make it "work" in the real world. The Dream Job was a brave move for starters, because he had to upend his life, leave his comfort zone behind, and move to a strange city many miles away where he knew no one. Then he spent the next 18 months in what could be viewed as a sort of paid internship in his chosen industry. It's a specialized field, hard to get into, and he was pretty much stunned to find out he could get hired in the first place. (I wasn't; I knew he had the talent.)

While he was working at Dream Job, he got a first-hand look at how to run a business like that, what to do and what not to do, how the flow cycle works, and how to vend products at the annual industry convention. He basically lived a Year In The Life in that business, and learned what he needed to know to be able to do it himself.

Now, he's a geek with a dream AND the knowledge to back it up. He has credibility and contacts and a firm foundation off of which to build. Because of severance pay and unemployment benefits, he has the window of opportunity to make the REAL dream a reality (producing this product himself). Done right, within a year, he won’t need A Job because he will BE the job. He will be established within this field on his own. That’s IF he uses the opportunity, and IF those who still don’t believe in it back off and let him DO it. Or help, if they can.

We were discussing it, and we can both see very clearly how this factors into the path he's chosen. We both see it as happening exactly as it should.

But it's gotten my mind working in directions it shouldn't. Why is it that I can see these sorts of things clearly for OTHERS... but not for myself? How can I see how the pieces fit and see another's path unfolding... and be so clouded about my own?

For I feel as though I've been on hold forever—waiting for something to "break", to give, to heave over. I've felt like I'm on the brink of something big for a very long time... except... lately I've begun to wonder if the Universe got distracted elsewhere and forgot about me. Little things happen and I think, "OK, finally this is all unsticking, finally it's loosening up and beginning to move in a positive upward direction", then... it falls back to stagnant nothingness again.

And I wait some more.

And I have no idea what I'm supposed to be DOING, if anything, in the meantime. And that really frustrates me. And it worries me, because I have (or had in the past) the tendency to ditch my own wagon in favor of hitching up to someone else's because THEIR vision is clear, THEIR ambition is solid, and THEY have a better chance of bringing it to fruition whereas MY vision is cloudly, MY ambition wavers, and I don't feel I have much of a chance at all.

My friend will need my design skills to move his dream forward. I can do this for him. But I'm running the risk of becoming entangled in another person's wagon train when I'm so close to setting out on my own journey. I'm close—I can feel it. I think. But... I don't want to BE a designer anymore. Truth be told, it wasn't my dream in the first place—it was a compromise between what I could study that had job potential at the end (to appease my Mother) and what is creative enough that I won't go crazy doing it for a few years (while I got my music career going, which was the idea).

I don't want to be a designer... but I haven't quite defined FOR CERTAIN what I want to be if I'm not. I've mulled over some possibilities: horsemanship instructor, professor, writer, musician (again), among other things. But I've not been able to stay focused long enough that I know it's gonna stick.

I can help him for a time... but I'll be running the risk of getting too comfortable and once more trading in my own dreams (however vague) for his.

And it pisses me off that I can clearly see how it's all going to work out for him; but I can't begin to get one iota of insight about my own visions. How can I "make it happen"... if I'm not even sure what it is that should be happening?


For months, I've been feeling like there is ONE THOUGHT that I must change, and upon changing it, it will unlock and unblock everything for me. Like if I can just figure out which thought I've been thinking the wrong way, and change it to think the right or better way... trumpets will sound, cheers will go up, the sun will break through the clouds, and doors previously closed to me both in my mind and otherwise will fling themselves open to welcome me.

One thought.

But WHICH thought?



At 9:02 AM, January 14, 2009, Blogger Mallika said...

I couldn't agree more. Often these major hiccups are just the thing to kick start life in the right direction. Happy New Year!

At 1:18 PM, January 14, 2009, Anonymous Carrie K said...

Maybe it's not a thought or clarity of purpose. Maybe it will all only make sense in retrospect. Maybe you should just act.


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