It’s been several years since I’ve used my birthday or year end as a touchstone for my life...
Well, it hasn’t been a good year, nor even what I would call a “rebuilding” year. Let’s call it... chaotic.
I’ll start with the elephant in the room: on a sunny day in June, that proved to be both the best... and worst... day of my life, I lost my job. It was the best day, in that I escaped from a truly awful job and a truly awful boss. I was so relieved that I practically floated out of that building.
It was the worst, in that I have not yet found a new job. Resumés are landing interviews, interviews are landing callbacks, yet so far, I’ve not yet closed the deal. Some of the near misses have been disappointing, but I’m trying to maintain my confidence and keep my chin up. Many days, it truly feels like one step up, two steps back.
I’ve been able to sustain myself from a combination of hedged vacation time, savings, freelance projects, unemployment benefits and the kindness of friends and family... the latter of which I’m incredibly grateful for.
It’s been a great year to find out who really has my back... as well as who doesn’t.
I’ve begun to write again... not that this blog is any indication. I’m writing in a journal that I carry with me. I’m torn, because it feels like the writing belongs in this space, yet not all of it is something I feel like sharing. However, it is refreshing to be able to get thoughts onto the page again. Who knows where that’ll lead?
The writing spawned from a no distraction diet I did in September. That was an interesting experience. The “mild” version of the diet is quite simply: no women. Translated, that equals, no hitting on women, flirting with women, dating women, trying to get their attention, etc. Not surprisingly, as one who trends towards “non-social,” that wasn’t difficult at all. In a small way it was like returning to my former self.
There is also a “spicy” version, which you tailor to yourself to maximize the experience. The idea is to become comfortable with being with yourself again... and even to love yourself. When you love yourself and your life, you attract others who are drawn to your contentment and inner peace.
But that’s not the reason to do it. If you do it for that reason, you’re missing the point of the exercise.
It’s kind of like this: I love the movie Dead Poets Society, therefore I’ve seen the movie so many times that I don’t necessarily live by the message in the movie. My diems aren’t carped.
The spicy version of the diet suggests one cut out the following: alcohol, sugar, caffeine, drugs, television, music (yes, music), casual internet surfing, social media,... essentially anything that could be considered a distraction.
Anything that fills the hole you experience by not interacting with women.
It’s pretty powerful stuff.
And a terrific exercise to become present, to live in the now... which is its own reward.
Then, of course, there’s the Facebook. The social network everyone loves to hate. This year, I was super tempted to take a break again... my 200 days of no Facebook... but I didn’t. Some days, I regret that decision because of all the butthurt I see daily, because, you know, words. Yet, other days, I don’t. I’ve reconnected with some friends I’d lost touch with during the hustle and bustle of my work life. I’ve also picked up a few great job leads. I now believe that the dream job not only exists, but is attainable. Which is nice.
Also, during this period of soul-searching, I know now that I was burned out. I still have some trauma related to my job, but I should have had the confidence and motivation to get out and rejuvenate when I sensed I was starting to burn out.
It would have made the recovery process much easier. Yet, I know now it is possible to recover from burnout.
So, looking into this new year, I can honestly say I have no idea what’s ahead. Life is still pretty chaotic, and I have to depend on change... simply because I will not survive the way life is going right now.
It makes no sense to make plans for the new year... aside from ensuring an income again. Yes, it would be nice to get a new car, to spend a few weeks in Europe, and to take that photography intensive I’ve been looking at for a while now, but I need to find the capital. Whether I do something entrepreneurial or go back to answering to “the man,” something’s gotta happen.
Exciting? Yes! Scary? Kind of. Let’s do this. It’s going to be a great year!
What i'm listening to: