I have a big beautiful long-haired black cat named Kramer. I love him to pieces even though he is shedding all over the house. I feel as though I am always cleaning up after the poor little guy. I suppose it’s all part of taking care of another creature and I ought to shut my mouth about it.
A few days ago, I took on the seemingly simple task of vacuuming my bedroom – one of his favourite rooms to roll around in. After what felt like ten minutes of going over the same spot, sweat beading on my forehead, that one big chunk of fur hadn’t moved. I made sure there was nothing caught in the beater bar, I made sure the vacuum had been emptied, and yet it was still not picking up the fur. Frustrated, I turned to the side to try moving on to another spot; and of course, the original piece was sucked up easily as I quickly passed over it. I felt completely ridiculous. Here I had been wasting my time going over and over the same spot in the same way, when all I needed to do was try it once from a different angle.
Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. While I think it’s great to do things with ferocious persistence, we must be able to recognize when something isn’t working.
I had previously spoken about the day job that I had acquired. Despite it causing me stress and anxiety and putting me in a foul mood, I had decided to keep at it in the hopes that I would eventually get used to it. Sadly, it only got more difficult for me and I ended up quitting. At first I was so disappointed in myself. I worried that I was starting over again from square one and I would never get up the gumption to go out and get another job.
But maybe I was just trying things from the wrong angle. In retrospect, it seems silly for me to have jumped head first into a full time position that took me away from working on my online course, spending time with my family, and writing. All of the things that make me happy and keep my head on straight had been put aside for this job that I did not care for. I can hardly be surprised that things didn’t work out.
So I am not starting back at square one after all. Instead I am learning more about myself and I am getting back up when something brings me down. I am currently applying for part time work that I can see myself enjoying. And, as an added move in the right direction, I am doing so in person. Where I was once crippled with anxiety at the idea of being rejected by people, I am now embracing this fear as a necessary next step.
Just on a side note, if you get a chance to read Portia De Rossi’s book, Unbearable Lightness, I highly recommend it. She speaks very candidly about her struggle with eating disorders and with coming out of the closet. At one point in her life, she considered Ellen the “worst case scenario” in the context that at least she wasn’t dating the most famous lesbian in the world. She saw what happened to Ellen when she came out and feared the same would happen to her.
At the end of the book – and this was my favourite conclusion that she came to – she concludes that everybody should try their own “worst case scenario”. Find the one thing that you are most afraid of and just do it. Who knows how it will turn out? It worked out well for her; she says that she is now happier than she has ever been. And isn’t that the goal no matter how we get there; we’re all just searching for that unbridled happiness. Well I say, I am ready for it. 🙂