Friday, March 28, 2008

Smothered in comfort

Hi. Here I am!

Unlike my recent post about being one's own best friend, my lack of updates lately can't be attributed to any magnitude of self-loathing. Rather, I've been plagued by a bout of indifference lately. I'd start a blog post or six and write a portion of it. Before I could finish, apathy would overtake me.

That's strange behavior for me for several reasons. One, I really like writing this blog. Two, I have an opinion on pretty much everything. Even if I lack interest in something, I have an opinion as to why I don't care. Three, I know for sure that I'm not depressed, because I know what being depressed feels like. And I'm not in denial about being depressed, either, because (believe me) I considered that. In many other aspects of my life, I'm genuinely happy.

My case of the "I don't knows" and the "whatevers" seemed to start several weeks ago when my ADD coach and I started talking about a career change for me. She has posed a number of questions to think about concerning career stuff, and oftentimes I replied with "I have no idea" or something to that effect. Seeking for a new opportunity is kind of a big deal. I've been at my job for several years, and to a large degree, I enjoy what I do. But life at the employer's much less than ideal. I've done what I've been able to try to improve my situation, but On most mornings, I debate calling in sick but decide not to because I'll have to have to return to the office the following day anyway.

Given that I know what I like to do professionally and my current situation stinks like discount sushi, you'd think that I'd be papering the city with my resume. Instead, I've been doing little thinking about getting a new job, much less applying for a new one.

My indifference nagged at me for weeks, and I decided to investigate its source by journaling about it. But Little Miss Motivated put off writing all week. On Saturday, I tucked my journal into my purse as I headed out on errands, and insisted to myself that I sit down and write while I was out. After grabbing some lunch, I pulled out the journal and bargained with myself that I could put away the journal after I wrote for 15 minutes.

Instead, I wrote for 40 minutes and filled seven pages. I started off with the question of why I've been so indecisive about all things career. But amazingly, my writing veered into a direction I never imagined. I ended up writing about a relationship I had that didn't work for me, which I tolerated for a number of years. Just like the job, I would try to improve things, but my needs felt on deaf ears. Ultimately, sticking up for myself resulted in the end of the relationship. And you know what? The end of that relationship was probably the one of the best things that could have happened for me.

I never realized how much my job was akin to that relationship. In both cases, things weren't terrible. But they weren't great, either. And over time, after trying to do what I could to remedy each situation, I just got used to the way things were. Even though the job and the relationship aren't/weren't doing much for me, I got comfortable with them.

And therein lies the problem. For me, getting too comfortable is the eighth deadly sin. I possess a healthy competitive streak, and if I'm not constantly learning something or achieving something on any scale, I get dormant. And blah. And...yes, indifferent. The achieving part of my job left the building quite a while ago. But why have I stayed? Well, there's the paycheck. And the work's pretty interesting for the most part. I'm also pretty good at what I do, so for me it's a secure and comfortable situation.

But there's also a wee part of me, despite the competitive streak, that typically feels that I can't do better than the current situation that I'm in. That this job is as good as it gets. I know that I get this feeling when I know it's time to make a necessary change. Indeed, that's how I felt about the relationship that's no longer. And that's probably why, in my journal, I described being so comfortable as "a very deadly illness". A page later, I knew I'd finished sorting things out in my head when a powerful sentence spilled onto the page:

"Always remember that doing the thing or making the choice that is outside of the comfortable is going to be what brings you closer to being the ultimate, wonderful person who you know that you are."

To be honest, typing an entire line from my journal into this post felt risky and revealing because I know that people other than me would be reading it. But I know that every time I push myself to take a risk, the rewards pay off nicely. And now, I think I'm ready to take more leaps.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your insight. I really enjoy reading your blog. I'm currently a stay at home mom with three school age kids (and a black lab puppy). We have moved 4 times in 7 years because of my husband's work. With the help of a great therapist, I'm realizing how I've let myself become "voiceless" over the years, and have "gone along to get along", suppressing my own wants and needs in the process. Don't know what the future holds for me and my family, but I truly feel like I am "coming out of the dark." Thanks for letting me vent.

ADD Libber said...

You're welcome, anonymous. And thank you for reading! Feel free to vent away as you'd like :-)

I give you a lot of credit for starting therapy and "coming out of the dark". Managing your family and all of those moves is a tall order. Heck, I don't own plants because they'd die from neglect. The fact that you are now making room in your life for getting your "voice" back is fantastic. I'm proud of you!