Growing Pains {The Adjustment Period}

Hi friends. The lack of posting isn't necessarily for lack of things to say, sometimes I'm not sure where to start. This week was a rough one, it's coming down to the missing feeling of place in this city. It prompts me to recall vividly the growing pains I experienced upon moving to Memphis... This blog has been a weird evolving process, certainly for at least the first year of its inception I wasn't writing anything too personal--whatever that means. (Of course the content is still edited down but it's now become a journaling/documentation of sorts.) A lot of my emotional experience of that time remains undocumented. It was rough, more lonely than this go around, but I do feel parallels to the growing pains and adjustments that come with calling a new locale, "home." I attribute my negativity this week to really disliking the work and office I'm temping in multiplied by the exponent of "x" also known by its scientific classification as represented by the acronym pms... so there's that. In Memphis, I was so lucky to find Project:Motion. It was a space where I could belong and contribute and be challenged and do something utterly selfish, to benefit myself and do it for the good of my soul. My place, for me. I understand to find this takes time, but this week my patience feels tried and tired. Darling on the other hand feels like he finally fits in where he lives, not only does he take less time to adjust to his surroundings, but New York, specifically, seems to be an excellent fit.

I'm also still searching for the driving force of what I'd like to do in that grander, commit-to-something-and-give-it-everything-you've-got kind of way. I need to do some soul searching, and soon. It's difficult to be so unsatisfied professionally and still have no solid dream to replace it. I dream of something finding me, that if I just say "yes" to the things that come my way surely the doors will continue to open and it will lead to something fulfilling, I also have the sneaking suspicion that things don't necessarily happen that way. Actually, my experience since graduating college tells me that those things only happen once you've begun to proactively seek things out, so where does one start? When I dig deep down and talk through it with Darling it keeps looking as though I'm really searching for an occupation that for all intents and purposes doesn't actually exist. How then, can I make something meaningful for myself, or expose myself to something to get invested in? The truth is that I love to work and love to feel invested in what I'm doing. I hate jobs that don't provide enough to do, or work that is understimulating, underwhelming--we've all had that job, where the brain begins to feel affects of atrophy set in. I believe I have never heard it said so articulately or poignantly as Harold Bloom as when he coined this feeling, "the search for difficult pleasure." Satisfying, empowering, fulfilling...

I cannot say (nor am I trying to) that I haven't been having a good time since moving because we've been so fortunate to find a good home and explore and enjoy so much in the short time we've been here. But a lot of light has been shed into "real life" in NYC since getting into working mode. Feeling no ownership, no sense of belonging or community. It's only been a taste of the good and hard things to come, it makes me worry for all the heed of warning I received before moving about the first year in New York as such an ass kicker. I raise this glass of Burgundy next to me to you, fair lady, as I understand it you don't take kindly to the faint of heart, I'm up for a challenge, but I do ask, "please be kind." 

How do you articulate and solidify your dreams? 


Rachel Swan said...

Good question, dolly.

I know what I want to do: write about women.

But in what capacity? How does one just start writing about women? Do I need to finish up the last few semesters of school to do this (This is HUGE one for me. I continually feel inadequate in my writing skills because of my lack of a degree). Is this even a real job?

I don't know. I think it's really common for people our age to be struggling with these same issues. It seems that everyone I bump into these days is really trying to figure out what exactly they want to do and how to go about doing it. I think it mostly has to do with the fact that most people have finished their degrees or training and are anxious but totally unsure how to make the leap from wanting and learning to doing and succeeding.

If you're going to figure it out anywhere, NYC is it, don't you think? There are endless opportunities and interesting people.

Sturdy up your heart. Create work that you love - even if it is something you have to squeeze in on lunch breaks and in the evening. Find something in your community that speaks to you and you will meet your people. Or at least SOME people, which is better than nothing, right?

Love you. XO

Anonymous said...

oh, there are so many times I wonder why I am in the job that I'm in. Its not glamourous, doesn't meet the grand dreams that I set out with, doesn't use my degree... but at the same time I am learning a TON, busy busy busy, and its a great stepping point to where I may have better opportunities.

For me it was OK to drift away from my dreams as long as I have a timeline: ie, I can work at a "job" for 5 years and then if I'm not any closer, then leave and make a change.

Its so difficult being in limbo, and worse being in a work place where you don't feel any added value, bored at work, can't wait until 5pm... just there for the paycheck because we all have expenses to pay.

Hope things start to look up for you! I really think what you touched on regarding community is particularly important. If you have a good group of support around you, a bad job doesn't seem so bad.

aLifeInBloom said...

I am searching for the same thing! I think it's just a matter of introspection and trial and error. I've done a lot of trial and error :) So hopefully I'll come up with a success soon! :)