Thursday, August 22, 2019

"Texting through sweaty and tired eyes"

I sit here listening to the sounds of the street outside, and take a glance at my new succulents. I know they say succulents are easy, but I've unfortunately killed 3 of them already. Please don't judge me. Or do, because I probably shouldn't be a plant owner. Hoping that the 4th time is a charm!

I'm reflecting on tidying. I've recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and I liked it! I wasn't ready to read it when the rest of the world read it, but then I quit my job and had to stare at my messy apartment day after day. I got tired of stuff piling up and decided enough was enough when I came across it at the library.

(I probably shouldn't mention that I did not start reading it until we were driving back to the library to turn it back in. In a dramatic moment, I decided to keep it and continue to read it. It is currently overdue...sorry library.)

I started with clothes as directed, and prepared to tackle bags and bags of clothes that I also had stored away in my closet to donate "later". I threw them all in a towering pile, decided what sparked joy (or something similar), and thanked the ones that served me well. 15 bags of donations later (?!), I feel lighter.

My real goal for tidying was mental clarity. I was hoping to have a "eureka!" moment as that last bag hit the donation bin; as if magically I would feel comfortable about my life and confident in my next steps. But, unfortunately it didn't work like that. Although I've definitely felt a difference and will likely continue to as I clean out things that are no longer needed, I've still been in a bit of a haze. Since leaving work in March, I've felt empowered and relieved. But also, lost. My work identity was solid, whereas my identity outside of work was not so solid.

My work identity was confident. Assertive. Whenever I saw a need, I addressed it quickly and efficiently. I've always done well at my jobs and I've almost always gotten what I needed from people just by figuring out the necessary way to ask for it. There were roles, rules, and structure, and tangible ways to get from A to B. I liked that and thrived in that.

I happily let my identity outside of work be engulfed by others whenever possible, and usually those that were in close proximity. I'm thankful to be dating someone who doesn't let me be engulfed, but it's also forced me to really figure out myself apart from everyone else. I'm still working that out, but it's feeling more solid day by day. I'll probably have further learnings to share at a later point.

So, there's not really a conclusion to this post. I haven't reached a point of stability or clarity, but I have new succulents and clean closets and room to breathe and figure it out. I have people who love me and encourage my growth and my new career path. I have coffee with vanilla and oat milk. I learn new things from both my physical therapist and my emotional therapist. It's not 100 degrees out right now. Gratitude is a wonderful thing.

Thanks for reading, friends.

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