I’ll be the first to admit I don’t use social media to its fullest potential. I have stacks of books to read and usually only use a computer for work. Sometimes, I wonder if social media isn’t a waste of time but then I connect with someone, see something that makes me laugh, or read something that makes me think and I see social media’s value. The image at the top of this post was one that rocked me back on my metaphorical heels.
I don’t remember a time when I ever had a wide-eyed, innocent moment. My childhood wasn’t conducive to wide-eyed innocent moments, a fact I’m much to old to worry about now. Besides, like the apostle; I forget what lies behind and press on toward the goal…
…of what? I read this quote and was trying to remember any wide-eyed innocent moments from my past and I realized what I was really asking myself was, when was the last time I felt like myself? I’m working as a bookkeeper for a nonprofit that does good work: why am I so tired, stressed out, and sad all the time? The work is stressful, sure and I have a lot of responsibility, but it’s good work that’s making a positive impact on the community. Why aren’t I fulfilled? Why do I feel like I’ve lost myself?
Because, this job swallows up my entire life. Earlier in November, I worked close to a 13 hour day. Does that happen all the time? No, but do I find I have to give more and more of myself to the demands of the job? Yes. And, that leaves little time for writing.
I realized those were the times I feel the most like myself. I feel connected to those things that make me me during those brief moments when I had enough energy after making it through a day of work to write something, anything. The second half of the quote is what really struck me. If I’m feeling disconnected and, yes, depressed, what has changed? What shouldn’t have? The answer I came up with? Some time during the last year, I allowed the demands of the job to be my priority and let writing be the thing I did with whatever energy I had left over.
This quote made me feel like I’ve reached a crossroads. My job isn’t bad. I have great friends I work with, I feel like a part of something every time an adoption of a child in foster care is completed, and I like the logic of bookkeeping; but a voice deep down tells me it isn’t enough. I may be doing good work but it isn’t what my heart longs to do. I have to make a change or something precious inside will die.
I quit my job. It was an extremely difficult decision, especially as I don’t have another and every responsible bone in my body takes issue with leaving a regular salary for the unknown. And yet…I’m beginning to feel like myself. The outer me feels less like a shell going through the motions of being a responsible adult and is steadily reconnecting with something vibrant on the inside I fear I almost lost.
I am writing.
Who knows what will come of it. There’s another voice that says no one will be interested in the stories I have to tell. Maybe not but I don’t regret my decision one iota. Sure, I’ll have to get a job eventually: my savings won’t hold out forever. But, I know for certain my next job will support my writing rather than keep me from it. I won’t make the same mistake again.
My thanks to Jonathan Scott and #MondayMotivation. Who knew social media would provide the impetus for me getting my passions back on track? I never would have believed it but they are, and I am, and myself and I are getting reacquainted.