I’m of the opinion that when insomnia strikes, the best remedy is to get yourself out of bed and go write it all down.
Because, let’s face it, what’s really happening is the minutes keep ticking away and you keep lying there… thinking thoughts. Thoughts that never end, thoughts that snowball into other thoughts, thoughts so tangled and heavy that your chances of hacking through them all whilst just sit there in the dark are slim.
So you throw off the covers. You tuck your unabashedly snoozing fiance (I’ve finally learned to use this word without cringing) snugly in, and you retreat to your office and just start getting it. all. down.
I work a lot. I work at things that pay (waiting tables), things that sometimes pay (teaching yoga, photography), and things that definitely do not pay (constantly cleaning up the resume/LinkedIn page, hunting down and applying for jobs, updating my photography portfolio, writing a blog for the sake of reminding myself, and anyone else who might be curious, that I can write). It’s true; when I’m not working, I’m looking for work.
This is not to say I don’t make time for play. I get to the beach from time to time. I know how to find a great patio and enjoy a sundowner and a good meal every now and then. I take a yoga class here and there.
Today’s yoga class theme: Optimism.
Interesting that should come up today of all days, because our entire household is lacking in the hope and positivity category today. This is not normal. We are not handling it well.
I feel that I must be speaking for a good percentage if my generation when I say things are not at all what we’d though they’d be. We majored wrong. We loved the wrong things. We were told to follow our dreams and our passions, and, for those whose dreams and passions included engineering, computer science, and dermatology, things probably worked out all right.
For those of us who wrote plays and songs and made home videos, who choreographed modern dance theater in our bedrooms, who held fashion shoots in our back yards and, you know, majored in journalism… well, it’s been a little trickier. And maybe we didn’t move to New York or L.A. Maybe we followed our boyfriends to their grad programs in sleepy, little beach towns.
I actually don’t know what happened. I’m not really sure how I’ve never “made it work.” Granted, it’s working in the sense that this girl knows how to do what she has to do to stay afloat and make ends meet. But that’s ridiculous. I know precisely what I’m capable of, and there’s just no way in hell I’m supposed to be waiting tables at 31, still trying to figure it all out, as they say.
So what did happen? Did I miss the boat when I decided to run off to Austin after college graduation to explore a career in music? Was that when I missed the internship that would have plopped me down on a rung of some sweet career ladder? Is it my geographic location? My resume’s got too many holes? My bachelor’s degree is worthless? Do all of these things combine into a frothy stew of professional poison?
And really, at this point, what does it matter? All we can do is keep moving forward. And these moments of self-pity and gloom and doom, when I become the Eeyore of my own professional outlook, are just little warning flags going up, telling me I’ve spent too much energy on the trying, trying, trying. When everything is coming to an ugly head and the only answer seems to be, “TRY HARDER! DO MORE!” — it’s time to rest. That’s right – go against everything your mind and body are telling you, because your soul needs a break. The universe, in fact, may need a break from your crazy trying.
Maybe this is the time to let all that effort simmer. To be patient, to be kind to yourself. To recuperate. To lie in wait.
I have every faith that you’ll know precisely when it’s time to power back up.
Now. Go to bed.