Tracey Emin, Those Who suffer LOVE
Easy Tiger by Work by Land, the design studio of Caleb Owen Everitt and Ryan Rhodes.
Tiny Story by JenniferChittenden
Her universe was much too terrifying,
So she went out to pick a new one.
New Orleans is my favorite city in the world. and I got offered a job there. That I turned down. The fact that I was in a situation where turning down a job (a job that 2 years ago, hell, 6 months ago, I would have fallen all over myself for) was even an option is astonishing to me. I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around it, for a few reasons. one, because I’ve always said that if there were some way for me to make a living in new orleans, I’d move there instantly. but that’s not true. so much of what I love about new orleans comes from not living there, from loving it from afar. and I’m pretty sure that if I up and moved there, it would KILL all the stuff that I love, because I’d be in a city where I knew absolutely no one, at a job that, actually, would not have been perfect. It WOULD have been perfect 2 years ago or 6 months ago, but I have learned a lesson that only time and experience can teach: one should never make life changing decisions in times of heightened emotion, when things are very, very bad or very, very good. It’s such a grown up way to think about things, and it makes me a little sad that I am not the kind of person anymore who blindly does something just because it fixes something that’s going on RIGHT NOW or because I have a daydreamy ideal of what it would be like. Decisions that are not based on what might be, or what could, conceivably be, but are based on what reality IS. It’s meloncholy, and I’m not at the point yet where I can say that it’s better this way, this less exciting and more practical decision process.
Number two, I am kind of shocked that I know as much as I know about the job I do, that I am not at an entry level point…I’m actually now 2 or 3 steps removed from the jobs where you answer phones and file and learn as much as you possibly can by listening while making copies and scheduling conference rooms and arranging for catering for breakfast, lunch, and snack. I am now IN some of the meetings where that food is served, and I have a role, sometimes a big one. Having this knowledge made me see that the NOLA job actually wouldn’t be right anymore. The job I took instead has given me a nervous sour pit in my stomach, but it’s because of challenge, not because it’s the wrong fit. It was really disappointing and hard, actually, to sit in the NOLA airport after a marathon, day-long interview where I had to give a presentation to the President of the company, and the Chief Creative Officer (both of whom I REALLY liked…another facet of why I’m sad that it wasn’t right) and realize that I couldn’t take the job, even if they offered it to me.
Everything is a learning experience, EVERYTHING.
Yes we can.
It’s so bad.
I feel bad saying IT’S SO BAD but that’s just how I feel. It feels all encompassing—that I am not going to be able to do it. Do what, though? That’s just it…when it comes down to boiling down what, exactly, scares me so much, I come up empty. But that doesn’t fill me with comfort—it just makes me feel more gray and lost and bad.
I’m moving to Atlanta next week. I’m in this weird limbo where I’m excited, I guess, but not really yet. It’s all very overwhelming, and I’m in analysis paralysis mode, where I am just feeling like I want to sleep and cry all the time, and am not packing or cleaning or anything that I really need to be doing. I’m trying to have compassion, because these feelings come from lots of learned behavior, lots of having to do things on my own and not asking for help, but I don’t. I am mad at myself for feeling bad, and for not being able to SNAP OUT OF IT. To have genuine gratitude for the position I am in, the position that so many others would be and are jealous of. Because I am so scared. I am going up there and I have never been there before, save for 3 times for work (one of which was one of the worst trips on record, ever), one time for the interview, and one time for a funeral. I know people but I don’t trust people yet. And I know that everyone says that I just have to be outside my comfort zone and ask for help, but that’s HARD. I don’t trust that people want to help, because they haven’t always in the past. And I’m also scared that I can’t spend time with people, that I don’t have anything to say. That I’ll be uncomfortable and they’ll be uncomfortable and I’ll be trying so so hard to say things that are interesting, that will make them want to stay, but I won’t and there will be this emptiness and when I call again they won’t pick up or they’ll always be busy. This is my acute fear, that this will be my life for the rest of my life. Because it feels like it will be. There are so few people that I am, and have ever been comfortable with, and it makes me sad and MAD, and isn’t an excuse to curl up and disengage.
People make it seem like living outside your comfort zone is something that’s easy. But it’s TERRIFYING. And I don’t want to do it, but I have to, and it feels huge and hopeless. And they get mad and they don’t understand the paralyzing fear, and questioning and discomfort, because going outside of my comfort zone has paid off far fewer times than it hasn’t.
And I am so afraid that I’m just going to faceplant at this job. That I’m going to be terrible and no one is going to like me and I’m going to have no ideas.
I am so lonely. But it’s a catch-22—I am horrible at meeting new people, and people don’t like me in the way that I SO want to be liked, and I end up closing people out and spending a lot of time by myself.
Maybe there will be more people in Atlanta. That’s silly…of COURSE there will be more people in Atlanta. But maybe there will be more people who will be easier to connect with. Maybe I will figure out ways to feel more confident, feel more like I own some of the things about me that are really great, will start to TRULY feel that those things are great and are things to love and be proud of. Things that maybe, one day, someone else will also love and be proud of.