Must do - Analyze the thoughts that automatically run through your mind when you sit in silence.
Why - You will find out if you are making progress with thinking more positively. You will also have a chance to correct the negative thoughts that stem from your silence as well. Allow yourself to see how often you are leaning towards being good to yourself versus not. 50/50, 70/30 what is the ratio of negative/positive thinking when no one else is around.
During the journey, I found myself spiraling out of control. Looking for a job and completing a resume’ caused me to question everyone and everything that I was unsure of at that moment. I had been working as a teacher for 15 years and found myself even more unsettled than ever. I could not get a sound footing with the career. Each year I would find myself at a new school, environments that I enjoyed for certain aspects but many more than I didn’t like. With each new school, the ratio fluctuated until the last. I began at an 80/20 ratio, with the positive outweighing the negative. By the end of my teaching career, a 10/90 ratio with the negative leading the charge. Every year I had to look for another school district, the process became harder to fake. Until the pandemic, I had never dared to say that I would instead do anything other than teaching.
Teaching was a second career. I can honestly say that it was not by choice that I entered teaching. It came from necessity. The necessity was rewarding at first. Outweighed anything I did previously to make money. I used the last of my resources to put myself through graduate school. I studied hard and graduated with honors. After I passed the exams, I thought that my financial security was sowed. I enjoy the students and breaking down information, but I had no stomach for its politics. I reap a crop that I never really wanted to sow and found myself struggling to justify my day-to-day with my spirit. It was calling for something different. I had sacrificed so much to get here; it felt like a smack in my face to give up. So I didn’t, and I should not have been so careless with myself.
So what do I do?
At first, I tried to find jobs back in my original position of being an Administrative Assistant. I knew that I still had those skills and didn’t have a huge learning curve if I returned. I would be only to return to assisting others in meeting an end. But why? I had no interest in being an Administrative Assistant either, but it is better to work than not to have a job at all. Right? Not because I couldn’t get my foot back in the door. A door I had been out of so long that it was hard to get my foot back into. I tried to get a job through a hook-up, but the hoop-jumping made me feel inadequate. I was not much for the circus play. If I took a Walmart job, I would have to work my ass off to be below the poverty line with a master’s degree. I was only sure of one thing, and I couldn’t return to the anger that I was trying so hard to purge from my life.
What I Realized
I needed to be me. It was no longer an option to choose from a list of masks and characters anymore. I had been everyone for everybody and found that I was no one to me. Forget what I thought about making a living for myself. I had tried that for two decades and still found myself unemployed and unsure about my future. All the rules that I allowed others to create for myself did not resonate in a way that permitted success in my life. I became angry and bitter, not because the world couldn’t see me, but because I could no longer see myself.
What I Did Next
I took a leap of faith. I decided that I would believe in myself, my talents, and God would have my back as long as I was on the right track and being true to myself. First, I picked up a pen. Poetry had returned. I searched through my writings from the past and inspired myself. Then my 15-day quarantine challenge, which caused me to journal about my journey towards forever happiness. The challenge was posted on FB, and the feedback was positive. People were asking me if I ever thought of blogging. No, I hadn’t. My journal became a personal blog, which became public through building my very own website. The website inspired me to finish many of my written works and then look into ways to self-publish. I am still in the middle of this journey. Every day I try and do something that builds my brand. I have even taken a few ghostwriting jobs. The learning curve has been enjoyable. Yet, I can’t call it a career until it begins to sustain itself. I am optimistic, though, that my hard work will pay off. And on the off chance that it doesn’t, I can always try something else. What about you?