The Big Dream

So, this is an extension of my last blog that covered work.

Basically, last time, I put the vibe out there that I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the job I have that makes me money. By and large… Yes. That’s a fact.

I do have another job that fulfills me in every way a person could possibly imagine. I wish every day that it could be my paying job.

I am on the board of a non-profit organization called Crossroads Universal. We organize and host two very large community events every year: Cleveland Pagan Pride Days and The Cleveland Witches Ball. There are so many other dreams we have for the organization, but these two events are very solid, though, due to the ‘rona, we had to cancel the Witches Ball and we made CLE PPD a live-stream event.

Every summer, the weekend of PPD, I am with my true tribe, with my people. There is such a spirit of community, togetherness, and pure magic. It makes every ounce of work we put into it so worth it. Just having someone walk up to me and thanking us for all our hard work and sharing about what a wonderful time they’re having… well… it’s a very special time.

Watching children dance along with the drum circles, friends who don’t see one another often hug, laugh, and pose for a selfie together… it’s truly the most wonderful feeling, for me. I know the rest of the board and the planning committee agree with me.

Part of me wonders if I’d still love it the same way if it were my paying job. Part of me says yes because I could move the organization into so many different directions and do so many wonderful things for our community.

No… not part of me. All of me.

Time to figure out making this happen.

For Money

Week 2 of the Daily Om writing course involves work.

For money, I am an insurance follow up representative in the billing department of a very large, world-renowned hospital system. That should make me proud. In actuality, it does not. To be perfectly frank, I have never worked in such a … well … toxic environment, and that really says something.

See, I started this job after the pandemic introduced itself to the world, so I’ve been working from home since day one. I’ve never experienced their “in office” environment, but if it’s anything like the “at home” environment… let’s just say I’m going to have to actively pursue other avenues.

Most of my adult life was spent in the medical billing field. I gained all of my experience from a good company that cared both about their patients and about the people who run their processes and make things happen… you know, the workers. Every day I worked there, I felt valued, appreciated, and like what I had to say mattered. Where I’m at now? I have none of these things. In fact, it’s not a matter of simply not having them. Personally, I’d call it less than zero. In my world, that is a possibility.

Life tends to sling shit around, so, for the sake of practicality and for the sake of my sanity, I had to leave the job. I walked away from a great paycheck, excellent benefits, people I loved being around, and feeling cared about. Sure, I was a cog in the machine, but I was well-oiled and tended to. Any accumulated grease and grime were of my own doing, and they had a lot more to do with me and my own personal issues than they had to do with what I did to make money.

When I left that job, I took some time off to see if I could figure out what I truly wanted to do. I ended up working technical support for a huge company. I spent exactly one year of my life walking retail workers through the process of restarting their cash registers. For a lot of reasons, it simply wasn’t my thing. See… in the medical field, sure I was billing outrageous sums to people who may or may not be able to pay, but in the daily battle with insurance companies and with the “powers that be,” I, more often than not, was left feeling like I was genuinely able to help others, so I decided to go back to that.

Currently, I’m left wondering if that was the grandest idea I’ve ever had. Not because the specifics of the job don’t resonate with me, but because of where I am.

People and their attitudes about other people and life, in general, matter. You’re never going to have a good and easy time in life when you encourage adversarial relationships with people and entities who can make your lives easier or more difficult depending on your approach.

There are a lot of avenues to this “work” topic I’d like to explore, so there will probably be several posts for it. For now, I’m tired of writing and am struggling for words. This is the last day of my long weekend, and I don’t want to spend it bemoaning what I’ve lost and dreading what I get to go back to tomorrow.

Have a great Sunday!

Obstacles

Last week, in an effort to make myself dive into some self-exploration, I bought a writing course from Daily Om. Every week, you get a topic to ponder, explore, and to write about. I’m not sure where this trip will take me or if it will give the kind of discovery and growth I’m hoping for, but, for now, let’s get started.

This week’s topic is “Obstacles.”

I have two massive obstacles in my life, currently. The largest, I’d have to say, is myself.

I tend to get in my own way in numerous ways.

It’s funny, to me, how, before I sat down to write this out, my mind was brimming with ideas, yet, now that I’m here doing the damn thing, I’m at a loss for words. Why does that happen? Is that me, yet again, getting in my own way?

I feel like I compare myself to others too much, and, if it seems I’m doing better, then I must be doing something wrong. For example…

I signed up for an online yoga teacher training course. I was doing all the “technical” learning modules, and, on the online support group, everyone was bemoaning how difficult the anatomy section was. Personally, I didn’t struggle with it. I thought it was easy, and I aced the test the first time I took it.

That caused me to worry, though. Everyone else is struggling with it. Maybe I’m not learning it right. Maybe my study method was wrong. Maybe I only studied in order to pass a test and not to truly learn the content. “Everyone else is having a hard time, that means this shit is difficult, so why aren’t YOU struggling? You know, that means you’re probably just doing it wrong.”

And there’s obstacle number 1. I question myself far too much.

In fact, that may be my biggest obstacle. I can’t think of one thing in my life that wouldn’t be better if I just stopped doing that. But how does one accomplish that? I have all the basics down… we fail so we can learn, there’s no shame in not being the best, if at first you don’t succeed… you know, all that happy horseshit. I wholeheartedly believe them for others. For myself? meh… some days yes, some days no.

I read somewhere that anyone can know all the correct and right things to do, but true growth and wisdom comes in the doing of those things.

What about an asshole like me who knows and only does sporadically?

They say habits form after doing a thing x amount of times.

If that was true, I’d be out exercising, improving my finances, and not getting myself into fucked up relationships instead of doing this.

Yet, after waaaaaay more than the x amount of times doing a damn thing, seeing good results, and feeling successful, I just stop. Yet those bad habits linger. Why does my nature not drop a bad habit the same way it drops a good and productive habit?

Good habits are work and bad habits are not.

Which leads me to potential obstacle number 2. Maybe I’m just lazy.

That’s not a pleasant thought. Especially when I consider the myriad ways I bust my ass. But then I consider the myriad ways I really don’t. It’s a mix, so I’m not quite sure I can slap the label of “lazy” on the situation.

I want to do things. I want to know things. I want to be things. I lack the energy, motivation, and know-how involved in getting started. I was never trained in the process of achievement. Of course, that doesn’t mean I couldn’t train myself, but … again … energy, motivation, know-how.

Fear. Maybe it’s fear. I fear failure. I fear success. I fear losing. I fear winning. I fear not winning (I see a difference between “losing” and “not winning”). I fear mediocrity. Maybe, one day, I’ll get to the point where being “nothing” is no longer satisfying. For now, I mostly sit on the sidelines and watch life go on around me. I wonder if I’ll ever go on ahead and dive into the pool of life and swim.

This writing exercise has taught me that, for all the ways I know myself very well, I really don’t know myself all that well. It’s time to dive in and know more. The knowledge I do have is impressive. Most never achieve that kind of self knowledge, and that’s kind of a bummer, but the focus of these exercises is me, so no worrying over what everyone else has and does. I have a wealth of wisdom under my belt. It’s time to apply it.