Sunday, June 3, 2012

Next steps?

I have been thinking about myself. How do I want to be spending my time? What things are valuable to me, and what traits do I want to nurture, and which do I feel need improving? I do not feel adequately challenged or stimulated by my job. I felt that I was hired on (in fact, offered the position) because the team saw the potential in me to make serious headway and do real work. And yet, my days consist of nothing but tasking. And perhaps that is my challenge now - to not only deal with the mundane tasks that organizations expect of you, but to excel in them as well. But it's so hard to be motivated by such boring and menial work. Perhaps I should accept the break from challenging work, and focus my mental process more internally while I have the opportunity to. Although, I've always been able to do both in the past.

I used to value my intellect. My ability to learn quickly, make connections, process information and develop conclusions. In my business courses, I loved doing strategic planning - projects that required research, team work, analysis, processing. I miss thinking. I miss learning. I miss growing. I miss having the confidence to do what is asked of me.

I used to have such confidence in my brain and my skills. I know that I have the ability to learn much faster than many people, and the curiosity to seek out new information and to continue to learn. I also have the capacity to be creative, not necessarily in an artistic way, but in such a way that, when paired with my intellect, can lead to great ideas. And all of this is buffered by the fact that I try to think and behave very ethically. I think I can do great things. I used to know I could. But I've lost my motivation. It's hard to think about making positive changes to the world when it's a struggle to get out of bed in the morning, or get off the couch after work. When I spend 8 hours a day doing nothing but menial tasks, and then come home to an empty house, there is nothing to empower me to achieve more.

Given my poor performance at the beginning of my college career, I've always been a bit worried about my intrinsic motivation. Can I do anything I put my mind to? Sure. Can I do it with out an external motivator? I'm not sure. Simon and I struggled with this together - he with flexing his creative muscles, and I with expanding my overall knowledge. We tried to help motivate each other to spend the time needed to complete the things we value, and sometimes it worked. But sometimes we just sat on the couch and watched movies and played on facebook. Not good things. It pains me to think that I wasn't successful in motivating Simon to be more creative and spend more time making and playing music. That in his final days (unbeknownst to us), he wasn't dedicating his time to his passions. Although, he was spending time with me, and I with him, and that's pretty much as good as it gets. But still - would he have felt more fulfilled if he had spent more time creating? Perhaps.

And so now, how do I proceed? How do I begin to shake everything out and rediscover the things that I value? How do I build the confidence in myself that I am capable of more?  Am I actually capable of achieving greatness alone? Do I have the capacity to grow and motivate myself, and to continue to seek knowledge and be passionate about making a difference in the world?

I've been starting this whole new journey of the new life I have by trying to take care of myself. Eating well, exercising, making active choices to do things that make me happy instead of sitting at home, which usually leads me into an anxiety pit. And I've been doing ok with that, not counting my stupid pain issues (which seem to be going away ever-so-slowly, but going away none the less). But is that enough for me? As it turns out, no. There is obviously a HUGE hole in my life with Simon gone, and that will never change. I have to build a bigger life around it. But eating well, doing yoga, and hanging with friends is not enough. It's not enough to make me feel like I'm striving for the potential that I once knew I had. So. How do I get that back?

I've begun by doing some value work. Last week, I sat down and wrote out things that are important to me. I didn't make any plans, or next actions, or prioritize any of the things on my list, but just wrote them down. It was good to see them all there, like a shadow of a skeleton. A glimpse back to the person I used to want to become. I owe it to myself, but more importantly I owe it to Simon, to find that ideal self again and work like hell to achieve it. Just getting by isn't enough. In writing this, I feel a little stronger. I feel like I've taken a step. I want to be the best person I can be to honor Simon and to be someone he would be proud of. I guess I've taken the first step in this direction just by thinking about it. But what's the next step? And, once I've made a plan, or at least a "next action", how do I keep myself on track, and be accountable to myself?

I want to do more. I want to be more. I don't know where to start.

(This following section was originally at the beginning of my post, but because I am indeed so embarrassed, I've chosen to stick it at the end in the hopes at 1. no one reads this blog anyways and 2. if anyone does read this post, they will be so nauseated by the post above that they will never make it this far. I've chosen to post it anyways though, because it's real and honest and as embarrassed as I am, I really seek comfort. So, there.)

Over the past few weeks, I've felt some changes happening in me. I've been dealing with this continuing pain, which while it appears to be slowly going away, has been affecting me in a serious way. I'm embarrassed and ashamed about it for no legitimate reason, fearful that I will never be right again, that I will always have embarrassing pain and that intimacy will never again be as enjoyable as I know it can be. I worry that I will always be distracted by pain and discomfort, and that my relationships and job performance will suffer for it. I fear living for years, decades, with chronic physical discomfort that I cannot speak freely about. There's nothing wrong with me. There shouldn't be. I should be healthy. And yet, still it hurts. The only time I feel anywhere close to normal is when I have hope that it will go away for good, but that doesn't happen often. I should not be so consumed with this fear and anxiety, which is worse than the discomfort itself. And now I have the additional fear that I am going to be poisoned by Tea Tree Oil, which apparently can seriously fuck you up. I'm also concerned that the birth control I started in order to have enjoyable sex is negatively affecting my sex drive, which is so, so stupid. But it may just be that my body is acclimating to the pain it's been experiencing, and protecting itself by not getting aroused as easily. I suppose I don't have to worry about that for too much longer, as my FWB will be gone in a few months. I hope that the issues I have will continue to improve, and that I can get all of the enjoyment I can out of my current situation. 


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