64) Re-entry

This week has flown by; it has been busy, and tumultuous, and exciting in ways I really didn't expect.  The hounds were very happy to see me return from my very-long weekend; Kita was able to finally relax properly, instead of waiting for me on the front door mat:

DSC04082

My weekend away included a phone call, last Friday lunchtime, to offer me a new job.  A new *office* job, in the same field that I'm currently working in, but with more freedom, more responsibility, more creativity.  Fewer contracted hours, but possibly more time actually working – we'll see.

What this means, is, hopefully a more fulfilling day job, but also more focus on my day job.  Did I mention creativity and responsibility?  Whilst working for other people??  Scary.  I don't know whether I'll be able to keep freelancing for pattern writers; I will certainly keep dyeing.  It's also had my brain in a whirl, and this morning, I had the weirdest, almost vision-like epiphany-moment as I was driving to work.  It was so compelling, so worth my continued thought,
that I even turned off my audio book so I could ponder it more directly.  (This is major.)

It is weird, definitely.  And rambly.  And definitely qualifies this post for the 'navel lint' category.  Anyone who comes here for the wool, the garden or the dog photos is perfectly free to click away now.  Anyone who wants a glimpse inside my brain is welcome to keep reading.

So.  I suddenly saw myself as a being who is waking up, such as after a long
hibernation, or perhaps as one emerging from a chrysalis, which also
includes a sense of transformation.  An especially lovely bit of this
was a sense that the extra weight I'm still carrying (not loads, but
some) can be seen as fuel for the rest of the transformation, just like
a seed carries energy with it, or an egg.

The CFS that I've suffered for almost four years now has, in truth,
felt like a hibernation at times; it has slowed me; changed my habits,
my way of being, my thoughts, my metabolism.  I used to be such a
morning person; now, I'm more like an early bee than an early bird. 
You can get me out of bed early, but it takes me ages to get warmed up
and off the ground!

But over time, too, I've cocooned myself in a whole bunch of beliefs
and thoughts, some of which were and probably still are true, others
are self-lies, or self-deception, others pure fantasy.  Somewhere in
there, there's a childish belief that I'm going to somehow be whisked
away to a glamorous existence where work is unnecessary, and that
whatever I do to bring in a paycheck now is temporary.  There are all
kinds of beliefs there; about my 'right' to have as many hobbies as I
like, and an infinite amount of time to pursue them; about my 'duty' to
be the best at (or at least very good at) everything, always (or no-one will love me); and there's
a long, twisting thread of self-doubt, all knotted together with a
rather strange perception of how others see me, and a belittling
approach to my standing in the adult world.  As I write this, I'm
seeing that thread particularly clearly; it is dark brownish-red, and
shiny, and branched, with knotted lumps in it.  It's rather beautiful,
actually; forming a strong, supportive net around and right through my
chrysalis, but also restricting my growth, and threatening to cut into
me like a too-small tie around a tree. It is holding in that collection
of stale, papery beliefs.  And oddly, there is a marked contrast
between the thread and the papers.  The papers seem to represent a high
level of self-belief and arrogance, but in a child's world.  The thread
holds them in, keeping me warm, safe and asleep, and stops me breaking
into confidence in an adult world.  It's almost as if I'm waiting for
someone to hand me a
certificate stating that yes, I am now a grown-up, entitled to my
opinions.

So this thread forms a structure for my chrysalis, my safe place, and now I'm
seeing how restricting my safe place is. Some of those beliefs actually
stop me from achieving happiness: one of them seems to be telling me
that I've 'sold out' if I'm happy in a 9-to-5 job.  Although, you know,
if I look deeper, I think that's really a well-disguised fear.  I'm
scared that I'm not actually any good at that sort of job, and if I try
hard, I'll just get my heart broken.  Wow, that's a strong phrase, eh?

Now that I've found my chrysalis, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to stay here, what do I do next?  No-one is going to hand me that certificate; I need to
go and write it for myself.  No-one opens a chrysalis to let the butterfly out, either, or provides an alarm clock for hibernating bears.  I need to struggle a bit: stick my neck out, take risks,
in order to break free and disassemble this chrysalis.  Some of those papers
are precious, though.  What do I do with them?  Well, maybe I can make
a scrapbook out of those precious pieces.  The rest of them… well, in
real life, I recycle paper I no longer need, and I shred any pieces
with dangerous information on them.  So maybe I need to find an
equivalent way of dealing with these old 'psychological' papers.  As
for that net, well, I did say that it looks strong and supportive.  I
wonder if I can refashion it into something strong and comforting
without being restricting?  A hammock, perhaps?

3 comments


  • Keep a strong eye on where you’ve been, and where you’ve come from. But don’t let it hold you back from where you’re going. It’s easy to get to a comfortable place: but sometimes you’ve got to move past that place in order to avoid getting stuck.
    Have strength, and believe in yourself. You’re a strong, capable person. You will take this opportunity, and it will turn out well.
    (Sorry to sound like a hippy greeting card. I do mean and sincerely believe everything above, it’s just that most of it sounds terribly, terribly cliched. But it’s nonetheless what I do actually think).
    We’re thinking of you.
    Mainly in the “Boy, those buggers aren’t going to know what hit them!” sense, but we’re thinking of you. 😉

    3rd July 2009
  • Ruth

    Congratulations on the job hon!! really pleased for you – I can see why you must feel daunted about the prospect, but I’m sure you will enjoy the challenge as well. I felt like that when I went to be in charge of the Recycling education Team – can I really do this?
    I suppose it’s a bit like – well maybe one day I might be ready for a bigger challenge, but eek!, it’s here now, and I’m not sure I’m ready right now.
    When do you start?

    4th July 2009
  • I hope the new job works out well, remember to take it steady!
    One of my aunts, when getting close to retirement age, memorably said “I still keep wondering what I’m going to do when I’m grown up”!

    6th July 2009

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