There is no escaping yourself

What is the one thing that stops you from going after your dreams? Your full time job? Money? Fears? Time? Someone in your life? Responsibilities?

If you were to ask me that two months ago, I would probably have said some combination of Fear and Laziness (very intellectual & honest being that I am)….but to be gut-level honest about it, secretly, when no one else could contradict me, I would think that if I just had some time off from work, paid….some space to clear my head and (you guessed it), GET ORGANIZED…..then I would go after my dream occupation, I would finally become self-actualized.

WELLLLLL, so I was laid off in the beginning of April with a severance that would last me well into June (2.5 mths paid) plus a cover-my-expenses Employment Insurance that would kick in for another year. Voila!! Suddenly, I was in my dream situation…..and yet, somehow it wasn’t quite that.

1. TRAUMA – There was the trauma of actually leaving a job I had for over 7 years. Even though I had been wanting to leave for over 4 years, it was still quite a shocker for me and it was emotional.

2. ESCAPE – All my dream escape scenarios were curtailed by two things….1. I had travelled before without loved ones for extended periods and I realized that family/friends were much too valuable and important to me….I did not want to stay extended periods away from them. 2. I realized the dream scenarios were more right now about ESCAPE from the problems that I did not want to acknowledge or deal with. What I most wanted to do was heal and fix these issues….not just temporarily escape them. So I stayed….not that I don’t want to one day spend a month at Madonna House (catholic lay community which accepts working guests) or spend a year teaching English in Korea. I want to do both desperately – but I want to do them with my whole heart; with a resounding “YES” as opposed to a ‘tuck-my-head and run into the corner ashamed’ or ‘irresposibly giggling while shrugging adulthood’ kind of way. Not out of fear or wanting to postpone the inevitable character confrontation that needed to take place….but having beaten the demons (with Jesus’ strength) and with their tails in my hand, I wanted to make a triumphant exit from the city scene…

3. THE PROBLEM …the most difficult thing to acknowledge: I was still me. Adorable, irreverant, SQUIGGLY ME! There were no hard edges to me, no discipline and there still wasn’t. Passion gets you no where without discipline to shape it. In the seven weeks I was off (I have been at a new job for a few months just because the time off was detrimental to my situation), all I did was gain extra weight (MORRIS, you rascal!) and watch soccer. All my dreams of information interviewing for my dream job, pursuing my passion for counselling and writing….and spending lots of time with God….only got limited air time. It was a hard knock of reality to realize your situation changing does not change you. If I could not use my spare time before to hone my passions and do a little each week to further my skills and get that dream job, guess what? Because I had a whole lot of extra time, I did not suddenly find more motivation or discipline for it. That bears repeating (only if it is just for me ;): Changing your situation does not change you. A coat of exterior white paint conceals the foundational cracks for so long and does nothing to stop the cracking/rotting.

So right now I’m working on the major reno…gutting the place if you will. And it does not look pretty…..and it takes a lot longer….and is SO much more WORK.

…but I’m positive it is worth it.


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