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25 February 2010 @ 12:04 pm
A month later, I can say with certainty something that I suspected would be true: getting fired was the best thing that could have possibly happened to me.

I have lost count of the number of people who have told me how much happier I seem. It's because I am happier, so much happier than I thought I would be. Every day that passes, I realize just what kind of insane damage that job was doing to me. It made me feel so incompetent, so incapable, that I began to despair about ever being able to do anything else, which convinced me that my only option was to try to make that job work, which was never, ever going to happen.

So I have work to do, now. I have to repair what that job broke, take some time to regain some perspective, find my confidence, and figure out where to go from here.

A couple of things I think will help: I've signed up for Mondo Beyondo, and online class about turning your dreams into reality. Eliza recommended this series and I really think I am going to get good things out of it. I have myriad pie-in-the-sky fantasies about an ideal life -- magical thinking, as I learned from my therapist -- and even though these fantasies in their entirety can't be reality, I think there are elements of them that I can bring down to earth and incorporate into the path I want to take.

I'm also going to investigate professional career counseling. I have always been pretty skeptical about this, frankly -- in my head, it's just someone who gives you a 20-minute bubble test and then tells you you are well-suited to being a Funeral Director or a Detective or an Airline Pilot, and sends you on your way. But it can't possibly be like that, so I shall put my prejudices aside and try to find someone who can objectively look at my interests and abilities (my interests being all over the map, and my abilities being non-existent in my own eyes), and help me develop a course of action.

In the meantime, though, I'm giving my days a bit of structure. Up between 8 and 9, I take a shower and watch a TED talk or three (SO addicted to these) over coffee and cereal. After that, as necessary, is admin time; I check my budget, pay bills, make shopping lists, that sort of thing. For the rest of the morning, I write. (I'm writing a novel! That's hard for me to say, but yes, I am writing a novel.) From noon to 2, I eat lunch, run errands, putter around for a bit. After that, it's two hours of what I am calling What's Next (tm President Bartlet). It's not just looking for a job, although there is that, but also doing things with a wider perspective. Researching and evaluating possible careers, making 1-year/5-year/lifelong goals, things that will help me determine what's next in my life. After that, around 4, I go for a walk.

And that is my day! At least, that's the rough outline of my day. I feel really good about having a schedule. There probably won't be any single day where I stick to it entirely, as I also need to do things like meet people for lunch and clean the kitchen and write LJ entries. I am also preparing to undertake an unprecedented clean sweep of my house, which for me needs to be done in short daily increments rather than hours and hours at a time on the weekend. But that will be my day, more or less.

The book has a time goal -- a 90,000-word first draft by June 1st-ish -- but the job does not. I know myself, and if I say I want to have a job by June 1st-ish as well, that will only stress me out, and I would like to live this little bit of my life without stress, for a change. Just for a while.
eelizaloula on February 26th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
Elizabethelizabeyth on February 27th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! What would I do without your unending support? I do not know!
eelizaloula on February 27th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
I love you so much!
piefessorpiefessor on February 26th, 2010 08:22 am (UTC)
Me too! You are awesome and your plan is awesome and I love you!
Elizabethelizabeyth on February 27th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! Having plans feels good. I had forgotten what optimism felt like!
selilaselila on February 27th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)
you know, i really wanted to ask you today if you were ready to write a book. wow. and yay!

and so nice to see you, btw. again, soon.
Elizabethelizabeyth on February 27th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
That was the best lunch EVER, and not because of the food! Yes, let us PLEASE do that more often than we have been. :)
Memesawyou on February 27th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
So glad to see you happy.
Elizabethelizabeyth on February 27th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm getting used to it. :)
Kymmkymmz on February 27th, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC)
Wow, you are MUCH better at being unemployed than I ever was! Very impressive!
Elizabethelizabeyth on February 27th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
Ha! It's early yet. Talk to me in a month. By then I probably won't be able to remember the last time I washed my hair.
eelizaloula on February 27th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
The thing is, you are employed by yourself right now, searching and planning for what's next. You are working for YOUR SELF, your future. I just love it.