Monday, September 07, 2015

rising from the ashes

i'm not a fan of brené brown (pretentious git, i could not stand this ted talk by her), but this post about her work on brain pickings did speak to me.  it makes me realize that it's time to release the notion of idealized perfection and acknowledge that it's been really hard for the past year. my dream job being taken away for reasons that feel false and disingenuous has left me wounded in ways from which it feels like i might never recover. to have found something that felt so perfect and so much like home and have it taken away hurts so much. i wonder if i'll find a job that feels so right ever again? will all other jobs pale in comparison? and the thought that i might not ever be as happy in my work again is truly frightening and leaves me paralyzed. at times, it just seems like too much and i want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head and just sleep until the world is different. or at least until my view on it changes.

but brown's work is about rising from the ashes of defeat, not about sleeping it off. it's about the guts and resilience it takes. she says, "the process of regaining our emotional footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged." the grit it takes to do this is often lauded in today's world, as we rush headlong towards happy endings, but brown says that discounts the pain and the hard work of rising again after a defeat. "embracing failure without acknowledging the real hurt and fear that it can cause, or the complex journey that underlies rising strong, is gold-plating grit. to strip failure of its real emotional consequences is to scrub the concepts of grit and resilience of the very qualities that make them both so important — toughness, doggedness, and perseverance."

the truth is, i feel that some part of my identity was stripped from me along with my dream job and it feels like purposeful cruelty. and while i have been fighting the notion that i am my work for a good many years now, the truth is that it's inescapable in our culture. so i am left wondering who i am and what's next. and i'm feeling like any grit i once had that would help me through such an experience is gone for good.

but perhaps each time i acknowledge the hurt and pick a bit more at the wound, it will get a little bit better and i will find a way to rise once again from a failure not really my own. and perhaps that's the problem. this happened to me due to the cold, unfeeling reality of corporate decision-making and despite how very personal it feels, it actually wasn't when it comes down to it. and that makes it hard to know what to learn from it - should i become less trusting? be a cold, unfeeling spectre? do i give less of myself the next time? should i not fall in love with a job i love? do i stop being my real self in order to protect that self the next time around? it's all still very bewildering. i wonder when it will get any easier...

1 comment:

Judith said...

I know exactly how you feel! And II know that you have grit a plenty!