Things are lovely…repeat as necessary.

writing my heart out about living from our hearts

Beauty Parlor Day in Mojo Land

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Career Planning was always a tricky time at school for me.  The tests we took never showed me anything of interest, nothing cool enough anyway.  Besides, I already had a faint idea of my future.  It wasn’t so much about what I would do as how I would do it.  I could tell you exactly what my work day would look like.  It was an image I’d had in my head for years, because it’s how my young brain imagined J.R.R. Tolkien or C.S. Lewis spent their days.

  • I would sit in my own book-filled office.  (In my imagination the windows were dirty so it was always a little dark, but that was just my diet of Gothic novels talking.)
  • I would write things that flowed from the authority of my personal body of knowledge.
  • People would pay me for the things I wrote.
  • People would pay me to talk about the things I wrote.
  • Lather, rinse, repeat.

I assumed I would be an educator, researcher (there was no internet then), historian or author of the aforementioned Gothic novels.  To this day people tell me I’m a great teacher or story-teller, that they appreciate the things I know.

This job actually came to life for me in my early twenties.  I had a job I loved and that fit all my criteria.  It was a job I had totally hustled my way into and one I did well.  My days were spent in my office (beautifully ratty) reading, writing, planning budgeting, counseling and mentoring teenagers to take leadership.  I developed lesson plans out of my personal body of knowledge, and once a week delivered a presentation based on what I was teaching at the time.

The day that job evaporated and was given to someone else who didn’t need to be paid to do it was crushing.  Everything spun out and I couldn’t get back on my feet.  It was the end of the road for my self-confidence.  I had completely lost myself.

  • Yes, this is a pattern for me; I will totally admit.
  • Hustle my way into something I never really felt worthy of.
  • Blissfully throw my heart and soul into this thing and allow it to define who I am.
  • Crash like a car off a cliff when it all goes away.
  • Lather, rinse, repeat.

And thank you, I do see that I need a new system.  We’ll discuss that another day.

The thing I’m getting to here is the mojo, my pluck, my audacity.

(Actually I’m detouring for a quick rant on meditation.  It totally works and that could be very frustrating if I let it because really, I get all this lovely insight NOW?)

My boss just wanted his $725 a month back.  He had no interest in my audacity.  It didn’t belong to him and he probably never considered its existence.  I gave it up.  I relinquished it as if I never had any right to it.  In so many situations to so many unwitting recipients I have just handed my wee little spark over and then tried to construct some sort of life with out it.  And I never needed any of that unhappiness.

Stay with me here, because this next sentence gets a little woo-woo.  The power I feel and felt, the thing I thought I lost wasn’t connected to or dependent on the work, job, home, husband that I attached it to.  I thought that it was a conditional gift that I shouldn’t screw up, but it was really my own little piece of the universe and invincible.  Maybe I buried it deep in my grief, but it never left me and I never left it behind.

  • I own that audacity.
  • I can use it right now.
  • I can use it for whatever I want.
  • It’s mine to use as I wish.
  • The exact same goes for you.
  • Lather, rinse, repeat.

Written by Shannon Udell

July 26, 2010 at 5:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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