Today’s Reverb 10 prompt:
What was the wisest decision you made this year and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
I think that the wisest decision I made this year (other than to paint my bedroom in Farrow and Ball’s “Down Pipe” which is seriously gorgeous) was to stop fighting my circumstances and start making the best of them.
A little backstory: About 2 years ago I accepted a position in my organization that ended up not to be all it was cracked up to be. My former position was high-profile and high-output. The pace was fast and I was travelling all over the world. I loved it and I thrived on it. Looking back now I wonder how I was ever talked into leaving it but I did. Early days into my new position and I knew that it was not right for me. And I freaked the hell out. I divided my energy between hating my current predicament and trying to get out. Unfortunately the network that I thought I had built – people that I had served and supported – didn’t really come through for me. I felt stuck. Every day I felt like an animal straining against its cage. I was unhappy. I was scared. I was disappointed in the universe for screwing me over!
And then I decided to give it up. Not to give up, mind you, though to some (hi Mom!) it might look like the same thing. No, I decided to find the life lessons in my situation. In deciding to give up fighting my situation and to start living with and IN it, I have learned that I am not my job and that I have probably been hiding myself in my work (easy to tell myself I’m too busy for a relationship rather than looking at why I’m not attracting the relationship kind of guy). I’ve developed interests and creative persuits and a become part of a community, all outside of work. I’ve changed what I define as a “successful life” for myself. Perhaps most importantly, I know that when the next great position comes up (and I’m confident it will, when I’m ready) I will have created enough on the “life” side of work/life to help ensure for myself a healthy balance going forward.
In terms of how it’s played out? Well I’d like to say that I bask daily in the wisdom of this decision, but that’s not quite true. I still find myself comparing my career success to others’. I’m still disappointed sometimes that I don’t have the opportunity to fully use my skills in my current position. I’m still a little scared that my most worthwhile experience is fading into the past and that maybe I grow less marketable by the day. It’s hard to go against 40 years of hard core Type A thinking! The thing is that this kind of decision – the decision to lean into my circumstances, to make the most of them, and to give it up and see where they bring me – is the kind of decision that I need to make again and again. And I try to have the wisdom to make it every day.