Every Day is Saturday

Finding Joy in the Here and Now

Helping

on August 12, 2013

When you get laid off, if you’re lucky like me, the people in your life want to help you.  Many of my friends and most of my family tried to be helpful in lots of different ways.  Some provided emotional support.  Others helped me craft my resume.  I asked for, and received, lots of advice about different courses of action I was thinking of pursuing.  One friend gave me a refuge to fly to when I needed to get away.  Others continued to reach out to me for advice, helping me to cling to the belief that, in spite of everything, I was still relevant.  Friends called me up to talk, or took me out to lunch.  Some made me laugh.  Some let me cry.  I am grateful to them all, as each of them played a part in keeping me from complete despair.

Just recently I had an unsolicited offer of help from someone I’ve just begun to get to know.  They were suggesting I look into a profession that fits my skill set; they suggested it because they thought they could be of some help starting me on my way.  It was kindly meant, and I appreciated the gesture, but after giving it due consideration (and discussing it with my husband) I decided that it wasn’t what I wanted, regardless of the potential financial upside.  My husband agreed.

This episode made me realize that I’ve come a long way since the early days, when I would pursue any course of action that presented itself, regardless of how I felt about it.  At the time, I had decided that I didn’t have a choice, that I had to take whatever came my way if it paid money.  I spent a lot of time and energy following up on the slightest possibility of employment, even if I knew it would crush my soul to take a job like some of the ones I pursued.  My heart knew it was wrong, and thankfully, for one reason or another, none of those jobs ever panned out.

I think I’ve finally reached the place in my life where I don’t have a choice but to follow my heart.  I’ve been down a lot of blind alleys, pursuing different ways of getting what I thought I wanted, only to come up empty.  I’ve looked hard at those attempts to try to figure out what went wrong, and I think I know now that my motivation was faulty.  Instead of doing work that fed my soul, I was doing work as a means to an end.  The work itself wasn’t bad in any way; in fact, much of what I accomplished I’m very proud of.  My heart just wasn’t totally in it – and I knew it.  I knew I wasn’t being authentic, and I feel like the people I was working with could sense it.  Sure, I’ve done work before that I didn’t give my heart to, and I was successful at it.  I think the difference is that now I’m doing it for myself – and there is no room anymore for self-deception.

So I’ve decided that whatever I do now, I must love it.   It must give me joy.  It must help others.  I can’t worry about how I’m going to make a living – that always seems to work itself out anyway.  I must have faith that being open and honest about who I am and what I want is the only path forward.  I have no idea where this path will take me, but I’m going to walk it anyway.  I might need help along the way, but my hope is that now I can be there for someone else who needs help.

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One response to “Helping

  1. Carolyn Cook says:

    Thanks for posting this, Amanda! I’m going to send it to a friend right now. 🙂

    Like

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