Friday, September 4, 2009

On feelings of hopelessness and remaining optimistic.

My confidence in my self ebbs and flows. Sometimes I feel like I can truly accomplish anything as long as I set my mind to it and am persistent. But even then there are things out of my control, that no matter what I do to aid and encourage it, it is not my decision in the end. Finding a job fits into this category. Never before have I had such a difficult time finding a job, in fact, if I was intent on getting a position I felt I would fit, I would usually get it. But now, because I haven't had that ease, I can't help but see it as a reflection on my skills and personality, rather than on a reflection of economic times, fewer jobs and greater competition. I have to remind myself of what I was once able to do, to remain optimistic that I will be able to do it again. Yet, with the added pressure of finding a "career" post-graduation, these feelings of hopelessness creep up more often than they are invited to. I want to be able to support myself, doing something challenging, in a position where I am valued as a part of a team. It is incredibly distressing for me to feel like that is not an option, even after completing my degree. I understand that we do not all have that luxury, of a job we love, but I at least hope it as option for me.

For a long time the one thing I felt I could not accomplish was weight-loss. Regardless of my efforts, old habits would get the best of me. I felt like there was a 'better' version of me inside that would be trapped forever. A few months ago I dropped this frame of mind. I knew that weight-loss was a possibility and having finished school, I knew I was ready. Still old habits get the best of me (at least once a week), but this time I don't let them control me. In three months, I have accomplished 1/3 of my goal (in numbers). I still feel sometimes, that I won't be able to lose anymore, but I prove myself wrong every week.

I suppose this post is meant as a way for me to re-frame my own mind. To appreciate what I have done and what I can do, to understand what is in my direct control, and what is not and to realize that discouragement is part of the journey. I may not even remember this time in my life five years from now. As I think back what sticks out in my mind is what I have accomplished, not what I haven't. I only remember the jobs I got, not the jobs I didn't. It is so easy to put all ones eggs in ones basket, as they say. And it is not surprising that disappointment follows when that basket breaks and you're out of eggs. So I guess its best to act like a chicken? (That metaphor took a turn for the worse, sorry).

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