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Tag Archives: Creativity

What To Do – Travel, College, Career?

The problem with this quitting your job business is that you have to figure out what you want to do next.

It has become  very clear I can not stay at my current job. I told my therapist yesterday about all the reasons I wanted to quit. After listening to me she told me that it sounded like my company was taking advantage of me and my codependent nature (my newest label!) by paying me to little, not recognizing how important I am, and wanting me to take on managerial responsibilities without any of the perks. She has advised me to start searching for a new job or to make another plan for my future because it will be extremely difficult for me to continue to heal mentally if I stay in my current workplace.

This has made me feel a lot better about my feelings toward my job. I feel more justified in my frustrations and desire to quit. I feel less guilty about about giving up “such a good job” and moving on with my life.

I have come to the conclusion that I have three real options if I quit my current job:  Travel/Volunteer Bum, Nontraditional Student, or getting a New Job.

Travel/Volunteer Bum

My therapist seems to like my idea of going to volunteer in Thailand teaching computer skills to middle school students (through uvolunteer.org). I want to do this for at least two months so I can feel like I really had the experience of living there. This should also give me enough time to adapt and shake off a lot of my social anxiety about being in a strange place with new people and a completely different culture.

After that I would either move on to the Nontraditional Student path or see what opportunities I can find in the volunteer/travel field. If I could become a world travelling bum I’d very happy, I think. The thing is I’ve never traveled outside of North America so there is a chance I won’t like it. Plus, while I do have some money in the bank to support myself once I quit my job, travelling plus helping pay half the bills related to my significant other and I’s apartment would probably deplete them within a year easily. I would have to find away to make money while travelling, or find a job in the travel/volunteerism field back home.

Nontraditional Student

The last two years or so I’ve also been thinking about going back to school. Really, the only major that has really stuck out to me is one in Classics. For those of you that don’t know what that is, here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or Classical Civilization) is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world (Bronze Age ca. BC 3000 – Late Antiquity ca. AD 300–600); especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity (ca. BC 600 – AD 600). Initially, the study of the Classics (the period’s literature) was the principal study in the humanities.

It just sounds like it covers so much, and I am interested in ancient history and think it would be fun to learn Latin. Not to mention it’s the type of degree that teaches you thinking  and communication skills, which I believe are really lacking in today’s society.

But university costs money.. lots of money. Plus, chances are I would have to relocate to attend a university that has this as a major. While I would love to travel around the world, for some reason moving somewhere else bothers me. I like the idea of being able to come home and be in my home town, even if I’m overseas for months at a time. Moving away for college to live doesn’t sit well though. It’s very weird.

A New Job

Of course, I could always look for another job in my current field. Right now I’m an IT person and will have 5 years of experience in June 2013. I could probably get another job somewhere else fixing computers or doing help desk work. Plus, if I don’t jump on to the next job then my current skill set will very quickly become out of date. IT people have to stay current or risk falling behind and becoming obsolete in their career track.

However, IT people are notoriously used, abused and under paid. We work nights and weekends along with our 40 hour a week day shifts.  We are expected to know everything there is to know about all things computer related, when really it takes a team of several people who specialize in specific parts of IT to run a department effectively. Plus, end users are usually horrible people who think they know more than you and know you could get things fixed quicker if you were really doing your job. Overall it’s a lot of stress, very little reward, and completely mind numbing, unimaginative work.

Decisions

I know, at the very least, I will most likely take two months to go to Thailand to volunteer as a teacher. My therapist is very on board with this and it sounds like an amazing thing to me, if a little to much like a dream that can’t possibly happen (even though it easily could). Since I was a kid and started making friends with people from different countries on the internet my goal has always been to travel the world, so this seems like a logical step to take. I’m not sure what I will do after that, it probably just depends on how things go there and if any opportunities make themselves known in the months before, during, and after it. But it is a first step, which I’ve always heard is the hardest part of change.

What are your plans for the future?

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Life, Mental Health, Travel, Work

 

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Yeah, I Can Do That!

I love this video. Not because it’s hilarious that this random guy off the street was able to fool hundreds of people into believing he was a celebrity, but because it’s such a great example of being able to be whoever you want to be in this day in age.

A lot of us are working very hard to become the healthy, well-adjusted people who are true to who we are and we are struggling. We are trying to work through the way we perceive ourselves and the way we believe others perceive us. Most days all we can see is a person who has trouble functioning in normal situations and who is a failure.

But this guy here, while he may not suffer from anything other than an over inflated ego at this point, went out there and became what he wanted to be with very little effort. Of course, this was temporary and cost him some money, but it’s just an example of how easily we can remake ourselves in this (slightly gullible) world.

My dad and I had a discussion the other night that really made me think about what I could do with my life. He said to me, “River, all you have to do is want to do something. You just have to be the person that says ‘Yeah, I can do that.’ and you will be able to do it.” My dad currently runs his own business doing conservation work for farmers and runs tile (plastic tubing for drainage) for water ways. He informed me that the first time he laid tile for a customer he had never done it before, he just knew if he applied himself he could do it. Why? Because other people were doing it and he was capable of doing anything any other human being could do.

This is probably one of the most valuable things my dad has ever told me and I don’t think it would have hit as hard if it had been my therapist that had told it to me.

Still a big change coming tonight, still freaking out a little. But I’m excited! Can’t wait to share it with you all tomorrow ^_^

 

 

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Never A Right Time For Change

I am going to do something crazy (for me) tomorrow that I’m hoping will be another step toward my independence from my social anxiety. I’m hoping I don’t chicken out, but I’m definitely freaking out a little bit! It’s not something so drastic as quitting my job, but it’s a major step in expressing my real self and bringing me out of hiding. If I go through with it, you will find out what it was in a post on Friday. If I don’t, the post on Friday will be something lame and you should all tell me what a chicken I am!! 🙂

Hope everyone is having a good week! Don’t forget to breathe deep!

 

 

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Profit vs Progress – A Personal Struggle

The path to progress and profit

Image taken from an article on Good.Is titled Progress vs Profit

I am at a cross roads in my life. My current job pays the bills with extra to stash away in the bank, it has good benefits, and I am basically completely independent and can prioritize my day in any way as long as it benefits the company and stuff gets done.

However, my job does not make me happy. I do not feel like I am accomplishing anything, that I am giving back in any way, or that I am being challenged at all. There is no growth here, those above me on the food chain I often think are idiots or spineless, and a lot of my comments or suggestions fall on deaf ears. I take attitude from my users, tell my boss, and am told to “bite the bullet”. I ask for a reasonable raise, and I’m told that my boss has consulted the vendors that work for me and that they say that doesn’t seem reasonable. I do not hate my coworkers, but I enjoy the company of very few and have even fewer that I have a anything in common with. There is no creativity here. There is no self expression. It is a dull and lifeless place full of squabbling hens and cocky roosters.

I have decided I want nothing more to do with this “easy” life path to Profit, I want a fulfilling one that challenges me. I still want to Profit so I can pay my bills and feel financially secure, but I also want to feel like I’m on the path to Progress and doing something with myself and the world around me.  Not only does the squiggly line look like the harder path but it looks like there are way more chances for adventure on it. And my life, thus far, has been seriously lacking in any real adventures.

Growing up I always thought that money = freedom and debt = prison. I needed a lot of money to live a fulfilling life and to have a real sense of self-worth. I believed that up until I started writing this entry.  Money is a prison for me. The more I make, the more I need, and the less secure I feel. I keep saying that once I am making a certain amount of money a year, or have a certian amount in the bank, I will feel less stressed and more secure, but the closer I get to that goal the more anxiety I feel. The more money I have in the bank the worse I feel about buying anything at all. The bigger my financial cushion the more terrified I become of falling, failing, and losing it.

I feel better being able to mull over this internally and look forward to hearing Amy’s (and anyone else’s) thoughts on it. I don’t really know how I am going to get over my unhealthy relationship with money, but I’m ready for something to derail me from the Profit Path and get me started down the line with a little more Progress in it.

 

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Mandala Madness – Reblog

This is such a neat idea that I couldn’t help but reblog it! I mean, who doesn’t like coloring? And if you don’t have any crayons at home, you can get them very cheaply at your local dollar store 🙂

Where We Step

Back in the day, the Buddhists invented the mandala as a way to visually represent the universe and the cosmos, and often used these beauties as meditation tools. Making and looking at mandalas helped them focus their attention and enter trances. And it’s pretty nifty because you don’t have to be a Buddhist to get a mandala template and you don’t have to be five to break out the crayons. Loads of people around the world love using mandalas as anxiety-relief tools.

I was a total nonbeliever at first Last Tuesday when my counselor handed me a pile of mandalas to color at home, I was like, “Seriously?” But you guys, it totally works. People even do science on this kind of thing. That link goes to a scholarly paper by Nancy A. Curry and Tim Kasser. If you don’t have time to read that, here are the spark…

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LeakyCon 2012: Welcome Home

LeakyCon is a Harry Potter convention. That is the generic answer to the often asked “What is?” question. This isn’t the whole truth. The whole truth is very hard to put into words for people who have never been passionate about something as simple as a book,  movie, or TV show. It’s hard to explain to people who fit in to the normal every day, who don’t know what it’s like to have a hard time finding other people who share in your love of fictional universes. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to just find people that accept your passion for fiction at all without ridicule.

LeakyCon is more than a Harry Potter convention. It’s a safe haven, a loving community, a bunch of people changing the world by being themselves and loving every minute of it. We make new friends, we sing silly songs, and we watch crazy productions put together by other fans. We raise money, we raise awareness, and we inspire people.

For me, someone who isn’t a huge Harry Potter fan, I only ever went because my sister wanted me to go with her. I was astounded to find a community of people who I fell in love with. A place where I felt more at home then I do in my own town and where I feel more comfortable being myself then I do with the people I hang out with on the weekends. A place where my social anxieties lessened and I feel comfortable letting my inner child run amok and telling strangers how awesome they were for doing the same.

LeakyCon, to me, has become way more than just a convention about Harry Potter. It’s the place I go to remind myself that it’s OK to be me, and that there are many, many other people out there who are struggling to be true to themselves in this world too. The sad fact of the matter is as the last day rolls around you hear people who are genuinely heart broken at the thought of leaving. Not because they will miss the parties and stalking celebrities, but because they will miss each other and that feeling of safety and acceptance. The days after the conference are followed by realizing again that it’s not socially acceptable to talk to strangers while waiting in line at the check out or to break out into song whenever you feel like it.  It’s not OK to wear a witches hat or be passionate about something other then politics or a major crisis. We are reminded that we should yell at each other instead of listening,  think of ourselves before others, and suppress what makes us individuals so we better function with the mass organism that is humanity.  Our convention is called stupid, a waste of time, and we are given funny looks and made to feel bad for taking a few days out of our lives to enjoy ourselves like we never could back in the “real world”.

This brief instance in time that seems to exist in a completely different universe is one of the most amazing things I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. You will find very few other places in the world  where love and acceptance are the main themes, where you can hug a stranger and feel good about it, and where you can make a new life long friend in a day.

It’s not about Harry Potter, or the actors, or the shows and panels. It’s about all the strangers who come together, accept and love each other the moment they set foot in the convention halls, and that desire to make the world feel more like home. That’s what makes this convention great and that’s what will carry it into the years to come. I can only hope that someday I can be a part of creating something that has such a profound and positive effect on people’s lives as LeakyCon does.

See you in Portland in 2013, LeakyCon. I’ll be there with my wand raised, hugs ready to be shared, and an open heart and mind.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Conventions, Social Anxiety, Travel

 

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Love, My Inner Child, and I

A bag to remind me to love myself and one to remind me to love my inner child.

I bought two bags Saturday. One represents my 27 year old mind that needs reminded that it is OK to love myself and to do what’s right for me. The other is a gift to my inner child who has been struggling to hold on for dear life the past few years.

In my therapy session Saturday morning we talked about my inner child. I told Amy about my feelings  of being to young to look at properties to rehab, and how I felt that others would perceive me as a kid and not take me seriously (irrational). I told her about how I used to write so often and create when I was younger, and that about the time I hit college and had to start taking life more seriously I had stopped doing those creative things I loved as a kid. The problem is now my inner child comes out at impractical times and is scared to death of a lot of things. Like buying huge old buildings to fix up and taking  other “adult” steps. This leads me to feeling inadequate and “to young” when I have no reason to feel that way. So the goal is to combine my inner child with my 27 year old self to become a happier person and be truer to the real me.

I felt like walking after my signification other had left for work so I started down the street with a goal to look at the Owl purse. I have looked at this purse a couple of times now. There is a wonderful shop that opened up recently downtown that has some of the cutest bags and the neatest jewelry and I really like visiting it. I have never went shopping downtown by myself before despite having lived here for almost 2 years now. Sad, isn’t it? I’ve only in the last few weeks managed to get to where I can walk down the street in the mornings by myself (SA still flares when someone else is walking towards me on the sidewalk >_<), add to that  small stores are hard for me to be comfortable in so I always take my sister or a friend.  Saturday, though,  I resolved to go, because I wanted to. I ended up staying in the store for 45 minutes or so looking at things, and buying the Owl bag and a peace sign bracelet. The bracelet is to remind me to breathe and to be at peace with myself.

The Owl purse is significant to me, not just because it’s a bit whimsical, but because it is an item I loved from the first moment I saw it but felt silly purchasing it. It’s one of those items that while I would love it on someone else, I end up feeling like I would look completely ridiculous with it and that it would draw attention to me.  This is absurd, as it will look just as cool on me as it will on the next woman!  Not to mention, owls are my sister’s thing and she has been my biggest supporter through my life dealing with SA, so the owl reminds me of all the hard work she’s done to help me and that it is now my turn to help myself.

Then, as I wandered back to my appartment, I stopped into another store that I go to much less frequently. Inside I found this wonderful drawstring backpack with a heart that says “i am love”. Not only do I really enjoy this style of backpack for a lot of things (namely running around conventions and theme parks), but the message spoke so loud and clear to me I couldn’t pass on it. It was like the universe was telling me I really needed to think more about love and how it effects my true self. I love and take care of so many other people and then neglect myself, and that needs to change. So I bought it as well, which is super unusual.. I dislike spending money on things like purses and bags. How many does one person need, after all?

So, not only did I do something I wanted to do by myself, I bought items that made me feel like I was really committing to this whole process. Over all I felt drained, but happy about the day. It definitely feels good to do the things you want to do.

Looking for inner peace. Anyone know which way it went?

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Mental Health

 

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