If you’re a part of A Thousand Candid Words’ small-but-mighty following on Instagram, you may already be enlightened to the fact that I haven’t been feeling the most motivated to hunker down and write here. It’s not without trying, though — I have no less than ten ideas waiting to be put into words. But to be honest, the effort it would take to get those posts published seems a bit too daunting at the moment.
I want to shake this lack of drive, I do. It doesn’t suit me.
So in a bid to get back into it, I’ve decided to return to what’s at the core of A Thousand Candid Words — to be as candid as I can. To write from the heart. I want to be able to share the hard times as much as I share the good ones. With that, I’ve decided to start this “ATCW Journal” series. My vision with it is that it will be the place I turn to when I could use a moment of clarity. Where I can be honest, and not just with myself but with you, too.
Writing is so liberating. Getting those pent-up feelings out on paper (or internet?) is freeing. In doing so, we can start to uncover and then understand what’s at the root of the feelings we’re feeling — both good and bad. And in some instances, after laying everything out, the negative things we believe to be so heavy start to lose their weight.
So with that, here’s Volume One of ATCW Journal.
Now that we’re about four months into 2019, it’s safe to say with a bit more confidence that this year has been less of the smooth sail I had imagined it would be. Instead, it’s looked a little more like me navigating the choppy waters of the open ocean from an ill-made raft. No sturdy mast. No reliable motor. No trusty compass. Just me and the relentless waves.
As of late, things haven’t looked so good. This little raft I’ve been using to barely stay afloat has taken on more and more water, and if my estimations are correct, it’ll likely capsize and sink soon enough. Luckily, I know how to swim. And perhaps I could use this challenge.
So now that I’ve taken that analogy and swam away with it (sorry I promise I’m done now), I’ll lay things out in a more straightforward manner.
Life’s been hard lately. That might not come as a complete surprise considering the last post I wrote was over a month ago and on the unconventional ways I refilled my cup after a difficult season. As it turns out, though, the season wasn’t through just yet. And — reality check — it hasn’t been as easy as taking a bath or drinking a bottle of wine to get through it.
So let’s dive in, shall we (okay now, now I promise I’m done with the analogy).
The deep-seated unhappiness I’ve been feeling lately is founded on my continued disappointment at work. I’ve written more in-depth about the root of this anger and frustration here. It’s worth circling back and admitting that the cautious optimism I held onto amidst all the chaos in my nine-to-five didn’t pan out to anything.
And how could it when I was told in so many words that my career journey had reached its pinnacle? At 25 and after only three years at the company, this was it? How could anyone expect me to stay hopeful when I was told there’s no more growth to be had? No management potential. No development within the role. No promise of a raise anytime soon, or a promotion pretty much ever.
That cautious optimism I had wouldn’t be so cautious anymore if I decided to keep holding onto it. It’d be blind. It’d be ignorant. So I’ve thrown that caution to the wind and started to look for work elsewhere. I’ve taken the enthusiasm and hopefulness I attempted to have within my current role and I applied it to the potential of a career outside of the company.
It was thrilling at first — looking for a new job in this new-ish city. I felt unstoppable. And to be perfectly candid, I couldn’t stop picturing the triumphant moment where I could walk into work having just signed a fresh offer letter and quit on the spot.
No one is giving me a shot. I’m experiencing once again the harsh reality of rejection that comes with the job hunt — the same that I wrote about here. The stark difference between then and now is that today I’m acutely aware of my worth. I know how talented I am. I know how great of a writer I am. But more than that, I know my potential. I know where I can be, if just given the chance to actually get there.
For some reason, this potential I know lies within me is not translating very well with the companies I’ve interviewed with (I’m 0/4 with job offers, folks). And with each “we’ve decided to go in a different direction” that pops up in my inbox, the hope I have for a better and more fulfilling career takes a steep dip.
(Welcome to my pity party, btw. lol.)
At this point, I feel downright discouraged. It’s hard not to.
I take my job very seriously. I’m a naturally driven person — I want to always be growing and learning and progressing and succeeding. It might be a little pathetic to admit, but in lieu of a romantic relationship, my work is where most of my focus and energy and emotional investment lies. So when I’m repeatedly shut down in the name of my career, it feels like a direct hit to my worth. And it hurts more than I’d truly like to admit.
So, yes, I’m sad right now — maybe sad isn’t the right word. I’m low. I’m stunted. I’m feeling very small.
And I’m more than aware that I need to shake this feeling.
Perhaps writing here will help — revisiting this old friend that brought me so much satisfaction in a job that lacked it. And maybe in doing so . . . in giving more focus to the smaller, less burdensome matters that make me smile . . . something great will finally come along.