I like how I feel right now.
It’s a new feeling.
I’m always wondering how much time it will take for me to exist in the world before I exist with less guilt about how I exist. I’m always thinking that I just have to get to the next step; that I just have to make it to the next grade, and then it was I’ll finally stop feeling guilty when I graduate high school, and then when I graduate college, and when I get that first job, when I find the next job…. There’s always a place I’ve imagined where I don’t feel compelled to spend so much time thinking about all the reasons I’m failing at being a person in the world, and I lament the time it seems to take me to make progress with these steps.
I’ve come to realize there’s a lot of flaws in the logic of this feeling. There are a multitude of specific fallacies that have to do with why I think and feel that way, but there is also a narrow-mindedness about what it means to exist as a person in the world, and-
I don’t want to get lost in the description of that feeling. I’m already doing it. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.
I existed with the absence of guilt for the first time post working on job applications without having to go through the emotional labor of resisting the guilt and shame first. I didn’t have to convince myself that I wasn’t a failure. I just felt, as clearly as I write this now: It’s not going to happen overnight, and that’s okay.
But I also felt resolve, and sustained determination.
(I wanted a smooth transition here and maybe there will be one but I kind of like the way I shifted instinctually from explaining to someone else into talking directly to myself).
But you also can’t be so afraid to put in that work sometimes. Because you’re always thinking about all the reasons you will probably fail already, and your narrow-minded definitions of success and failure make the time you do spend putting in the work feel fruitless, which then recycles into justifiable proof of the likelihood of your potential failure, and it’s not. It’s not fruitless and it’s not failure. It never has been. You’re never going to be an Abby. “You know, Abby. went about getting her job like it was a job,” S. will comment with simultaneous praise for her ‘work ethic’ and resentment about his own struggle to work at that pace.
(you’re being an A.F. about it- finally gives in to trying the school lunch; requests to have the grilled cheese, eats just around the edge of the entire sandwich but never actually tastes the cheese and decides he still hate cheese and he will never try cheese again for as long as he lives. Footnote: “I’m proud of you”)
Tonight, the time spent searching- and thinking- was always going to be a part of the process, and it was always going to especially be part of your process- because it has always been the part you spent the most time on, and you’ve always been grateful to the after fact of having really taken that space to let yourself become slowly, to let the ideas marinate. You’re a slow human becoming, but it becomes you.
take a lot of time to part with your babies.
But don’t refuse to feed your babies at all. Your career is in it’s infancy. It needs some love and attention every day to grow healthy and strong. It’s never going to be easy and it’s never going to go any faster than it is for you. You don’t have to sandcastle because of it. Don’t be T.B. learning how to put together a puzzle, trying to fit a piece in one way and so frustrated that he flips over the whole board and all of his progress before that point with it, instead of taking the time to simply flip the same piece to another side, which would have helped him to discover he had actually been right the whole time. You are both T.B. and the puzzle piece itself; you can be right and still completely turned around at the same time.
It’s like the way you know you will write a book some day. You invest in that baby daily even when you’re not sharing it or making something from it. A book is not going to happen over night, and you’re in it for the long haul.
You’re going to get the right job someday, and you will make that space for yourself in the world.
Be proud that you went home after work, put on clothes as if you were going to an interview, applied your make up like you were going out for dinner, and took your self to a publicly visible place to invest the necessary time it’s going to take to make someday happen.