No That’s Not A Mugshot


As you can plainly see, I’m not comfortable in front of a camera, but I’ll sacrifice my dignity for you, my dear reader.

As you may know, I just relocated to Colorful Colorado. It was great the first few weeks, when I was brand new and everything was exciting. I went out scouting for a good bike shop and to find where all the natural foods stores and yoga studios were. I suppose I was trying to bring back a sense of security. When I found those places, I would feel more at home.

It worked, too, until I hit a snag. I spent eleven days in a wheat-induced depression. Yes. I accidentally ingested a small crumb of onion ring coating and spent the next week and a half in a dark funk. That’s what wheat does to me.

During those eleven days, I went from feeling like I was getting a fresh start at a new life to feeling like nothing would ever work out for me. To top it all off, I had to start looking for a job and that’s never fun, even on a good day.

However, on day twelve, I woke up feeling like someone had lifted all the wet wool blankets off my shoulders and just like that, I felt good again. Thank goodness, but I still had that pesky job to look for.

At this point in my life, I don’t want a job. I’ve it with toiling day after day doing something I don’t like to do in order for some old man to grant me some peanuts so I can have a place to live and food to eat. As I’ve said before, I’ve hated virtually every one of my jobs. It would be so much easier if I were a massage therapist or an herbalist or a yoga teacher or an acupuncturist. I were a “something” it would make those job search engines work better for me. But I’m not a “something”. There is no job called “I just need a job, man.”

The one thing I might be is a would-be entrepreneur. I have a ton of ideas for businesses, but nothing’s really stuck yet. Besides, I have no money, no connections, and I’m a big fraidy cat when it comes to selling my ideas to strangers. Those are all excuses, I know. I have an Elizabeth Gilbert quote on my wall that reads

“You’re supposed to start before you’re ready and before you’re good at it and that’s how you get ready and that’s how you get good at it.”

It takes a lot of courage to start before you’re ready. People tell me that they think I was brave for picking up and moving to a new place just because I wanted to. I don’t necessarily think it was brave. It’s taken me years to actually move. I finally told myself that I had to shit or get off the pot and I’m never one to back down from a dare, but I had to tackle a lot of demons before I was ready. So after several years of therapy and with demons mostly tackled, I moved. I still have a few straggler demons to slay, though, and they’re big and mean and really strong.

One of them rules over my work life. It looms dark and menacing over every bright idea I come up with. It snarls at me, “You can’t make a living doing that. You’ve got to get a job and work hard. You’re not talented enough or smart enough. You’ve never been very good at any of your previous jobs, so you won’t be any good at this either. What if you fail? There’s nothing left after that. Better just stick to what you know.” (My demons talk a lot.)

I know, though, that in order to diminish this demon, I have think different. I can’t go about finding work and thinking about money in the same way I always have if I want things to be different this time. So, as I said in my previous blog post, I’m not going to look for a job. I’m going to let it come to me.

I know what you’re thinking. “Yeah right. People just come to your door and hand you a job.” That’s not what I mean. I mean that I’m going expect the right job (or a giant wad of cash, which would be even better) to come along at the right moment. I’m not going to worry or stress about it and I’m not going to take a job that feels wrong in my gut just because I’m scared. I have faith that the Universe will bring me an opportunity that will make me say “Heck yeah!” instead of, “It’s better than nothing.” It’s a relief to hand the management of my financial life over to the Universe. It has a lot more resources at its disposal than I do.

The other demon that still has its claws in me is the one that tells me that I’m not creative, that I will never be able to make a living doing what I love. (And of course, the only reason to do anything is so that we can make money from it, right?) In the past couple of years, though, I’ve allowed myself to delve into what I love – art. I’ve taken several graphic design classes and a couple of art classes and they have given me so much joy, it makes me cry. (Like right now, I’m literally tearing up.) I stress myself out a little, because I don’t want to wait until I get good enough to make it part of my résumé, but at this point, I’m really not good enough. I don’t have the portfolio and that fear of never being good enough has stopped me from even working on one right now. I can’t get myself to draw or paint or work on my logo or even do tutorials off of YouTube. This demon will not let me play.

However, the demon will allow me to write this blog and practice my photography. I don’t know why. Perhaps all that other stuff is simply play for me – and there’s nothing wrong with playing. What I truly love to do is write and take photographs. Maybe my love is stronger than that nasty, ol’ demon and that’s why it can’t stop me. So instead of fussing over finding a job, I’m making writing and photography my focus. I’m going to be more consistent with my blog and perhaps even up my blog game with a wordpress upgrade.

I’m also opening a new Instagram account within the next couple of days that will be devoted to a 365 photography project. I’m excited to watch the progression of my photography over the next year and I hope to finally find my “voice” (or is it “eye”). I’m going to step outside of my comfort zone of landscapes and flowers, and bring more of myself into my photography. (And nothing is more out of my comfort zone than a selfie. See above.)

I’ve been focused on this concept of “doing it different” for some time now, but I didn’t quite understand how to do that. Now I see that doing things different requires a shift in perspective. I can’t see and think about things in the same way I always have and expect different results. Isn’t that the definition of crazy? I have to approach my life and how I think about things in a different way. They talk about the shift in consciousness that’s going on in the world right now. I believe that shift in consciousness starts with each of us. I’m happy to have finally figured that out and I hope that my shift adds some momentum to the big one that’s underway.

I hope you’ll stick with me as I work my way through doing my life different. If you find yourself “doing it different” as well, I hope you’ll share with me in the comments. I’d love to hear all about it.


Now What?

Now What?

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

Some people attribute this quote to Confucius. Others say it came from the movie Buckaroo Banzai. It is also the title of a Jon Kabat-Zinn book on mindfulness, but I’ll always attribute it to my grandmother. I’m not sure where she got it and I can only assume she said it because I was telling her about yet another of my plans to move somewhere new to start over. As great as I thought the saying was, I was disappointed because I knew it was true. You can’t run away from yourself.

I moved to Colorado three weeks ago and for the first time, I was not running away from anything, I was running toward the new life I wanted to create.

I love it here. I have a view of Pike’s Peak from my front yard. The sun shines most of the time and there are hiking trails within a couple of miles from my house. We live in a part of town that was obviously built in the sixties and seventies at the tail end of the Midcentury Modern trend. There’s a mix of ranch and split level ranch houses-which is what ours it-and contemporary houses with their flat or slightly slanted roofs, exposed supporting beams, integrated landscapes, and a mix of various building materials to provide textural interest. It is so different from where I came from, which is exactly what I wanted.

I came here for a new start. I felt as if I had gone as far as I could in Nebraska and I definitely needed a change of scenery. I’ve got everything I want, externally. So why am I sitting in my room, scrolling through Facebook, watching YouTube videos, and writing in my journal for hours on end? Why am I not embracing all the new that this place has to offer? Why am I right were I was a few months ago, before I decided to move?

It’s because when I moved, I brought myself with me. I’m the same person that I was just a few months ago. I thought that a new environment would make me happy and when I got happy, all that old emotional baggage would just disappear, but I guess it’s not that simple.

I saw this as an opportunity to be whoever I wanted to be and I can still do that, but it’s not going to happen overnight. As David Foster Wallace said, “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” I still very much expect to be a different person here. It’s just that the Old Me is not going to go without a fight.

Everything was going fine until I started looking for jobs. Just the thought of having yet another horrible job makes me sick to my stomach. I don’t want a job. I want fulfilling, exciting, interesting, creative work. I don’t want another job that means nothing more to me than a paycheck. There is so much more to life than a paycheck.

I have a general idea of what I want to do for work and I know what I want my life to look like, but what can I do right now, when I’m not ready? I don’t want a regular old job, but I need money to live. I want to work in a creative field like doing logo design or branding or photography or even writing. I enjoy them all but haven’t given myself enough time to explore which one I want to focus on first. And I don’t have any marketable skills or experience in anything yet, so I couldn’t get a job doing any of it if I wanted to. The only option I see is to get an unfulfilling job to make do, but my only marketable skills are lab work and retail and I don’t want to do either. I feel like if I get a job like that, I’ll be right back where I started and I don’t want to go back there.

All my life, jobs and money have been my biggest stumbling blocks and being a believer in the Law of Attraction, I know that the more I focus on this huge block on my path, the more blockage I’ll get. I know my only option is to take my focus off of the obstacle, so today, I gave up that part of my life to the Universe.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but I’m not going to look for a job. I’m going to let the job come to me. The Universe knows what I want and knows where it is. I do not. Instead, I’m going to turn my focus to things I enjoy. I’m going to design the logo for my company that I will have very soon. I’m going to read, and draw, and work on my vision board. I’m going to go hiking and do a little weight lifting. I’m going to take lots of photos as I explore my new home. I’m going to practice my hand lettering, because I love hand lettering. I’m going to finish my online class in copy writing, so that hopefully I’ll be able to build a bigger following on my blog. I’m going to watch my favorite TV shows when I need to zone out and love on the cat and dog because they’re awesome. In other words, I’m going to allow myself to have some fun.

Not long ago, I was given a quote from Rumi, which I intend to make my new mantra.

Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.

It can be no other way.