Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Guest Post: Coming Out of the Closet and Finding Your Calling

In this PLPT guest post, Jess J. shares the closet experience that led her to step out of her comfort zone and change her life.

Have you ever sat in your closet, crying and holding yourself asking repeatedly to the omnipotent more insightful you that rests silently in your mind until specifically called upon, “how did I get here?” How did I get to this place of routine, comfort, and completely void of passion? What one decision changed the course of my life, straying from the golden road of childhood dreams with no bread crumb trail to lead me back? Have you ever been so angry at something you could not identify? I have.

I remember standing still and examining the broken shards of glass that were my life; glistening like diamonds in the sunlight but leaving me wounded, weak and bleeding at closer look. What I had was not happiness, it was complacency. I was working at a job that had excellent benefits, good pay, room for advancement, supportive management, and cooperative coworkers, and I was dying. I heard a long time ago that we only change when it’s a life or death decision; if I never believed it before, at that moment in time I did.

I knew something had to change. I had nothing to give.

I was a shell of myself and my insides were cocooned in webs of waiting. After college there was so much pressure to figure out my next move, take the good job offer, and be on par with my classmates that I left myself no time to answer the question, “What do you want?” As a result, all of the best parts of me began to preserve themselves leaving me with very little to offer the world. When my motivation began to amber over, I could not ignore how heavy I had become, I had no other choice but to look around and examine myself closely and what I saw left me curled up on my closet floor.

I quit my job. Not because I could afford to, but because I couldn't long afford not to. I began a rigorous self-exploration, digging through parts of me that had become strange wasteland. I kept asking myself, “What do you want,” repeatedly and forcefully, dissatisfied with feeble and superficial answers I plowed through my own earth determined to find the answer. The layers I moved through included expectation; what my family wanted for me, what society anticipated from me, what friends predicted, and then I reached the hardest layer of self expectations.

I had to give up the impossible standards I’d set for myself in order to get to my core, my center and my essence which is nothing more than a white light of acceptance; which is everything. I asked myself one last time “What do you want,” exasperated from my journey, dirty and covered in grimy “shoulds”; I answered in a voice full of knowing, “I don’t know, but I will.” And that was the beginning.

Sometimes it’s hard until it’s easy. At some point though, I think we must all ask ourselves what we want and demand the truth. We must sift through the values and standards that other people have given us and keep only the ones that our heart recognizes as sound. We have to live our own truth, or the closet is coming. When you are still, you can hear that voice of the omnipotent you telling you everything you need to know. Your career, your vocation is a calling. It is the world calling you to contribute by giving your talent in such a way that it benefits others. You have to first know what your talent is. Until you know who you are, you cannot answer another question.

In my work as a therapist, people come in daily saying, I don’t know what to do with my life. I ask them, in response, what they want to do. More often than not I see grey fill their eyes and I know they have not yet made the journey to themselves. It starts there. There are only three things: recognize what you are called to do, do it, strive for excellence not success. Do that and you have everything.

For more of Jess J.'s insights, check out her blog and her tumblr.


NinaG said...

wow this is great!
I'm planning to leave my job (coincidentally funding for my position will be running out soon) and figure out what I want from life.

♥ CG ♥ said...

I so needed to read this today. I literally held my breath when Jess mentioned death...that's the way I've been feeling for a month or so. It's scary but everything she said is true and doable. I've done it before but this time seems like I'm fighting something...someone...me. Whew!

CupOf*T said...

This is so on point, I really can relate to this article. I have made some changes but still trying to make many more. The comment about "death" struck a cord in me, cause that's what I am trying to dig myself out of right now. Thanks for the article :-)

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