Life: Fighting resistance

On Sunday, I nearly slipped into what felt like a full blown panic attack. I was on the verge of tears and I felt shaky. Why? Look at that little counter to the right. In 15 days I’ll be 30 and nothing is how it should be I thought it would be.

2014 hasn’t had the most brilliant start. Yes, there have been some fun moments, but for the most part I feel like I’m floating along…waiting for my life to start. My 2014 goals loom over me and I feel like I’m failing every day that I can’t cross something off, but it’s certainly not for lack of trying! Last week alone I applied for 20 jobs. TWENTY JOBS! And nada.

I did have a phone interview on Friday which I flubbed and which I will call it a lesson learned. And I do have an interview with a marketing agency that places mid/senior level professionals – so it’s something, but I’m honestly exhausted. I’m tired of waiting for it to be my time.

My time. I use that phrase quite liberally when talking about my future as it keeps popping up for me. Friends, family, horoscopes, even palm readers have said – your time is coming. Yes, I’m silly and take those things to heart so maybe that’s why my level of frustration is through the roof. I’m riding on 6 months of being unsettled, which includes my 2 month hiatus to Asia. That’s a long time to be in fight/flight mode.

I was honestly going to make this entire blog a woe is me post and ask for advice, but yesterday, 2 things happened:

  1. A very good friend pointed out that I’m not very kind to myself. I place impossible standards and harsh restrictions on myself because I think I’m not good enough.
  2. I started reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and learned about “resistance”.

In both these moments, I learned a lot. First, I learned that I over-correct for past events and don’t trust myself to make good decisions anymore. I take full responsibility for things that happen, even when they aren’t my fault. I’m unable to see that sometimes things happen as a matter of circumstance and it’s NOT a reflection of who I am. I don’t extend the same courtesy and leniency to myself, that I extend to others. I’m simply not kind to my soul.

Because of all that, I’m constantly battling who I am and where I am in my life. Not that I compare myself to others, but rather I compare myself to my ideal. I know I’m an over-achiever. I’m a list maker at heart and a goal oriented person.

A friend recommended Pressfield’s book for the simple fact that maybe I was the one standing in the way of my own success. Perhaps it was my fear fueling the resistance. I finished the first 3rd of the book yesterday (it’s not very long) and here were the big takeaways:

Resistance is not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. Resistance is the enemy within.

Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance.

We know what the clan is; we know how to fit into the band and the tribe. What we don’t know is how to be alone. We don’t know how to be free individuals.

So what does that have to do with me turning 30 and potential panic attacks? Just that I have to keep fighting the good fight. Fight resistance in thinking that my life won’t get better, that things won’t change. Things will change – there is no other option. I will be someone and I will be kinder to myself.



  crankypants wrote @

Well I’m glad you’re being talked off the ledge already. When you get to be my age (let me remind you I just turned FORTY-FIVE-45-) you will look back at your panic upon turning 30 and laugh and laugh and laugh.
As you said, change is inevitable.
Where you are in life right now is exactly where you need to be. This we learn in yoga. And your life is happening right now. You will look back and realize this. Just keep on trucking and enjoy yourself and try not to worry too much and things will happen. It’s kind of a waste to try too hard to make them happen because the universe has something in store for you. I didn’t realize you were out of work. Did you have to quit your job to go to Asia? what about the dog training thing, are you done with that and applying for positions? Just try to breathe and relax and you never know what may turn up. You are too smart and ambitious to fail at life. If you fail here and there that’s normal and how the hell else are you going to learn? but you aren’t going to end up in the gutter or anything. So just keep on doing what you do. You are always doing something and having fun so just enjoy it while you have the time because you never know when you are going to be too busy to knock off a couple more of those (fun) goals. You are going to get hired soon for something. Or else you will find a way to make some cash on your own somehow. And yes, definitely be kinder to yourself. 🙂

  zigzagmags wrote @

I’m not out of a job (yet) – just my hours were reduced and had to take a pay cut – which was company-wide. 😦 so that’s why I’m searching for a new gig. plus, it’s time. not that i know everything, but I think I’ve learned 85-90% of everything I can in my current role.

I suppose it’s a balance of allowing life to happen as it should and putting yourself out there for the right things – if that makes sense? And that’s probably what I struggle with the most. It sounds like I need to do more yoga. I know I definitely need to do more meditation – do you meditate?

I’m still working on the dog training, volunteering at the farm to get my hours which you have to have 300 of before you can take the national test. And 225 of those have to be as the primary trainer, which I’m working on but that will definitely take the longest.

Thanks for the reminder in general though. I know 30 is nothing in the scheme of things, just feels like one of those milestones that cause panic if life isn’t order.

  crankypants wrote @

Exactly, you have to make an effort but you also have to understand you don’t have control over much of anything. I think letting go is an important lesson for all of us to learn. You are making plenty of effort. It’s not like you are sitting around waiting for life to happen (like I did a lot when I was young and clueless and uneducated and sometimes unemployed). Your life does not have to be in order at 30 or 40 or 50…That’s one thing you should let go of. Those are numbers that mean nothing. If you set goals for yourself like, hey, finishing the dog training. That’s a goal. Not by the time you are X years old. Those kinds of things as I said, mean nothing and then when you find you have not met that goal you feel as if you’ve failed…why? because you didn’t do something by the time a certain number passed. It’s fine to set those kinds of goals as long as you don’t put too much stock in them. Time is something man invented. I mean I’m not the greatest example of an accomplished human being but I do have something and that’s perspective. You’ve done a lot and seen a lot in your 30 years, you’ve grown a lot since I’ve known you! You have friends, you have fun. Things may feel a bit unstable right now so I understand a bit of panic but just keep reminding yourself it’s going to be fine. Things are just in a state of change.You are working toward something which is always good.
Yeah I’ve been meditating lately, usually twice a day. I still kind of suck at it but it still helps. You just sit there quietly and repeat with your breath “so hum” which means I am. I am. that’s it, I don’t have to be my job, I don’t have to be 45, I don’t have to be a woman, I don’t have to be anything, I just am. Be in the present. Simple but not easy.

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