You haven’t heard much from me lately, but that’s what anxiety does (and perhaps a sprinkling of depressive symptoms) – it makes you feel very apprehensive and approach avoidant about sharing. And every time someone says to me, “you’re so honest,” I try to decode if that means I’m pitiful and burdensome or truly courageous and inspiring; and lately I’m not so sure.
You see, I’m going through a transformative period, a growing pain, if you will, and I’m only so sure about this because I’ve been here before and know that you go through hard things to get better, stronger, and more resilient. Or so, I have been made to believe. I think it is true, but it hurts. And it’s hard. And I’m tired.
One of my growing pains stems from my career. For a couple years now, I have felt I have been searching for meaning and growth in my professional journey. I left a job I loved because it was time to spread my wings, and honestly, I’ve had my wings clipped more than once since then. I also know that it is easy to look back on those days with wistful nostalgia, but during that time, especially towards the end, the growth began there too, and it was also painful. You see, for me, my career is beyond simply a job or something I do. It is my calling, my only love for now, the yearning for my soul, and my purpose. This is a lot to put into a job. But it is more than a job to me, and for a single, sometimes, failing at other parts of adulting, gal, this calling is the love of my life. To serve others, to speak for the voiceless, to bring about real change with the work I do, even if I’m one piece of the puzzle, is so important. And not to mention, success and competence at work, growing in my career – these things give me great personal satisfaction and fuels my worth. Maybe this isn’t healthy, maybe it is selfish (the last part), but it is me. There are many reasons why this so that I have explored with a therapist in the past, but it’s still me nonetheless.
And so, here I am in this career crisis. Nowhere near a beginner, but not quite sure if I’m a mid level professional, and feeling like a fish out of water lately. Feeling both plagued with incompetence and competence, a little too young, a little too old, and a lot lonely, I ask myself lots of questions here. And I’m sure these questions are beyond just my career. What is next? Where do I go? How do I go? Am I doing the right things? Do I make an impact? Do I do enough? Am I enough?
Am I enough?
A thought that has never been absent in a growing period. A thought that haunts me all the time. A thought that can be both empowering and crippling. How does one ever measure up to enough? How do I measure up to enough? And then comes another question that I have grappled with day in and out – am I too much? Are my flaws, my quirks, my voice, my being – too much? Is it me?
A long,soft sigh usually escapes my mouth at that point. These are the sharp pangs of a transformative experience. Other things include questioning your purpose, redefining and questioning relationships with friends and family, feeling hopeless at times, feeling joyous others, a roller coaster really, and really not wanting anyone to know or burden anyone. It means your quiet, but ever presents traumas, get louder to remind you that they too, are part of the process. Transformation means sometimes burrowing yourself into the cocoon of exploration, until you blossom into the butterfly of manifestation. It’s quite a beautiful, and yet, sobering process.
But with every growing pain, comes growth. And I have to remind myself constantly of what growth means, the benefits to be reaped. Increased self-confidence, opportunity, renewed energy, love, hope, and wisdom. You gain insight and will. You also often gain weight, but everything comes at a price. 🙂
I have no idea where this transformation will lead me, what brilliant colors will be displayed on my wings as battle scars, or what I will become. However, I’m comforted by an old saying, “just when the caterpillar thought its life was over, it became a butterfly and flew.”