Monday, August 25, 2014

The Way of Things



These past months have been extremely difficult for me. Not difficult because something happened, but because being an introvert can be a gift, but also a curse.

As an introvert, introspection is a given, and the fact that I know and understand my feelings to a level I cannot ignore them, can be a daunting task.

However, this can also mean change. I read recently that a feeling of dread is a message from the universe (or from my big brain) that something is not right. That there is a reason for this feeling. And I have come to the conclusion that modern life has made me sick. The constant input of technology coupled with the fact that I have a VERY social demanding job have taken its toll on my personality type. My job entails dealing with people's problems all the time and their constant wants drain me. My anxiety has returned and I am doing everything I can to manage it. But you probably know, it is not easy!

Now this is not a blame game. I like and I chose my career path, but I am also mature enough to know it is not working for me. What I envisioned as a young woman, as a climber of the corporate ladder just turned out not being fulfilling at all. And honestly, it is exhausting.

This leads me to the way of things...or as things stand right now. As most people, I can't just up and leave. Nor can I tomorrow, condemn society and its dependency of currency that has no intrinsic value and move to the jungle. But I can make choices that will bring me closer to what I feel is a good compromise.

I have a 5 year plan. In 5 years, I want to quit the rat race. I will not stop working, but I want to work on something that gives me more flexibility and more time. It is amazing how many people I talk to who also feel completely burned out, overworked, stressed and down right unhappy.

Maybe I will share some of the steps I am taking to achieve this goal, but I do intend to stop by your blogs. I have missed you all and really appreciate your support.


27 comments:

Kathy, PaperPumpkin said...

Oh, Ana, my own anxiety has reached an all-time high. I completely understand you. I am exhausted and stressed out I haven't even gone all the way back to school yet. This is my last week of summer "vacation" that wasn't... Being an introvert is extremely difficult.

Willow said...

I so understand as an introvert that people oft mistake for an extrovert as when I am around peeps I am usually "on" ( but anxious on the inside) My brain tends to overwork , luckily I have access to nature and my farm sanctuary and am no longer in the "rat race" although I do sometimes sprint after a mouse ;)
I am glad you are back with the blogging . I HAVE missed you .

GlorV1 said...

Hi Ana. Well there you go! You've figured out how to combat your anxiety and it's a good plan. Yes do share the steps. we want to be right there with you. Stay strong.::hugs::

Terra said...

I think your five year plan and you writing about it will be fascinating. I chose librarian as a career path which is a good fit for my quiet self. I am retired and highly enjoy and recommend the retirement life.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I truly understand how you feel, Ana, and I'm sorry you are having a hard time of it. I hope you reach your goal and find that happy medium. The world can be a little overwhelming for introverts at times.

Jenny said...

I hear you dear Ana... and commend you on taking steps that are bringing you closer to what is heartful for you <3

Jenny X

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. I started my professional career having "to act against type" and it was killing me. I chose to modify my career path so that, still using my educational qualifications, I was able to pursue a path more suited to an introvert. Good luck and best wishes to you in forging your new path!

Almost Precious said...

Sadly Ana, it is the way of Today's World. Society works harder and longer than they've ever worked in the past. It takes 2 incomes today for a married couple to afford a basic home . . . of course today's couple doesn't want a BASIC home, they want a mansion with all the bells and whistles: granite countertops, stainless steel, high-end appliances, pool in the backyard, a 3 car garage with 3 luxury cars (naturally), and all the latest electronic and technological gadgetries. But is it worth it? I think as a whole, humanity (introverts or extroverts) is stressed out, maxed out, tapped out and quite possibly totally unhappy.
We all feel like we're on a treadmill that we can't get off and in our hearts we long for a simpler existence, a more relaxed life and the time to enjoy it.

Sounds like you have a good plan, I'm wishing you success in reaching your goal. :)

Lois said...

I understand how you are feeling. Like being forced into a mold that you do not fit, like your soul is being crushed into a little ball, and stuck in a drawer. A five year plan is good. :)

Francie M said...

Oh how I love that picture. It really seems to be a self portrait, Ana! The woman is in such a peaceful place, above the 'madding crowd'. Just where you are happiest. Your plan sounds positive and we seem to be all in agreement about it! Good news is always welcome.

Lea Hartmann said...

Dear Ana.
It's a difficult battle, doing what needs to be done at the moment and knowing that it hurts you and what to do about it. I'm glad that you know yourself well enough to make some changes. Making a decision can be hard and taking it to action is not easy in the beginning, but I'm sure you know in your heart what fo do. And the right decision will strengthen you. You're a brave woman. I'm very curious about your 5-years plan and I wish you the best!

Jeanie said...

A beautiful post, Ana, and one I understand quite well. (In an abstract way, it relates to my current post on the labyrinth!). Having been in a somewhat similar spot, let me say you are wise not to up and leave (because you can't -- but even if you could, it is best to have the plan.) And good for you, having one. You have time to consider strategies, look at other career paths that may allow you to use your present skills without being in the same stress zones. Time to learn what you need to for preparation. You may find that with all that, your five years comes sooner than you planned -- and that isn't bad, either!

oklyous said...

Sounds good that you got a plan.
I am in the middle of recovering from depression and anxiety, but am also an introvert.
I am a bit out of touch with the real world, because I have been ill for some years. So I am not so knowledgeable on that. But it sounds exhausting!
I hope you get more time to breathe and to take care of yourself soon, it is so important.
Oh an nice to see your work:)
Best of wishes.

Melissa said...

Ana, I am so sorry you've been having a tough time. I understand completely. What you've stated about the workplace is a lot of the reasons why I decided to retire early. It was all too much.

I am glad you have a five year plan. Those are great things to have. I think your art seems to be taking off too.

Have you read the book "Quiet" by Susan Cain? My husband is reading it now and recommended it to me.

Manon Visser said...

I also know that feeling and have taken a year out before I really decide what I am going to do with my current career.
I hope you feel a little lighter now are you starting your 5 year plan. I am looking forward to reading about it.
Manonxx

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

O, I am sorry to hear you are going through a challenging time. But you are so wise and aware, and it's great that you have a concrete plan and goal. This too shall pass, you'll see! Hang in there and remember you're not alone ^_^

Magic Love Crow said...

I am sending you all the best of wishes! Know, we are all here for you! Always listen to the messages that are given to you! Very wise ;o) You're going to be ok ;o) Sending you a big hug ;o)

Sketchbook Wandering said...

I understand, & I commend you for accepting that change may be what you need. I can see where a lot of readers would benefit from your process as you have a talent for writing about it.

Riot Kitty said...

Good for you! I love my job, but it's emotionally hard sometimes.

Shaharoh said...

I am with you on the 5-year plan! For me, the demands of others slowly chip away at my own. I wish you all the luck in the world. You can do anything you put your mind to, Introvert.

Kyra Wilson said...

As an introvert, I also envisioned myself climbing the corporate ladder... only to find that working in the corporate world gave me flashes of Joe vs. the Volcano. Have you seen that? The scene where he goes to work in the most awful place and feels sick all the time, and then pulls out that little lamp full of color? Every time I stepped into an office, I felt like that, and no lamp was ever going to bring any life back to me.

I cannot tolerate the corporate world, and I left it as soon as I could (which was quickly, so that worked out for me) and I dread the idea of ever going back. If I have to, I will, but so far, so good. My life is better for me like this, and I know now I simply cannot handle what most other people can. It's not a failure, just a difference. Just a different path.

I hope you find what makes you happy, and chase it without anxiety!

Sara said...

I like that you are trying to change your life if you don't like it - I cannot tell you how many people can't do that (:
A friend of mine told me something recently that I think it may fit here "Sometimes you need to do something you don't like to realize what you really want". And it's as simples as that (:
stay well

Jess said...

I hope you find the change Ana that you so need. It's good that you've recognised that something needs to give. I wish you well on your journey of discovery. :)
Jess x

Caffeine Girl said...

What a beautiful post. As you know by now, you are not alone in these feelings. I recently read that more than 50% of Americans don't even take their vacation time.
I went into teaching thinking that it would be a manageable career -- and it was, until our governor removed our union rights. Now I am back in the rat race. I do love my work, but I need a balance of private time. Like you, I am an introvert in a job where people need me all day long.
Make your plan and then see where it goes. You will be fine.

Scarlet said...

Sounds like you have the insight and motivation to keep you on the path to fulfill your dreams. I wish you the best and your art is always a joy.

Red Shoes said...

"...a climber of the corporate ladder just turned out not being fulfilling at all. And honestly, it is exhausting."

This is all so true... I was a stock broker once upon a time... made way too much money... worked too hard.

I gave it up and walked away... I've been a college professor for a great number of years...

Different stressors... but Life is much better... and I am at the point where I am wanting to simplify Life even more...

At least I feel that I am in control...

~shoes~

Palomasea said...

Wishing you freedom, my friend. And JOY. :)
xo