Roads Less Traveled

In my 21 day Metamorphosis program, I talk about the importance of not directly linking who you are with what you do for a living. I say things like: The idea here isn’t to suggest your line of work isn’t already valuable, but to remind you that jobs/careers are disposable. The dream job may be gone tomorrow. Remembering the things that make you tick, the nuances that make up who you are on a fundamental level let you detach from your job’s dress code of labels.

After being in the workforce for over 34 years, I now find myself in a new state….and unemployed. It’s been over a month since I stopped working just before we left for Washington, and this is the first time in those 34 years that I haven’t had to be at work. And its weird, at the very least. But the most interesting part of this transition is not knowing what is next.

When I decided to become a photographer, I went to school, got jobs working for studios, then finally opened my own and kept building for the next 12 years. Then yoga entered my life (again) and I became a teacher, then closed my photography business and opened a yoga studio. Four and a half more years in that direction.

Now, for the first time, I have no idea which direction I want to go, no idea what I’ll do next. And suffering an identity crisis as a result. My emotions have run high and low these past few weeks, with utter elation sprinkled with crying jags from out of nowhere. Oh sure, homesickness plays a role; missing those I’ve left in Florida, and playing the wondering game of “did I make the right choice?”. But dealing with expectation and disappointment have forced a change in my perspective.

I am a self diagnosed workaholic. In both my businesses, and in the jobs I’ve held, I have always given 125%. Who I am has always been related to what I do. But that’s just not true anymore. Not. Any. More. And its a frightening, exhilarating thing. Because now I am not Diana, photographer….or Diana, yoga teacher……or Diana, business woman; I am simply Diana. And the roles I assumed for each career path are no longer in play here.

In my program I also ask: How are you defining your success? Is it measured by income? Is it measured by the difference you make? Is it measured by your level of education? Is it measured by the letters after your name? What is your definition of success?

And in answering those questions myself, I discover exactly what I meant in the first statement. I’m tuning in to what makes me tick, nuances that encompass a life well lived, the true value of me, and resulting successes. Oh yes, I’m quite successful in myriad ways, in myriad forms.

People have advised me to visualize the job I’m doing, visualize going to work every day, where I’ll be and what I’ll do. I get the power of visualization and over the years have created more than one vision board. But this mental vision board is different; each time I attempt to visualize a job, I continuously see myself hiking, kayaking, climbing, skiing.

When I feel confused and frustrated by not being able to picture a “job”, I realize I’m picturing me, who I am and what I want, without the constraints of a workday world.

And then I know, in my bones, that I will find the balance between how I make a living and how I make a life. Finally.

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