Ever since I arrived in the world of being a grown up, I have felt a lot of pressure to find a label for myself. I’ve heard lots of things about who I should be and labels that others thought would suit me. Though everyone’s suggestions for the most part came from a place of love, nothing ever resonated with me. I often found myself saying, “I just want to be me.” I didn’t mean those words as “I don’t want to work,” I meant them as I just want to find a way to get paid while doing something that allows me to be who I really am, dress like me, help others, make a real contribution to this world and generally share my true talents in an atmosphere where I would be appreciated.
Apparently in the world of grown-up, that can be a lot to ask for.
When I got out of the military, I enrolled in school. I felt quite certain that upon finishing higher education, I would know what my “grown-up” label should be. However, when I finished I realized that school was no help. In fact, in the end I wound up with a paper which told me I was capable of regurgitating information that didn’t excite me in the least. Now I realize Philosophy, something having to do with World Religions and Communication definitely would have suited me better. However, at this point, all of my G.I. Bills have been used up, and I am not an Oregon resident until I have lived here for a year and worked FULL-TIME, so seeing as I live in one of the worst economies in the country, going back to school isn’t on my current to-do list.
A few years ago, someone asked me what I did for a living. Since I didn’t consider my actual profession (librarian assistant) to be something that accurately portrayed who I am, I simply said, “I’m a Professional Sunshine Spreader.” They asked if I actually got paid to do that and I said, “Not yet.”
Anyway, if you read my last post, you would know that as of recently (more specifically, since arriving back from Minnesota), I’ve been in a funk, a growing icky funk where I’ve been loosing contact with my true self and my true gifts. I’ve been looking for work and sending in resumes to many non-profits and generally anywhere. However, nothing is coming back to me. I’m honestly okay with this. Though I do want financial freedom and I do want to treat myself to fun things, to me, it is far more expensive to my spirit to take on a profession which sucks my soul dry and doesn’t allow me to be me.
To me, being me isn’t something that happens after my shift ends and on the weekends, it is a full-time job. I’m very good at spreading sunshine and I actually do take it very seriously.
Anyway, back to the funk. I realize tonight, that my funk is not from being unemployed. No, my funk is a result of forgetting who I am or more specifically buying into the misunderstanding that who I am is not good enough because it doesn’t fit. Over the past several months, I have effectively disowned myself. I forgot about that girl who saw the beauty of sleeping in her car. I forgot about my ideals and I couldn’t hear the song in my heart. I began judging myself and comparing myself to societies version of success and was horrified when I saw what a failure I am.
I now remember that what I have to offer the world is indeed valuable. I also recognize that I have to create my path. It can be a very tiring road with more blocks than I’d like to think about. However, the cost of not following what I know to be true is just too much.
In the end, I am just trying to convey that I remembered tonight that my passions of spreading sunshine, connecting people, sharing enthusiasm, learning, growing and helping others are valid contributions to make.
I’m going to follow what I know.
I’m going to start saying YES to me again.