I was talking to one of my favorite clients yesterday while I was doing her hair. I love this woman because she lives life to the fullest and she gets that no matter how you plan or how much anyone tries to control life, it is full of surprises and no one is really in control.
“Liz” had recently taken a “series of long sabbaticals” to Europe. A while back she had decided enough was enough with the give-em-all-your-blood working-for-the-man job she had been devoting every breath to so she quit and flew across the ocean. She came back every once in a while for the past year or so and I got to see the changes in her when she got her hair done. Liz went through a transformation. I saw her youth and heart light flicker back on and then shine steady. We did not talk about that so much per se; we talked about how we both are people who metaphorically “pick at a scab” and how that relates to living life to the fullest. We are both writers. And we both dig deep sometimes. We both “pick at scabs,” and we don’t think that is a bad thing.
Lost you? Let me explain. You see, when Liz was working at her high-paying yet soul-sucking job she was just waking up and going through the motions. “Tomorrow it will get better” and “Tomorrow I will be richer” is the mantra of many people who work as she used to. But by running on the hamster wheel of a job that brings you no joy, you may be running so fast that you cannot see that you are unhappy or that the job is hurting you and your health. If you did slow down, you’d find out that you were pretty bruised up and at a loss at knowing how to be happy. And, if you did slow down and take stock of what would make you happy, it would be like picking at a scab. And it doesn’t matter if you stopped to tend to your wounds or not, the bad boo-boo is still there and it will get worse unless you tend to it.
I see it time and time again in my chair at work. A client comes in and they are drained, exhausted, and they don’t even know they are unhappy because they’ve been at their crazy-making job for years and that is all they can see to do, and it is all they remember or know anymore. Their paltry vacations and things seem to make up for the void of happiness that they don’t know is missing and they haven’t come across an impetus or a spark that would make them want to stop doing what they are doing–because everyone they hang out with is doing the same thing!
It’s my clients like Liz who just up and quit, or gets fired in this shitty economy, that I feel the most hopeful for. They are the ones who get shown the doors who realize that it was all an illusion. There is no job security. There is no controlling life. There is only finding and doing what you love and spending time with friends and family before you get snuffed out–or turn 50–or more. And this epiphany takes time and concentration to find and you can’t do that if your job is taking up your years and your life. You’re going to have to stop and pick at your scab. You made the boo-boo, but once you get past it, there is a life of no-control and uncertainty and its pretty damn fun. I’ve been planning for tomorrow and living for today for a long time and, I gotta tell ya, I love it and it’s kept me young. Once you’re brave enough to scratch the surface to find out that life is not what you thought it was when you were working like a dog, I bet you’ll find your heart light shines bright.
I just did a spell check and there were no errors. This has never happened before. Just sayin…