Long term blog followers may have noticed a trend in my posts that I talked about
- social anxiety
- feelings of insecurity around me having no obvious job skills or hireable traits
I noticed these recurring themes as I went to organize my blog one day, and I realized I’d put my issues out there, and never come back and told you what came of them!
I’ve worked at a job for a few? several? years now. It’s not high-paying, it’s not in a field I have a passion for, but it’s an incredible work environment, it pays the bills and allows me to help with expenses, boosts my confidence little by little, introduces me to concepts I know I’ll use as I do anything (it’s tech-related), requires no special skills but an attention to detail I didn’t think I had (but I definitely do!), and shows up all my previous worries as null & void. Also, I work from home, which is great for doggo’s separation anxiety (though we’ve been able to work on that, too, and while he worries when I leave we’ve found a solution!), and things like – getting to listen to music while I work, showing up in any clothes, being able to work while sick, not having to do my hair or makeup in any way. 😀 It also allows me to still take care of the home and stuff while roomies are out at work.
That’s been my primary job. I’ve also got a few others XD I help with my roomies home-based businesses – do the paperwork for one and answer the phone for the other. The one hates paperwork, and the other can’t stand to answer the phone, so I came in clinch then and didn’t even realize it when I offered.
I also had been doing house/petsitting these past years, but we moved (it’s incredible!!!) and I got to start petsitting IN. MY. HOUSE, which I didn’t think roomies would EvEr agree to. I’ve now got a delightful beagle coming twice a week for daycare who is doggo’s new best friend. ^_^ It’s amazing to see doggo be able to interact with another dog and open up his doggy-communication side in ways that have mostly been stifled before.
I did find I could go to college through grants and things, but decided I didn’t want to. I’m still happy with that decision, as studying just doesn’t seem to be my forté, and I just don’t enjoy it at all! I still struggle with that being okay to say, and not just a sign I’m not trying hard enough, but I’m definitely happy with this decision, and know I can always choose differently and get a degree later if I want! 🙂
I’ve also still got my vet assistants license. It’s a backup job, but I still look at myself as not being worthy to hold that torch. Between letting a freshly-sedated cat jump off the table (I did catch her mid-air :)), accidentally x-raying a pregnant lady, dropping food bowls on fellow assistant’s head, nearly fainting in the surgery room because I wasn’t breathing, and being yelled at by the most competent doctor… I just don’t feel like I do a good job. **
I have earned enough to take doggo and I on the dream trip to Europe, but I haven’t yet. So far, I’ve wanted to use those funds for other things. But I put away some of it into a CD and when that time period is up, maybe I will. I just kinda wish I had a big burly friend to go with me, ya know? XD
While I’ve been working this job that is actually kind of random, I’ve realized 2 things: One, I really don’t care what job I do. I like work, and I like being able to do the job well. But as long as I can work and do it well, I’m fine with whatever type of work it is. Not something that is usually described as the case in INFP articles. 2. I’ve come up with a dream job – it’s wonderful, weird, wacky, and needed (according to the surveys I’ve handed out) – and it doesn’t require any special qualifications other than just being the crazy dreamer that I am. Younger, agonizing, me never saw this coming.
I didn’t realize how much social anxiety I had. I was able to mitigate it by going out there and trying things, being on Twitter and trying interaction little by little, and learning about it. I’m also now completely recovered from my ED & restricting (though I still need to be careful at times of stress). I’m still reactive – I hear sudden noises and turn about suddenly, and duck at incoming projectiles where a more professional type person might just look at it disdainfully as it whizzes by – but that’s me. And meeting lots of people and the pickleball league I’m with have helped me realize differences are different and delightful.
My dog’s separation anxiety is completely workable now. And not at all by using the methods I originally started with. He gets free roam of the house and treats!
Anyways. I’m wowed by the changes that just gradually drifted into my life and took up root and started blooming. I thought they’d be much more firework-y and sudden.
These last 6 years have just been super-heal time. I came to this area technically at a goal weight but trying every diet still, and thinking myself irreparably fat. I couldn’t stand to talk to anyone because nights would haunt me with what I said. I got down on myself for lots of stuff. I felt like I was way past due for having figured my life out – I was already 20 years old, and yet with all this nothingness. No degree, no job, no confidence. No friends, very little family, no connections.
I was isolated, accidentally by having moved, and I turned in the little bit of community I could have – going to church – for more isolation, because I knew I couldn’t handle it. With my outside world feeling impossible to handle healthfully – I lived in a tiny space with two angry people, didn’t know anyone, and had no job – I just turned inward, I found all sorts of broken pieces and severed connections. Wrong assumptions, mega-questions about the world. I couldn’t deal with messing up. I worked on that stuff for 6 years, found examples and proofs for the questions I had. That’s what I needed big time. And throughout, I’ve tested the waters – gone on to social media sites, gone to a few parties, even tried a dating site, gone to cons, done GISH, and most recently & locally, and actually finally being able to be myself become involved in the pickleball league for two years – It’s funny, but I think this quarantine kinda sealed it for me. It was a big piece of the puzzle for me — hearing other people’s experiences being in isolation about what I’d gone through these last several years. I thought I was weird for longing for social interaction, because I technically had my roomies and distant friends – shouldn’t that be enough?
There’s been a few times over the years I’ve felt like I was good to go. Life will always be a work in progress, that’s kind of the point. But I do think I’m gonna come out of quarantine with all the issues I started my self-isolation with, gone. I know how to kick anorexia’s butt, I know that when I mess up it’s the people that stick around that get to see me do better, and I can always say sorry but most likely they’ll have forgotten about it. I understand my cognitive functions (though it is just theory) and others’ and have grace for their methods. I understand that grace is greater than punishment, and that what I know to be true can be true even when something tells me it’s not.
Having a pscyhopathic dad and anorexia and a sacrilegious church and feeling pretty much neglected for many years of my life did a number on me. Throughout I always thought I was fine, but I had to get over those things.
And now I know what I want to do with my life and it doesn’t take any special skills! These past several years I definitely kept see-sawing on this – I thought I had to become famous because famous people help people. Because famous people are listened to even when they don’t say anything important and I don’t say anything important. I thought I was going to start a non-profit. I thought I had to work with animals because it’s the only thing I know. I thought I needed to make a big change in the world to fulfill any purpose.
I don’t think any of that now, and what a relief!
I still don’t think I have a lot of skills – but I’m fine with that! And my ambitions don’t require me too. So it’s all a good fit. I have two things I want to do in life, and as long as I can do one I’d feel like I’d done everything I wanted – A. Start my dream job – a local adventure park (but not with your typical adventures, like rope-courses & ATVs – other adventures “as seen on YouTube” kinda things and sports from all over the world and things you’ve always wanted to try but never had the chance and more typical obstacle courses and forest-exploration and archery courses etc.) (optional, but highly wanted) and B. Foster kids.
I blogged through part of it, but never told you the light I’m seeing now. And it’s gorgeous. It’s a vista of humanity and hope. It doesn’t rely on perfection. It’s not disillusioned by difficulties. It has room for change and new facts.
If you’re fighting too, I hope you keep fighting. If you’re working on yourself and finding all the pieces, know the picture becomes whole.
**(Technically this paragraph could also read like: Between letting a sedated cat jump off the table (they told me to let go! — they meant reduce pressure on the vein), accidentally x-raying a pregnant lady (the x-ray pedal was on the floor, which I didn’t know, and 5 of us were crammed in the small room for the demonstration – I tried to move to give the other girl more room and boop! x-ray….eek!), dropping food bowls on fellow assistant’s head (yeah, that’s just me being clumsy), nearly fainting in the surgery room because I wasn’t breathing (to be fair, I hadn’t had breakfast either; burnt fur, blood and claw doesn’t smell good, I had to hold my arms up without support, and sensory inputs of the the cauterizing gun turning the radio to static every time it activated and the fluorescent lights… oof), and being yelled at by the most respected doctor (I was trying to do what another assistant had done, and I happened to be the one standing there when she saw our method)… I just don’t feel like I do a good job (but I know I probably could do okay).
(P.S. – Those “two angry people” I lived with in a small space, are also my roomies in the new house. We’ve all found ways to grow and rebuild. ^_^ )