Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Clarity of Mind

I know all I've been talking about is work, work, work, and work this week! Sorry I've been so dull, but I've been making progress with my thinking as well as taking practical steps. I'm on my way to making a change and I'm really happy about the direction in which I'm going. Thank you to everyone who has commented. It's great to get different perspectives, and of course encouragement!

Today's small success was updating my resume and sending it to a recruiter. Woo-hoo! I also connected with an organization I'm interested in, narrowed down a list of firms that I'm considering applying to, and surfed a few job sites. Not bad.

At therapy this evening, for the first time in a long time all I talked about was work and family issues. That's one of the greatest things about being out of my last relationship; I don't have the weekly anxiety and hurt of it weighing me down and sucking up all of my energy and attention. I no longer feel emotionally wrecked on a weekly basis. It's amazing how the absence of that emotional turmoil can free up one's spirit. I no longer feel as sick and anxious all the time. Amazing, no? Finally, I feel like I can move on and focus on me and what I want to do with my life - what I should have been doing all along!

My therapist thought that Gypsy's analogy (Yes, Gypsy, you have the honor of making it into my therapy!) between jumping from my firm to a smaller, nicer one to jumping from a 10 story building to a 5 story building was "excellent." You go, Gypsy. It is a good metaphor and it makes sense. I feel comfortable with contemplating this type of move - to a 5 story building instead of to the pavement - at this time. Now, if a public interest position were to materialize in front of me, of course I would grab it. But at least, again for the first time in a long time, I have a Plan B (Plan D for all of those counting) that feels OK to me. With this plan, I can look myself in the mirror and feel good that I'm doing something productive and positive for me. I'm moving toward something strategically instead of diving off of the 10 story building head first, while at the same time putting myself in a position to be able to say "F-You" to Dragon Lady by the end of February. Oh, glorious day.

Apparently many people do these type of moves - from a despised place to more of a middle ground position - specifically so that they can regroup and gather the energy they need to find a place that they really want. When you think about it from that perspective, it makes sense, and for the first time I understand why thousands of associates might make this same move each year. Maybe a lot of them are more like me than I had previously thought? Maybe they too are trying to get out of corporate life and having trouble finding their way? There's a lesson here about being less judgmental that I'm making a mental note about.

I promise to not talk about work tomorrow. I have something far more fun in mind. Stay tuned. For now I leave you with one of my most favorite paintings by John Singer Sargent (American Painter 1856-1925), the Ostyer Gatherers of Cancale. How relaxing would it be to walk across the cool, wet sand in bare feet under a gorgeous blue, cloud-covered sky?


gravelly said...

You go, Buttercup, you are AMAZING!!! Congrats for all the positive steps you have been making!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

OK, this is attempt #4 at posting in the last couple of days (stupid Blogger!)....

For what it is worth...I am one of those people that jumped to a smaller building...I left the 10 story building that was giving me heartburn, high blood pressure, heart palpitations and insomnia...in favor of a place where I could regroup, think about whether I wanted to continue practicing law, what I really wanted out of life....

And you know what....it's not my dream job either....but it's good, maybe better than good. I feel mentally healthier than I have in years....I've been able to travel this year (that would NEVER have happened at my old job), I just bought a treadmill and I am reading at least 2 novels a month....

And you know what? I am NOT 100% satisfied with my job (which was my biggest fear)....but contrary to what i expected, it's not the end of the world (for me anyway). I don't think I made a mistake...I think I made a strategic choice... I realize that I have the choice to leave...in the same way that I chose to take the job...I am young, reasonably intelligent and employable.

You are too.

I am presently halfway through this new 18-month contract and I am feeling pretty good about things. I'm not sure about the non-profit world and I'm not sure about the practice either....I've learned that there are drawbacks to both. I still haven't decided what's the best fit for me.

So you might say that the future is unwritten, but I'm reasonably certain that it holds good things for the both of us.

In your case, it sounds like the one main "motivator" at your current job is the quality of work being thrown your way. I think that "good work" is important ...(it is for me, anyway)....so just make sure that your focus (for Plan D) includes the possibility of 1) having a life outside the office and 2) reasonable work (files).

I really don't think those two things are mutually exclusive!

Take care little buddy.

Gypsy said...

Fantastic! And I said something "excellent"? Woohoo! ;-)

I'm glad you're feeling more confident about this step. I think it's going to be positive, even if the next job that comes along isn't your dream job. I completely agree with Wordnerd -- the next place may put you in a position to find your dream job.

Good luck!

Also? I think we must have had a reproduction of that painting in my parent's bedroom. It looks very like the one I remember from childhood.

Buttercup said...

Gravelly - Thank you, you're very sweet.

Wordnerd - I had a dream last night and you were in it. Weird, I know. We were walking across a big square (like a village square) that was covered with cement and you were rushing off and I was trying to ask you questions. Maybe it means that phone call is a good idea? I would love to hear more about your experience in making this kind of move.

Gypsy - You say LOTS of excellent things! Keep 'em coming because this 10 story to 5 story things is really working out well for me and my mental clarity. :)

Buttercup said...

Gypsy - p.s. How funny about the painting!

Anonymous said...

Buttercup...the dream part made me laugh out loud! The real question I need answers to....what was I wearing? Was I hot? Was I cool? Did I have good hair and good shoes?

Yes, let's chat soon....I don't have many answers but I have experienced a change very similar to what you are considering.

InterstellarLass said...

I too have left I job where I felt I was strangling and moved to another position. Except I just moved to get away. It was like a VERY abusive relationship. I got out at the first chance that came by. And then moved again to be closer to home. And now I'm considering moving again because it's still not right. But I can't figure out what's not right. So I'm still contemplating. It's not easy, I know. My problem is I still don't know what I want to do, but I'm not trying anything that I haven't done before. Sadly, to do what I'd like to try, I'd have to go back to school.

We'll get it figured out though, right?

Buttercup said...

WN - You were super cool, snappily dressed and very busy. A woman on a mission. And you had great hair.

Lass - We will get it figured out. What do you want to do that you would have to go back to school for? I think about that too.

Ally Bean said...

"It's amazing how the absence of that emotional turmoil can free up one's spirit. I no longer feel as sick and anxious all the time."

I'm glad to hear this.

And I've never thought about change in the way that Gypsy stated. I like the halfway-ness of the anticipated change your working toward. It sounds sane and uplifting. Very smart.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not sure. I've considered law, becoming a physician assistant (the perks of a doctor without the hours), or getting my masters and starting to teach college. It's all so dreamy compared to what I do now.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that was me Lass. I'm not really anonymous. Blogger is just being retarded right now.

Buttercup said...

Thanks Ally Bean! Me too. That Gypsy is one smart cookie. :)

Lass - Those are a lot of wonderful ideas. What might you get your masters in? Are you leaning towards any of those more than the others? (They all seem quite different).

Anonymous said...

My BA is in British Literature. I would probably pursue a Masters in the same area if I were to teach. I find learning fascinating, no matter what the field. I'm a little ADD that way. And good at team trivia!


Buttercup said...

Lass - I know it's difficult to even think about making a career change (ah-hem), but maybe you should take a class and see how it feels? If you love it and think you would love teaching (or the law or being a P.A.) perhaps you should pursue it?