I had this offer last week. I will not go into details, but it not only meant a little extra income, it meant pushing myself in a new direction. My instincts pinged and I thought it’s just me second-guessing like I always seem to do. I gave myself some time to think, talked to someone I trusted, then left a message on voice mail to take the offer. I already had a plan to balance my Writer’s Circle with this gig plus my regular job. The acceptance happened at 8 am.
By 10:30 am things went boink.
Due to a technicality beyond my control and oversight on the person’s part, the offer fell through. The person delivered the news personally, something I appreciated, yet I felt disappointed. Unfortunately, I had a case of the post-trip letdown. I came back to my life in Winnipeg and New York hummed with the energy of if I could make it there, I can make it anywhere. Reality sent me crashing down to earth. In short this sucked.
I felt a chill in my soul to match the chill in the air. I strapped myself in and rode out the feeling. People forget optimism doesn’t happen instantly, sometimes it emerges from the gray, built from the ashes of disappointment. I watched the thoughts marching across the stage: Disappointment, sadness, anger, and back again. I took the air out of the disappointment balloon to remind myself I had a job I enjoyed, with students comfortable coming to me with questions or just to talk, and some good things already happening in my life. What made this moment different was watching things unfold. In previous times, I felt gripped my disappointment, especially during the times I tried to find a teaching job. Life felt like the air got sucked out, the sadness made it difficult to breathe or even think.
People often say just get over it. Do they know what it involves? Do they ask what a person feels at the moment? What did they hope for if it turned out as planned? Do they say “It will take time and just name what you’re feeling, it helps the process.” We don’t have time for disappointment. I notice people always successful at getting that job/relationship/something never stop to think they had these opportunities others don’t have or haven’t had that one setback knocking them on their ass. Those same people have a lot invested in looking good, so they don’t fail, don’t sound like an idiot.
No wonder people drive themselves into depression or anxiety.
I put on Spotify and found a great playlist called ‘Life Sucks’. Sometimes life does suck with the only way out is through. The only way up is to name as things go down.