Such a week.
Last Friday afternoon, I made my “laid-off-to-do-list” and have asked friends to help me be accountable when the fear shouts “give up before you start!” Perhaps because I asked for help, my little heart and mind have been largely calm amid the uncertainty. Things are clicking imperfectly along.
And in this time of waking up each day to the job of researching career opportunities, tweaking resumes, writing cover letters, and meeting with insightful funny friends, I have been inspired towards action rather than self-pity – even in the hard stuff like applying for unemployment – that oh-so-taboo assistance. In this interwoven and far-flung supportive community I have encountered InspirAction – where inspiration intersects with brave action. (Yes, I made that up. If Shakespeare can invent new words, so will I.)
It’s one thing to be inspired and download memes, read books about successful second-acts, and listen to stories of everyday courage. Acting on that inspiration without freaking out is an entirely new universe. And I like it.
Today, I do not have the luxury of time and hesitancy. I cannot afford to wring my hands, play scrabble on my phone all day, and emote about life’s real and perceived injustices.
As much as I want to live my “best life”, I have to find where opportunity and responsibility collide and then make my best life there.
After a Sunday morning run, I realized that I’m “really good” at adapting down; down-sizing and making do; making the best, lemonade-out-of-lemons and all that. I wondered what would happen if I relearned to “adapt up.” What would that look like?
Hmmm. The idea of “adapting up” is key to this idea of InspirAction. Not only is forward momentum implied, but upward movement, too.
Thanks so much to the framily who hold me accountable, expect me to act like an adult, who do not expect my adult decisions to be perfectly considered or executed, and who laugh with me in this and every time of living.
One of the reasons why I am calm seems to be that I have accepted that this season just “is.” Sunday over a yellow table, my Whimsylu friend talked about how we make events “things” that hobble us, when really they are just events like weather and getting laid off. Through her, I am reminded to see this unemployment as a season and not a defining “thing.”
Thanks to wise friends who barter their time to help sort out medical paperwork, who allow me to camp out with their foster pup, Francis Bacon, and their wifi; who call and ask questions, but do not stage inquisitions, and to the so many people who understand that this is not the end, but some sort of janky beginning.
Yes, there is an emptiness. Fear crept upon me in yoga the other night and all I could do was keep going in my stretchy bendy practice and remind myself that I do not need to be afraid anymore. I am brave and wise and funny and strong and gentle and “very VERY feminine” and can – in good company – find that collision of opportunity and responsibility.
Maybe I’ll even do a greater good, hold a hand, listen well, and laugh heartily in this true and terrifying season.
Thank you for joining me in this search for the North Star and gainful employment. Come round to the Hobbit House after work. We’ll listen to Josh Garrels or the B-52s. Drink pepperminty sun tea and – if we’re lucky – we’ll drink deeply of the InspirAction found among true friends and loving family.
For your InspirAction, here are a few tunes that hoist me out of bed at times. Consume as needed:
Rise, Josh Garrels
Some Nights, Fun (this video is breath-taking)
Keep on the Sunny Side, From O’ Brother Where Art Thou
and one last inspiraction in I’ll Fly Away, Gillian Welch & the Old Crow Medicine Show