Hello! I am so sorry that it has been aeons of time since my last blog post on this blog. I am writing this blog today in an effort to help anyone else who is feeling the way I have felt. I think much of the following happens to us all at some point in our lives.
So much has happened in the past year that I have been deflated. I feel like someone cut me off at the ends and pinched them together with their fingers, like one would the end of a balloon, and just slowly the air has been leaking out of me.
Late last year, my brother’s illness intensified, along the same time my father’s intensified. Both were in the same hospital simultaneously in October. Long story short, my brother passed away.
I returned from Bereavement Leave to my job a bit earlier than I should have. There was no viable work for me. My Book of Business had been dispersed among other salespeople. This is the nature of being in Sales/Social Media Marketing. Social Media is a 24/7 business which continues whether you are there or not. Someone has to work with the clients, so I understood it. I ended up on another team at work, doing different work altogether. The new team lasted another couple of months. The entire team was laid off.
I am on the lookout for something else; however, I am unsure of what the something else ought to be. To be blunt: I have to earn money. The need for money in the past has had me desperately to and fro in the working world. I have experience performing locally as a vocalist so I have Entertainment experience. For as long as I could remember, being an Entertainer has been my dream job. However, the girl with the dream has now become the woman who has lived a nightmare. I wonder if people will pay to listen to me now.
Certain dreams: Professional entertainers, dancers, athletes, etc need to be fulfilled while one is young in order to have longevity in it that is profitable. Therefore, I see that as my release, not necessarily as my reliability as I age.
Beyond that, I have Customer Service and Claims experience, but those industries are just not the best for me. I am like a hammer: the function of a hammer is to hammer nails. It’s secondary function is to pull nails out with the backend of the hammer’s head.
This is how I feel about my usefulness in those industries.
I have experience in Media Advertising Sales and in Sales and Marketing. I have Print Media experience. I enjoy doing work in those industries; however, my best in those industries happens when I work in Media: Advertising or Marketing versus Sales. While I can sell, again, I am like a hammer. My best function happens when I am hammering nails (Advertising and Marketing) versus pulling nails out (Sales).
In stating all of that, I state it to say that, I have applied to hundreds of jobs in all of the above stated industries for the past seven weeks but nothing seems to be working out.
I am like everyone else. I have a few bills to pay. I have Senior parents who are not getting any younger (are any of us?) who recently lost their son. Therefore, I worry about how this is all going. One thing I am learning is when you are an average looking 47 year old Single Black Female in the United States you get largely ignored in multiple sectors of life.
I understand how I became lethargic. However, I now understand that lethargy is making a bad situation worse. I must allow the Energy to flow through me. Now!
Since the job market is largely handled online now I have scrutinized my resumes and cover letters repeatedly. I have created a website that I think needs to be recreated, again. I have done a lot of work in finding viable, permanent work. I miss the days of walking into a business, introducing myself, asking if they are hiring, being interviewed and walking out with a job.
It used to be possible for job seekers to do that.
Having written all of that, I cannot play the victim here. Death comes to us all. Death of our loved ones comes to us all, if we out live those loved ones. Illness comes. Layoffs come. Sometimes job firings come. Bills come. Life is steadily happening all around us. Life does what it is designed to do: push us to be our authentic selves.
I cannot help but wonder why some people are still able to get ahead and I, mostly, stagnate…especially now.
As my mother busily tells me why she is altering some of her plans (basically because her “wonder kid” of yesteryear is failing miserably in life) I realize that I have landed myself in a world of trouble when I did not intend to do that. I also realize my parents have zero confidence in me now, which saddens me. It shouldn’t matter at this stage in my life, but it does. I think this is an energy zapper too.
I have always been a driven person who wanted nothing but the best for myself so that I could have a family, home and other basics of the American dream for myself.
However, it’s not about if I have the drive. It’s about if I know how to thrive.
I once heard somewhere in order to “make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
He must be in guffaws over mine.
Nothing in my life has gone the way that I wanted it to, that I worked toward, or that I dreamt of. I ask myself, “Why?”
Yesterday I had someone tell me that I had no energy. This is a person who has known me all of two days. If she can see that, so can everyone else…
Ah-ha! So that is why I am largely ignored in all facets of my life, including my social media channels. It is because I have no energy and people can see it immediately.
This is why no matter how innovative my ads were, and whether they had the right targeting, ad budget, placement, etc. my engagement was lower than low for most of last year.
I get it now. This is why my YouTube channel has existed for three years, but I have single digit subscribers. This is why, even though I am one of the best marketers around for one channel in particular, as far as my knowledge base is concerned, that my sales began to take a nosedive.
I get it now. I don’t suck, my energy level does.
Pretty much all of my energy has been sucked right out of me: the balloon metaphor comes to mind again. It needs clarification: no one clipped the ends and pinched their fingers on my life at all. Someone untied the ends and literally sucked all of the energy out of me…
It wasn’t someone, but rather something.
It was life. I allowed life and all of its circumstances, challenges, mishaps, etc to suck all of the life out of me…
I am still here, so life hasn’t consumed me fully. I still get to be happy and useful because I am still here…
If I want it badly enough.
I am beyond middle aged, but I am still here. I am graying, but I am still here. I am a fat person but I am still here. Just like everyone else who has admitted what she needs and has gone after it, I have a chance to do that too.
At least now I know what the problem is: the problem is me.
People like upbeat, positive, fun people. I even do. I have just allowed all the fun and positivity to be sucked out of me.
I need to do some things that I love: write more, read more, grab a mic and let it rip, re-learn guitar and piano, pick up my flute, walk, go to the museum, get some fresh air, cook some vegetables, visit with friends, hang out…
There is an endless list of stuff I have not done in ages…
I have not even gone on vacation in years…since 1999 to be exact. This was really a time well spent with my maternal grandmother. By going on vacation I mean going out of town and doing something different from my normal day to day routine. Yes, I’ve not done that in 19 years. Shame on me.
Even thinking about that experience in 1999, I have never gone on a vacation in which I did something new, learned about a new culture, etc. Very early in my life I was a military brat. A vacation happened when we traveled because there were new orders to be somewhere else. Military life teaches you about new cultures.
I think even when things are kind of stable financially I don’t ever plan a vacation because of my single status. It is not as much fun to vacation alone (so I’ve been told).
An even bigger truth (sigh) is I have not been on a date in years…12 to be exact.
Yes, it has been that long. I used to convince myself that it was solely because I really loved the last guy (which I did); however, that is not the real reason why.
The real reason why is I allowed that breakup to suck the energy out of me.
See what I am writing here?
While this blog post is a reminder to myself to “Stop Allowing Anything and Everything to Suck my Energy from me,” it is a reminder for you too. I am going to be blunt here: I don’t even like what has happened to me. I have managed to become the bitter spinster flying solo most of the time, nearly all day long…minus a bunch of cats. I know it’s a stereotype and I have always strived not to be a stereotype. Somehow I am on the verge of being a stereotype.
I don’t like that.
When my family and friends see my pictures they beg me to smile more. I am too pensive. One friend who is a former colleague told me that and it’s true. She barely knew me at the time she said that, but she could see through to me…to my soul.
She could see that I was allowing life to suck the life out of me.
But I still didn’t fully get it…You bet I do now.
Now I am learning to start living again. The first way that I am doing that is being real clear on what works for me, as far as my work life is concerned and what just doesn’t.
I think this is the gift of aging: finally being courageous enough to be who you are completely without caring what anyone else thinks about it.
One thing that brought this new practice into my daily routine is something a contestant on “America’s Got Talent” said. He basically stated that if you are in survival mode you cannot create.
He is not the only one I’ve heard say something like this. A couple of weeks prior to that contestant stating that I heard Bishop T.D. Jakes say something very similar which essentially meant the same thing.
I understand now why Jesus fed the multitudes prior to preaching to them. One can’t even accept the concept of everlasting life or anything else being available if one is barely surviving.
My tangible and intangible needs have to be met before I can be as creative, as innovative, as I can possibly be.
I can’t create with the life sucked out of me.
Trust me, I know.
It’s the reason why it’s been a long time since my last blog post.