Why, How, What.

I feel lost. Not just normal lost. Lost in a pitch-black chasm with schisms in the walls. I feel like I’m supposed to know exactly which schism leads to a path upwards; a path that will lead me out of this darkness, but I keep stumbling in the blackness regardless of my best efforts. I’m not afraid of the dark. I’m frustrated by it.

Mom and I watched a couple of TED talks by Simon Sinek. In the second one, he discussed what makes “authorities” (people with a plan) versus people/corporations who “lead” (people with a passion). The difference between the two came down one simple idea: do people know why you do what you do? Don’t tell them what you do. Tell them why you do it.

The discussion got me thinking, of course. I’ve been massively dissatisfied with the trajectory of my life for some time now, so I started examining my motives. Why am I in this job? Why am I writing? Do I have a sense of purpose anymore? Where did my passion go?

Mr. Sinek showed a three-step circular model. The outer shell of the model was What. The middle ring was How. The bulls-eye was Why.

Let’s apply that to my job. What I do: I work in IT, monitoring printer software and configuring applications. How I do it: I answer emails and mess around with a couple of computer programs. Why I do it: Because it’s my job and I’d like to be debt free by the time I’m 28.

Not a whole lot of passion there, and money has always been my least favorite motivator. I swore to myself I would never keep a job just for the money, but here I am. I’m not seeing many options, though.

Let’s look at my last job. What I did: I worked in customer service, helping airport agents get you on the plane. How I did it: answering phone calls, engaging with airport agents, and puzzling my way through a quirky reservations system. Why I did it: Because I love customer service and figuring out the ins and outs of SABRE was a blast.

The “whats” and “hows” aren’t all that different in practice, but the “whys” are eons apart.

Finally, let’s look at writing. What I do: I write new adult fiction. How I do it: By sitting down at a computer every day and fighting to put the scenes in my head into words. Why I do it: Because in the end, I want to create a world that inspires people to write, a world that inspires imaginations.

LoveInspire. Those are passionate words. So how do I find passion in where I am currently? I don’t know yet. I’m switching shifts in about a week. Maybe I’ll find a new answer to why I do what I do. If not, here’s to hoping that my writing will become something I can do to sustain myself, both mentally and financially.

I highly recommend you click the link above and watch Mr. Sinek’s TED talks, particularly if you’re any sort of leadership role. His perspective has sent me into meditation-mode for a couple of days now.

But in the end, for me it all circles back to one thing: I’m tired of feeling lost.


‘So Enthusiastic,’ she said sarcastically

Everything feels impossible. Writing, sleeping, breathing, being healthy, being happy. It all feels completely impossible. I don’t understand why.

This month is National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo or NaNo. During NaNo, you’re supposed to write 50,000 words of a fresh story. I know it’s possible since I did it in a week a few years ago. I wrote 1500 words in the last two days–hardly something worth bragging about for someone trying to get published. I’m just so burned out by everything. I feel like I’m burned out on life. I’m so tired.

I need energy. Enthusiasm. Happiness. Love. Something. I just need something to inspire me. I’ll keep writing either way–there’s no room for writer’s block when writing is what you want to do–but a little enthusiasm would be nice.

Thanks for Your Help

As many of you know, my psychiatrist passed away in July. I’ve been working to get with another shrink, but the recommended doctor’s office has been, um, interesting to work with.

So, as Dr. D had recommended in what turned out to be our last session, I contacted my GP to get my medication refilled. I explained the situation and said that no, at this time I have not set up with a new psychiatrist. The secretary/admin/whatever politically correct title is for “woman who answers the phone” ripped into me for not having gotten a new psychiatrist already and no, my GP doesn’t like to refill psychiatric drugs–which I know for a fact is bullshit.

This goes down as one of those “You know nothing about my life” situations. It took me ten years to go to the psychiatrist in the first place. Pardon me for taking two months to find a new one. I hate going to doctors because they tend to be judgmental asshats, and while my GP herself is fine, her staff is clearly another story.

Jesus. Guys, be nice to the people around you. You don’t know their stories. You don’t know what’s going through their heads. If I were anywhere near the edge of the Cliff of Depression, that interaction would have pushed me over. As it is, I haven’t stopped crying.

Let’s add to this that my personal phone is on the lam. If anyone sees a beat up black flip phone, give me a shout.

In other, non-mental-health news I started taking classes through Coursera. It feels good to be back in school. I’m doing this as a kind of warm-up before I dive in to finish my last seven classes at ASU. I’m also doing this because I’m able to take whatever I want. YouTuber Linz DeFranco recently posted a video about how we’re all told we get to study whatever we want in college, but then we’re forced to take a bunch of required classes that beat the will to learn out of us. That basically sums it up.

So yay college courses, boo the last seven requirements for my degree, and extra boo to judgy people.

Oh, and yay job, but more about that later.

Update: The doctor’s office (same lady) called me back to say that my medication refill had been approved. Her attitude was completely opposite this time–very nice, calm, patient. She even called me “sweetie.” Maybe she’d just got off the phone with the cable guy the first time. Who knows? Anywho, I thought that was an interesting change.

Peppermint is Good for You

In today’s episode of “April Sickness Month,” I have hives. On my face. And I’m coughing more now than when I had pneumonia.

But hives. On. My. Face.

The best way to handle the current stares I’m getting is, “So it turns out I’m allergic to peppermint,” and then watching the starer go, “Ohhhhh.” And then we move on.

I’m on day three or four of this lovely new look. Unlike the pneumonia, this is hardly debilitating so I don’t get to stay home and write. Instead, I get to pull stats for someone else’s team (for the last four years) and send them off to be evaluated. That’s a whole rant in itself, mostly to do with the actual computer system, which purged about 75% of the data I needed for 2012-2015.

Ow. Scratched my face. Bad idea.

9 hours til therapy, then back to work for 8 hours, and then off for a day. I’m looking forward to my (one) day off, which is going to start around, oh, 4am because I’m going to do CrossFit for the first time in 14 months. This should be intimidating, especially if the coughing and hives don’t get better.

Here’s to a healthy May, filled with Paleo, CrossFit, finishing the manuscript and starting a new job.

Oh, right. I’ve been hired into IT. It’s a class of six new hires. I’m the only female, I have the lowest seniority, I’m the youngest, and I’m the only one NOT coming from an IT background. BUT I’m the only one (out of all members, new and old) who knows SABRE (the computer program the airports use) inside and out. Apparently that knowledge was valuable enough for them to offer me a job.

Now I’m off. I’m on a terrible schedule with my lamotrigine, but I’m on a terrible schedule in general. I’m looking forward to my six weeks of training for the new job since my schedule will be regular for at least six weeks (here’s to hoping it’s regular for longer).

Good night, all.

Laid Flat

Remember the pneumonia thing? Well, I wasn’t having any sort of real issue with it until Saturday night when my body said, “Nope, we’re going to spike another fever, go dizzy and nauseous, and feel all around completely miserable.” I keep spiking fevers in the evening, getting hella dizzy and nauseous overnight, and being somewhat okay during the day.

This, of course, means that I’m calling in sick to work, which has led to a whole other sort of stress. As with most companies, we get a set number of paid sick days and everything after that is unpaid. I have no idea how unpaid sick days work for people on salary, but I don’t want to find out. At the same time, my body isn’t going to say, “Oh, been sick for X days, time to be well again!” Then there’s the notion of sick days being counted as “occurrences,” also known as “things which could be used against you if we decide to be picky about your attendance.” That’s yet another stressor on top of trying to work through the actual illness.

Good thing about writing — the sick days may not be paid, but no one’s going to use them against you.

My good friend has demanded I stay in bed and not move, which is fine except the water is downstairs and I’m upstairs. I’m a terrible patient, because as soon as I feel better, I want to be doing things. There’s a good chance I won’t settle down unless hospitalized, and even then, I’d say it’s 50/50.

That’s where I am today. Writing is sluggish, breathing still hurts, but other than that, I’m alive. My attitude’s been pretty good, I think. I’ve made sure to stay on top of my lamotrigine alongside the rest of the crap I’m taking. (I might stay still better if I let myself fall into catatonic depression.) (<—That’s a terrible idea.)

I might find sleeping meds, or I might continue writing for awhile. Patrick just broke into a house and he’s rather beside himself over the whole thing.