Monday, March 24, 2008

Nobody Told Me There'd Be Days Like These

In my current state of semi-liberation, my refuge has been the gym. While I admit that it's tempting to curl up in bed and ignore everything that's going on, I've been soldiering on, and taking out my frustration on the StairMaster. I drift from one weight machine to another, pause for 20 minutes of yoga, and all the while, I'm listening to a stream of lyrics coming from my iPod (set on shuffle). Some things have really impacted me and kept me moving, and I was reminded of the power of lyrics in reading Tiffany Monhollon's post on her career inspirations from her music.

Tiffany particularly picks out a few lines that have "set her on fire," including one from a Regina Spektor album, Begin To Hope, that has been one of my favorite new finds in the past year:

3. “You can write, but you can’t edit.” The catchy hook from Regina Spektor’s Edit hits on an important and undervalued skill in blogging: the ability to self-edit. Everyone’s got something to say, and most bloggers can write about it. That’s why we’re here. But can you edit on the macro level and tailor your thoughts and ideas in a way that forms a cohesive, valuable topic or niche? At the micro level, do you have the discipline to fine-tune each word so that your content emphasizes what’s important and cuts the rest, or do you fall in love with your own words so much that what you’re trying to say never gets across?
If I were to pick some of the lyrics that I've been inspired by recently, I'd choose:

1. Madonna - Jump

There's only so much
You can learn in one place
The more that I wait
The more time that I waste

Life's gonna drop you down
Like the limbs of a tree
It sways and it swings and it bends
Until it makes you see

Are you ready to jump?
Get ready to jump
Don't ever look back oh baby
Yes I'm ready to jump
Just take my hand
Get ready to...
Are you ready?

This really reminds me that life isn't static; I have to move, to grow, to develop. Am I ready? Maybe.

2. Chantal Kreviazuk - Weight of the World

I dont know why I was so afraid... all the time
Memories seemed to bother me.. my whole life
I used to carry the weight of the world
And now all I wanna do is spread my wings and fly

This song always makes me think I really can fly, I just need to find my wings. I don't have to carry everything on my own shoulders--it's okay to set my worries down on the couch when I leave the house. It's okay not to worry about things I can't control. I don't know why I let the past hang onto me, but now I need to make a move and fly.

3. Annie Lennox - Little Bird

I walk along the city streets
So dark with rage and fear
And I...
I wish that I could be that bird
And fly away from here
I wish I had the wings to fly away from here

But my my I feel so low
My my where do I go ?
My my what do I know ?
My my we reap what we sow
They always said that you knew best
But this little bird's fallen out of that nest now
I've got a feeling that it might have been blessed
So I've just got to put these wings to test

Harping on the same idea here, but part of the magic of this song is in its relentless bass line. Whenever I hear this song, and the power of Lennox' voice, I want to just let it all out, and show the world that I can pick myself up, dust myself off.

4. John Lennon - Nobody Told Me

Nobody told me there'd be days like these
strange days indeed.

Everybody's runnin' and no one makes a move
Everyone's a winner and no one seems to lose.
There's a little yellow idol to the north of Katmandu.

Everybody's flying and no one leaves the ground
Everybody's crying and no one makes a sound.
There's a place for us in movies you just gotta stay around.

Nobody told me there'd be days like these

It's true--nobody told me about what it's like to fall off the career ladder, however temporarily. The world is a big scary place, and the important thing to know is that I'm going to break the cycle. This is what it's like to be at a precarious point in your life like this:

You'll worry. You'll worry about losing your home, about how you'll afford groceries. You'll think you're a terrible person in some form or another. Your ego will resemble a pancake under a semi-trailer. You'll want to hide out somewhere, and feel ridiculous telling people you don't have a job. (Because in our society, we are defined by our jobs.) You'll worry about the recession and its impact on your ability to find a new job. Someone will tell you that you're unemployable, and you will feel so worthless that you want to die.

And then you have to get over it. Do something you like: eat a little chocolate, go for a walk on a sunny day, hang out with your dog. And you have to resist the temptation to not do anything. Apply for a job you'd love but don't think you're qualified for. Surprise yourself, call someone who knows someone, just have a relaxed coffee meeting. Ask your mentor if s/he has ever been fired and find out their strategy for coping.

Get ready to Jump.

2 responses:

Victoria said...

As someone who has been on the job hunt for almost 8 months (I refuse to lower my standards, even during a drastic career change) I can definitely agree with the solace you have found at the gym! I think it's the combination of structure and discipline along with the ability to bring some control and consistency to your day that is so helpful. I only work full time at the moment but I feel a sense of accomplishment (as well as hope for a healthier body) by adhering to a self-imposed, strict workout schedule. Kudos!

Unknown said...

Thanks for this! Sometimes it's important just to learn from the world around you, to share that, to be inspired.

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