So, after two months of no activity whatsoever in my newly chosen career, I suddenly have two clients this week, and both seem promising – that is, both will be good to work with, and need ongoing services.
This is also a week when I’m completing a project that put me in a highly stressful construction environment for the past few months. With the jackhammers shaking the building, and constant voices of workers shouting to each other over the racket day and night, I’ve felt like I was in a war zone.
It’s great to get away from that, but there are endless closing details to manage. If I could, I’d have chosen to do nothing else this week. Instead, I’m doing everything else! I wasn’t sure I could, but I am.
And that’s a general theme of my life lately. I’m scrambling to keep up all the time. I’ve always hated that and felt dehumanized by it in the past. I’m not sure if it’s different now because I understand myself better, or because I’ve made all the choices leading up to this chaos and therefore feel more in control of it (a feeling which is largely illusory, I suspect), or maybe I’ve just gotten better at taking things one day at a time. Could be all of the above. Also, I know some of the chaos is temporary, which helps a lot.
I understand better now how HSPs like Susan Cain and Elaine Aron can take on major projects like book tours or making documentaries, and make them work, as harrowing as projects on that scale can seem to an HSP. It’s been a couple of years since I realized I was an HSP. Other people who’ve gone through the same process often say integrating the implications of that in a way that improved their lives took 2-3 years. I think it’s finally starting to kick in.
Now to deal with my new neighbor who plays drums in his garage that is 8 feet from my office. Once I close the windows and put my ear muffs on, it’s almost funny that he probably thinks the garage walls somehow reduce the noise, like people who think they’re having a “private” conversation in a cloth tent 6 feet away from their neighbors at a campground. I think I’ll swing by on the 4th, introduce myself, and ask whether he’s aware there’s another house so close to the property line beyond his 8 foot tall fence.
I feel much more comfortable with the idea of doing this than I would’ve a month ago, largely due to my new job. It has not only built my persuasive skills, but also my confidence that I’m no worse to be around than anyone else, and in fact, a pretty good engager and communicator in many instances.
I was much confused on this point by the last job I had that entailed working intensively with other people. On the one hand, I was hired for my ability to connect with customers. On the other, I was mercilessly criticized by my supervisor every time I opened my mouth. That left some scars that are only now beginning to heal.
Pardon me if I’ve written about this before, but there’s been a recurring pattern through my life of finding myself in the same situation over and over again until I’m really ready to be done with it. It’s like the universe’s cosmic placement test before advancing me to the next level. I see some potential in the new job for the same negative interactive issues as the previous job I described, so I’m trying to keep my expectations low, and not base any part of my identity on it.
I’m also considering strategies other than suffering in confusion about whether the problem is or isn’t me until I can’t stand it another minute and walk off the job, leaving my resumé and finances in tatters. There’s got to be a better way. I’m hoping my own business will pick up enough that I can scale back the hours in the new job. There’s still the potential for it to be part of an overall balance with other activities in my life. I can be braver confronting issues, and do it in a more positive way, when the majority of my eggs are in other baskets.
Independence day is more like interdependence day for me this year. A lot of people have helped me through this period of financial crisis and schedule oversaturation, often from unexpected directions. I couldn’t have done it alone, and as it turned out, I didn’t have to.
I’m prepared for all the late night bangs and booms with my ear muffs, and grateful for cool weather that allows closed windows without suffocation. I may even hang out with my neighbors at a party. Hope you enjoy your holiday (and have good ear protection!).