9.06.2007

you're not going to believe this... or maybe you will

I enjoyed the notetaking work this week. And I'm withdrawing from the program. I'm going to stay with legal doc-pro.

I feel like a colossal idiot. But this is what's best for me.

On Tuesday, I had a good class, and enjoyed the atmosphere and the work. I was nervous, but it went well, and I felt optimistic about my prospects.

On Wednesday, I woke up at 5:00 in the morning with a revelation. I'm doing the wrong thing.

I'm giving up working two or three days per week for my income-earning job and having the rest of the week free for writing and my own projects, for the reverse. As a notetaker, I'll be working five days a week. They won't be eight-hour days, but a big block of time will be taken up, leaving pieces of the day around it.

In my experience, that is not conducive to creativity. I've done it, but it's not preferred. Working in the evening is not an option for me, and never was. I'd be home all weekend without a car - Allan is still working on weekends - and those would likely be my writing days. So I'd be working five days a week, and writing two. I worked for years to get out of that situation! Why am I sending myself back into it?

What's more, Allan and I would be working opposite schedules again. We'd have weekday evenings together, but the only times we could plan anything during the day would be when classes were not in session. We've had many different schedules before, including completely opposite work times. Do I want us to go back to that now?

I had a sudden dread that I was doing the wrong thing. And the more I thought about it, the more I knew it was true.

I knew about these drawbacks. But for some reason, I thought it would be worth it. (Plus, I didn't have other work. Now I do.) I was focusing on the positive, trying to be optimistic, trying to convince myself it would be good. Now suddenly my optimism gave out.

I spent so much time researching this work, making phone calls, sending emails, I tested at Manpower, tested at George Brown, sat through a three-hour orientation. Why didn't I realize all this during that process? I don't know.

I feel like an idiot.

It's interesting work, I think I'd be good at it, and parts of it would be enjoyable. But it's the wrong move for my life.

I'm sick of my day-job, but as Allan has reminded me, the whole point of those jobs was that they aren't particularly demanding, leaving us fresh for the work that's important to us. I have several projects on tap for the fall. Why am I committing to work that will tie up the better part of my week?

So, despite feeling stupid, I'm withdrawing from the program. If I stay, it would only be because I've come this far already, and that's no reason to do anything.

21 comments:

L-girl said...

A nice silver lining: the cottage is back on!

M@ said...

Good for you for realizing you'd gone the wrong way, and for having the strength to admit it, back up, and take the turn you should have in the first place.

I would not have the guts to make that change. I can admit my mistakes, but I usually stay the course until I can find a quiet way to slip away.

L-girl said...

Hey M@, thanks for helping me feel a little less foolish.

I'm going to cover my classes for next week, so as not to strand a student, but that's as far as I can stay the course.

Scott M. said...

Wow - that's daring. In your position, I probably would have gone through to Christmas doing both jobs, or mid-terms at least, just to make sure my mind was made up.

I usually make jumps when my mind is about 80% made up. I rarely get beyond 85% sure on anything. That's one thing I dislike about my disposition, I'm never confident in any decision.

L-girl said...

Hm, that's interesting, because it feels anything but daring.

I can't bear to do both jobs. It would mean working seven days a week. That's just too much work and not enough life for me.

I usually make jumps when my mind is about 80% made up. I rarely get beyond 85% sure on anything.

That can be seen as a strength. You always acknowledge the other side of the story.

But I know what you're saying. I generally know my mind very quickly and am very sure of my decisions. Things are either right for me or they're not. In this case it flipped from one to the other, which felt strange. But it still felt pretty definite.

What a strange few months its been! Yesterday Allan asked me, "Quitting any jobs today?"

Scott M. said...

That can be seen as a strength. You always acknowledge the other side of the story.

I guess. But to me, it's a burden... I still ask myself "Did I do the right thing when I..." for everything. Buying the house. Going to University. Getting a job at Rogers. Buying my car. Buying my previous van. Going on an expensive vacation four years ago. Investing in mutual fund "B". In short, everything. I'm always second guessing. It's not fun.

Scott M. said...

Oh... and are you quitting any more jobs today? :)

L-girl said...

I still ask myself "Did I do the right thing when I..." for everything.

Now that's a different story. No matter how you feel when you make the decision - 100% or only 50% - once it's made, you've got to learn to let it go.

Second-guessing is a complete waste of energy. We can only move forward, never back. Whatever the decision was, it was what you felt best at the time, given the information you had.

The alternate scenarios don't exist - they're fantasies.

I think second-guessing is something we have to learn to let go of as we get older. There's no happiness in it, only recriminations.

L-girl said...

And no, I'm done quitting jobs for a while. :)

L-girl said...

Going on an expensive vacation four years ago.

Especially shit like this. You've *got* to let stuff like that go. Four years ago? The money is spent and gone, and then some. You had the experience, and spending the money did not cause you to lose your home or radically alter your life. You shouldn't be asking yourself about it the following week, never mind four years later.

Sorry if I seem harsh. But this foible could be the key to a lot more happiness and peace of mind for yourself.

Scott M. said...

Believe it or not, I'm better now then I used to be. Dawn's helping me with that. But it's a hard habit to break. Any advice on how to stop doing that is appreciated... :)

L-girl said...

Believe it or not, I'm better now then I used to be. Dawn's helping me with that.

That's excellent news, and I do believe it. Sometimes I think "I'm a lot better than I used to be" is the best any of us can do about our hang-ups.

A big one for me has been all-or-nothing thinking. What I call painting myself into a corner. I'm also much better than I used to be, and I take heart from that.

Any advice on how to stop doing that is appreciated... :)

Talk to yourself. Keep talking.

When I was in university (100 years ago), I read a self-help book that I found extremely helpful. This was before the bookstores were crammed with such books. It was called "Your Erroneous Zones" by Wayne Dyer.

One thing I never forgot from it was about regret and worry. ("Did I do the right thing" falls under regret.) Regret is living in the past and worry is living in the future. But neither past nor future exists. We can only exist in the present.

I have no idea how that book would strike me today, if it would seem silly or wise or what. But it helped me so much in those days.

I wrote to the author to tell him. He wrote me a really nice note back and enclosed autographed copies of his next two books, which I still have.

James said...

At least now you know that this sort of thing exists as an option, should you need to fall back on it some time in the future.

Nothing that imparts new knowledge is a total loss.

L-girl said...

At least now you know that this sort of thing exists as an option, should you need to fall back on it some time in the future.

That's an excellent point. Not only do I know it exists, I've passed the entrance tests.

It's another fall-back option, which - as I've seen this year - is a good thing to have.

Thanks for that. :)

Nothing that imparts new knowledge is a total loss.

That's always been my attitude.

Allan pointed out to me that I researched a book idea off and on for 2 years, and that didn't pan out, and I never felt foolish or regretted it. It was an idea I had to explore, and I couldn't know it advance where it would lead.

I'm not sure why this made me feel stupid and the aborted book research did not - but it's worth trying to apply the same attitude.

(And anyway, feeling stupid doesn't kill ya.)

Tom said...

Don't feel foolish. You took a chance and that's way more than most people would do.

I laughed at Allan's line.

Just yesterday I had a Doctor's appoinment and the Doc asked if Emilio found a job yet. I said "Emilio will find one when he is ready, it's the least of my worries. As long as I make enough to take care of us it does not matter"

David Cho said...

This should be a lesson for George Bush who is now all about we-have-come-this-far at this point.

Good job, Laura. Trust your instinct.

L-girl said...

You're all so nice. I appreciate the affirmation, a lot. Thanks Tom and David.

L-girl said...

who is now all about we-have-come-this-far at this point.

Imagine being that way when other people's lives are at stake.

In my readings about the civil rights movement, I learned that Pres Johnson was all about that re Vietnam. From the very beginning he had grave misgivings and doubts, but he could not figure out a way to turn around without losing political face. And on and on it went, deeper and deeper.

Nikolas said...

no reason to feel like an "idiot"; you tried it, it wasn't for you, at least you had the experience :-)

L-girl said...

thanks nick :)

David Cho said...

Speaking of that, Laura, this clip shows why Ron Paul is my man. He makes the same point.

There is so much going on in that clip. You have the "moderator" ganging up on Paul trying to corner him with that Al Queda comment. You have Rudy giggling into the microphone while Paul is trying to make a point. The audience jeering.

But yet Paul stands firm.

And then Huckabee's being a total idiot that he is, and Paul thoroughly cleans his clock. I love this clip.