Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When did I become a chicken?

     When you grow up in a military family, it's a given that you move around a lot.  In fact, from K-12 I went to 13 schools and we didn't start moving until I was seven years old.  Somehow, we seemed to always move in the middle of the school year.  The good thing is that I always had my sisters.  Having sisters in that situation is like having built in friends.  Even with a slight age difference (3 & 4 years), even when you don't necessarily always get along, you still have each other.  Remember the old "No one calls my sister an XYZ but me!" gag?  Well- it's true.  Even when you are fighting at your worst, you stand together against the world. 

     The other thing about being in a military family is that you become very accustomed to walking in to new situations.  A new base, a new school, a new set of friends, a new life comes with every move.  No matter what direction in which you have been moving, you get a chance to start over- and that's a pretty great opportunity.  When you are in the moment, you really don't realize how great it is, but as an adult I will be eternally grateful.  I got to see places that so many people never even dream of and meet so many people and I just took it for granted because it was my "normal".   I have had people remark over the years that they can't imagine that life and that it must have been so hard.  I never thought of it as hard or easy, it was just our life.  There are those who absolutely those who hate that way of life and I am absolutely positive that in the moment I protested my face off about leaving my friends and hating it at the time but that was just a kid being a kid.  In reality I learned that while there are those that moving around makes pull inside themselves and there are those that it makes very outgoing.  I have always fallen into the outgoing category.  You have to be outgoing if you are going to work with the public and so it has served me well. 

     For many years my ability to adapt to new situations carried over into my adult life.  If you ask my dad he will flat out tell you that I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life.   To that end; as a kid, I have worked in corn fields, bagged groceries and was a waitress, worked in an office supply store as the floor help and creating window displays.  As I got older I worked as a cashier and in the cash office of our Commissary (think military grocery store), worked as a warehouse supervisor when we were overseas, came back and did more waitressing and bar tending, worked as a night auditor, been a reservations manager and front office manager in the hotel industry, worked in every front of the house position in restaurants and nightclubs and dabbled in back of the house, was a dental assistant for 9 years and most recently while managing the same restaurants and nightclub, got back into retail in the college bookstore arena.  In between I dabbled in marketing for a semi-pro football team, managing charity poker games and writing. Heck, I even started college at 38 and I LOVED it!  I didn't complete my degree because we moved out here but while I was in college I worked two full time jobs, was still raising our teenager, trying to be a good wife and taking a couple of classes a semester to knock out my gen-ed requirements and as hard as it was to juggle it all, I thrived in the chaos.  My dad's famous (in our family) quote is "You never could decide if you wanted to be a ballerina or a cowboy."  I have proven him right time and again with the schizophrenic direction my life has taken but I have always felt comfortable doing whatever it was that I was doing at the time and always been comfortable trying something new. 

     I can't pinpoint exactly when all of that started to change but I know that it was in the last few years.  It could have been turning forty, it could have been a professional situation that shook my confidence a little maybe more than I thought, it could be that I like my life these days and I am loathe to change that; but I find that recently I have been very hesitant to start new things.  I have been thinking long and hard about the physical aspects of my job and what I can do to remain productive as long as possible without hurting my colleagues due to my illnesses.  It's not fair to them to have them (who are all significantly older than me and have their own health challenges- sadly, the person who is my mother's age is in the best shape of anyone in the group) do more and more of the hard manual labor while I ease back to protect my joints and muscles.  I know that I will not be able to last another 13 years to hit my 20 with this company in the position that I am currently in so I have been really trying to explore what career path I can take next so that I can avoid the whole disability process as long as possible.  The problem is- I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up or how to make it happen here.  I have said for years that I my dream job would be to sit at home, in my pj's and get paid to read.  That leads me to editing or reviewing but there's not a lot of opportunity for that in this area and I don't want to leave.  This leaves me in a quandry as to how to reconcile what I would love to do with what is really feasible and I have been letting it hold me back from taking any steps at all. 

     What started my thinking in this direction this morning is the fact that I am feeling frozen in my current situation in part because of that quandry.  I don't want to start taking (and paying for) college classes that may not lead me down the right path and I feel like something else is holding me back but I don't know what it is that is standing in my way.  I realized over the weekend that one way for me to ease back into taking classes is to do something that I think I would enjoy.  I looked into different possiblities and decided that I could rearrange my schedule and try a yoga class.  As a member of my local YMCA, there are many classes that I can choose from and on Tuesday mornings there is a beginner's class.  I contacted my assistant manager to ask if we could change our schedules (we each work one night a week) to accomodate taking this class.  I contacted the Y to make sure it was an ongoing class and not one that you begin on a certain date and go for X number of weeks and to make sure I didn't need to bring any specific equipment.  I talked it over with my hubby who is supportive of me upsetting our "routine" to take this class.  Everything is in place to make this happen and yet this morning I am feeling a lot of trepidation about going.  I cannot figure out what it is that is making me feel so afraid.  It's a beginner's class- it's not like I am going in cold to an advanced class and trying to keep up.  It's the local Y so it not like I am going to some studio where everyone is tall and thin and in shape and have been doing this for years.  It's not that Yoga will hurt me in general or in my life with RA and Fibro, in fact it will help.  I just don't know where this fear is coming from, I only know that I don't like it at all. 


MissDazey said...

I personally think these are all reasonable and normal fears. Yoga is suppose to relax you and it is a change in routine. As for taking classes, may I suggest reading a couple of books on various subjects of interest for different new careers.

Of course, maybe you are just tired, not chicken.

Jules said...

The yoga class was wonderful. I felt terrific when I left. My back is a sore this morning but I can't wait for next week.

Tired is SO true- I am very tired lately.