Sooooooo. I got over the bubonic plague. Right? Fantastic, all was great and well. Then…. I got food poisoning or a stomach bug or something that left me puking my guts out overnight on Tuesday and most of Wednesday. Yeah. It was a good time. Seeing how I was riddled with anxiety and stress Monday and Tuesday it was the Edder’s best guess that I basically made myself sick from stress and anxiety.
Or it could have been the habanero pickles from Better Cheddar that apparently went bad without me noticing.
I’m not sure, either way Edder did not get sick at all. But the fact remains that I mindlessly munched on super spicy pickles while making din in my state of stress and anxiety (cooking relaxes me). The burning and tears from the heat felt good when I was eating the ridiculous pickles. Not so much when I was puking them up six hours later. Whether that puking was food poisoning or stress induced, I’ll never know.
Point being. Life can be stressful. Sometimes stress (or food poisoning, or both) can make you sick. Yes, I am very fortunate, I realize this. But that doesn’t mean my life doesn’t come with stress and anxiety. I thought I had been handling infertility like a champ lately. And by handling I mean not thinking about it, trying to gloss over it, trying to move past it, trying to stop planning my life around “what if i’m pregnant at this given time” (other infertiles out there know EXACTLY what i mean with that one).
But the truth is that work stress and infertility, combined with feeling just utterly stuck in a state of failure lately, has been looming over me. Like a dirty ball of muck… this stress and anxiety ball has just been floating around with me. Everywhere I go. Hovering. Breathing it’s white hot stinky mouth breath over me every minute of the day. Disgusting.
This brings me to Tuesday night. Where my stress, anxiety and frustration with life over the past year came to a head. Everything from work and infertility to the fact that projects at home aren’t moving along as quickly as I want were sending me over the edge. All first world problems. I know.
I’ve just felt stuck. Namely with my career and infertility. For me, feeling stuck is the worst. I am a very goal oriented and driven person. When I’m stuck in one place for very long I get anxious. It bothers me not to be constantly propelling forward or constantly working toward something. I live with someone who is the exact same way.
Edder and I waited for the right and responsible time to try to have a baby. Then when we were ready, we were ready, dammit. Now four years later we are still waiting for said baby… stuck.
With my regular day job I’ve hit the ceiling. There is no where else for me to go. I am as high-up as I can get in this position. I’m here. At 34, I’ve gotten as far as I can get… stuck.
I teach college, and while the University would like to add some diversity to my schedule, state budgets don’t allow for that right now… stuck.
I’m just stuck.
However, after a long conversation with Edder and some thoughtful planning (after my gigantic melt down and puking tuesday night) I think I have a plan to help un-stick. At least a few areas life. We will pick back up with infertility treatments soon, house projects will resume once we return from our winter vacation and on the career front I think I finally have a plan. I have waffled off and on over my career for years, my close friends know this all to well… questions of if I’m in the right career, what should I do, how do I move forward… blahbalhbalhblahblahblah.
I am a creative mess, people. Creative messes aren’t always the best at tidy details and thinking things through well enough to see how to get to a goal. I see the goal, but not always the process. So I stress out and give up… BEFORE I EVEN START! (side note: this is why i can run road races, i have a goal, but i also have a training plan that is usually sitting in paper form on my desk in front of me all day long). I get myself so tightly wound around the axle before I even start something. I start to doubt the process and myself, I get scared and then I’m out. If I have even one inkling I will fail at something, I usually decide not to go down that path.
This ensures I do not fail. I play it safe, that’s what I’m saying. For fear of failing, I always play it safe, I go for that which I know I cannot fail (in infertility and my career. i refuse to talk about IVF just yet, because as every infertile knows that’s the last option. after that if it doesn’t work it’s just failure to reproduce. i don’t want to fail) <—- just admitting that out loud is pretty huge for me.
I think (and hope) that it’s that way for many creative people. Starting is the biggest and most difficult step. Some creatives have leadership skills, but I’m not one of them. I am creative and have the added bonus of being a fourth child. I spent my life being bossed on… so when I put my bossy boots on it’s because it HAD to be done. But it’s not where I’m most comfortable. My bossy boots don’t always fit well. Unless it’s at home. That’s the only place where I dictate what needs to get done and when, I’m a pro at that. I love a tidy and organized camp at home. I easily run the show there.
All of that means that sometimes I need a strong, intelligent leader to help get me going in the right direction. In this case I need help in regards to fertility and my career. Sometimes I just want someone to tell me what I should do. But what I really mean is I need someone to HELP me figure out what it is I want to do.
I think I found that direction this week. It won’t be easy and it will take some time… but I will get there. Hopefully it will get me to a place where I have some say in my career; a say that will fit my lifestyle perfectly. I am grateful I have a level headed, pragmatic, extremely intelligent (to a sickening degree), process oriented person like the Edder on my side. He helps me see through my emotions, stress and creatively messy self to help me plot a good course. A course that’s likely best for my life and one that leads me to my biggest life goals. He also helps me realize that getting to those goals isn’t always immediate. Or comfortable.
The point here is this. I’ve been letting myself get sick with stress and anxiety over two major aspects of my life that have FELT out of my control. Once I get to that fed up point of making myself sick, that’s when I’m finally ready to admit I need help figuring things out. In the end I usually wind up sitting in front of the Edder in a crying, stress-ball of a puking mess saying “please help, what do I do?”
Then Edder does help. And I calm down. And I plot and plot and plot… then start slowly taking action. This is my current phase, as of a day ago anyway. Wish me luck. My eyes are on the prizes.
Another lesson for me here is this: never, ever, ever eat habanero pickles again. Ever.