June 2, 2008

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

Posted in Life tagged , , at 9:34 pm by Katelyn

I recently had to make yet another big decision in my life.  And by big decision I mean anything that will affect my daily life for a possible extended amount of time.  In the week and a half of torture that I went through in weighing my options and finally putting myself behind my decision, I learned something about myself that I am writing down so I remember it and future decisions will feel less like purgatory…

My initial reaction/feeling when first posed with my alternate option or decision is really my gut instinct speaking to me and that is ultimately what will make me happiest.

I have many friends, family members, and mentors whose opinions and insight I value very much.  Because of this, when a decision is placed in front of me I feel that I cannot make a choice until I have heard the thoughts of these people.  While they always stretch my mind and get me to consider different perspectives, I am influenced by them and sometimes in directions that are not in line with my heart.

That initial reaction that we have to something, anything, is what we think before we think and before we are affected by external factors like opinions, money, status, etc.   I know that decisions are hardly ever that black and white, but I think that listening to our heart and going with our gut is what we should strive for in the majority of our decisions.

In the end a decision must be made and we will never know whether we made the right one, but at least we made one and we stayed true to ourselves in doing so.

May 5, 2008

Making a Life Not a Living

Posted in Life tagged , , at 9:25 pm by Katelyn

If you’ve ever had a job that was not quite your ideal job, you know the feeling that comes with the common question, “what is it that you do?”  That slight drop in your stomach, the eyes that break contact, and the tendency to speak at a much lower frequency in hopes that the questioner will not catch your entire response.  It’s not that we don’t do our jobs well or that we despise them, it’s more that we would rather be responding with the job we have always seen ourselves doing.

It’s moments like these when I wish our society would value people’s lives rather than their positions.  I wish we could respond with what we do when the clock hits 5:00p.m. and our own lives begin.  Aren’t those post-5p.m. activities where we find the most in common with others?  Sure we can make professional contacts by professing our job title, but the true connections are made by finding a similar activity enjoyed outside of work.  Besides, my time outside of work is far more interesting because that is the time when I do my best thinking.  I brainstorm ways to learn and I think long and hard about what job would be my dream job (not all of us know!).

Instead of a project manager, I would respond with, “I am a reader, a singer, a philosopher, a blogger, a runner, an artist…”  These titles tell more of the story of my life than my job title.

As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life.'”

February 25, 2008

Isn’t it Common Courtesy?

Posted in Life tagged , , , at 7:59 pm by Katelyn

Not too long before my recent move, I had a conversation with a friend (also a transplant) about the difficulty of making friends in a new city. Both of us were able to list specific instances where an acquaintance told us of their upcoming social plans with other friends and yet didn’t follow them with a “would you like to join us?”.

Now that I am in another new city, I find myself again in the situation of needing/wanting to make new friends. Twice already since I moved here just a month ago, I have experienced the leave-me-hanging, don’t-bother-to-invite-me-along scenario.

I thought that unless you really disliked someone, it was common courtesy to extend the invitation to join in on your social plans if it was a group thing . At least that is what I would do, and I think I would be even more inclined to do so knowing that the person was brand new to the area.

I’m a bit confused by all of this. Am I not as friendly as I think I am? Am I not showing enough interest in making friends or having a social life? Or am I intimidating in some way because I am new?

Have you seen this at all in your moves? I’m curious to know if it’s just me who is experiencing this phenomenon.

November 30, 2007

Question my Sanity

Posted in Careers tagged , , , at 2:50 pm by Katelyn

One of the many things I looked forward to and then enjoyed over the holiday weekend was the opportunity to have a long conversation with my boyfriend’s father.  I value his insight and advice because he does not sugar-coat anything for me.  He listens to how my life and my job are going and then he bluntly tells me what he thinks I should do, and I appreciate that!  This past weekend was no exception.

I explained to him some of my frustrations with work and expressed my fear that I am heading into a rut because I have accepted the monotony of my job and my evenings after the job.  He said, “You are in a rut; I can tell.  You need to kick it in gear and do something about it.”  Then he proceeded with a phrase he said he still goes by:

“You’re not doing something right if your family/friends aren’t questioning your sanity.” 

I laughed at first and dismissed the phrase as we moved on to discussing ways I could make changes in my life, but here I am a week later still mulling over that phrase.  Maybe he’s got something here. 

If you’re not doing something out of the ordinary, something your friends might consider crazy, you’re most likely doing something very normal and something that’s expected of you.  Where is the challenge and personal growth in that?  I have to say I was inspired to pick a date and make some serious changes with the normalcy in my life.

What would I have to do for my friends & family to question my sanity?  I could think of several interesting and crazy things to try…

I could quit my job with great benefits to be a temp. where I could try lots of different jobs to find a better fit for me.

I could audition for professional singing or dancing gigs.

I could go back to school for a master’s in music, just because I love it.

I could attend cosmetology school, because I love styling hair and I’m great with people.  And maybe one day open my own salon.

I could become a Pilate’s or yoga instructor.

I could turn my love of knitting into a business.

I could try a year of teaching.  (everyone in my family already has)

There are tons of things I could think of doing with my life/career where people would definitely question my sanity.  Would they be worth it?  Who knows?  Would I always wonder if I didn’t try any of them?  Definitely!

What crazy things would you do?  List as many as you can think of.  It’s cathartic.  I promise.


October 29, 2007

Less is More

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 8:03 pm by Katelyn

Last week I stumbled across an article that contained an interesting idea, and one that I am going to use.  The idea is to create a “Right-Brain File” and it comes from Michael F. Melcher, author of The Creative Lawyer, in his blog.  Melcher believes that thinking is overrated when it comes to figuring out what we should be doing with the rest of our lives and that our subconscious may already be doing the work for us; we just have to collect the results. 

A “Right-Brain File” is anything that intrigues, excites, puzzles you, etc.  and it could come in the form of an article, a photo, a brochure, a label, song lyrics, or a quote.  Don’t give any thought to the items you put in the file.  Once it has grown, look through the file for patterns or insights and hopefully it will open the door to ideas for your life. 

I am starting mine today by designating a small box to hold the contents of my “Right-Brain File.”  I think this may be harder than it sounds and I’m guessing it will take me quite some time to have a file of notable size.  How do you let your subconscious lead you to items when you have to consciously remind yourself to be looking for them?  Or how do I know I won’t pick things because I know they will lead me to certain conclusions when I review the file?

Whether or not it leads me to an epiphony, I think anything is worth a shot when it comes to learning more about yourself.


October 25, 2007

A treasure hunt

Posted in Careers, Uncategorized tagged , , at 8:53 pm by Katelyn

Several weeks ago while describing my current job situation to a friend whom I respect, he stopped me and asked, “If money, location, experience, etc. didn’t matter one bit, what would you love to do?”  I stared at him for a few seconds, stuttered some verbal fillers, and then said, “honestly – I have no idea”.  Sitting here thinking about that question again, I still come up with a blank.  I’ve tried thinking back to my childhood for some crazy dream of being a ballerina or a music star or something, but I can’t even think of what I wanted to be when I was a child. 

I am a driven person.  I am constantly working towards goals both big and small.  Each morning I make a to-do list at work (even if it only consists of one thing), I set goals for reading books etc., I am constantly saving items for a portfolio of professional achievements; how can I not be working towards something I would love to do?   How many people, I wonder, know what that one thing is they would do if all boundaries and obstacles did not exist?  Are we meant to have one or many in our lifetime? 

After a brief period of disappointment in myself for having no apparent direction for my career, I have decided that now that I am aware of the question, I will pursue an answer.  It may not come to me this week, this year, or this decade, but I am sure that it will.  I envy those who know what they were born to do.  But for the rest of us, I guess life just gets to be a giant treasure hunt.