Friday, August 9, 2013

Frustration


“But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors
Are beautiful like a rainbow”

Cyndi Lauper – True Colors


“I could not wait for success, so I went ahead without it.”

Jonathan Winters


"Wake up, everybody
No more sleeping in bed..."

Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes -  Wake  Up, Everybody




I’m feeling a little frustrated right now and I’m not sure what to do.  Without giving away too much information, I need to write so I can determine the best solution.  I’m taking a course right now, one that I was very excited about.  I thought it would help me move towards my goals of being a traveling public speaker and writer.  I thought it might help me break through the barriers, whatever they are, that have kept me from moving forward in my life.  Most of all, I thought I would get some new revelation that would help me move closer to or reach my goals.
Instead what I am finding are things I’ve already heard many times.  The ideas are not bad, but to me at least, they aren’t new either.  In addition, the main topics, self-esteem, self-discovery, love and forgiveness, to name a few, are not what I need to learn at this time.  Much of the material I’ve heard before.    This is not a criticism of the work.  It’s good work. It can and will help many people.  It’s just not what I needed at this time.
I also think the teachers are wonderful.  They have a lot to say and it is interesting.  It’s just not what I want.
So what do I want?  What was the original picture in my head?  I think I was imagining a course that would teach me how to begin public speaking and writing make a lot of money doing those things.  I don’t see how the course work I’m taking is going to help me reach my goals.  I feel like I’m taking a math class when my major is writing.  The information may be ultimately useful, but at the moment it’s not helping me.
These are choices I see.
1.              I could quit angrily.  I could allow my frustration to take over and just opt out.  I could choose to tell or not tell my teachers. 
2.              I could quit calmly.  I could decide that this just wasn’t the best choice for me, chalk it up as a mistake and move on. Again, I could choose to tell them or not tell them.
3.              I could talk to the teachers.  I might respectfully present my concerns and see what suggestions they might offer.  Before doing this though, I would make the commitment to follow whatever suggestions they give.
4.              I could just finish the course.  It’s not helping me much, but it’s certainly not hurting me and there’s some good material in it.    I imagine that they are going to offer additional courses at the end of this course.

(For the last few minutes, I have procrastinated on writing the next paragraph, because my thoughts are uncomfortable and scary, but here goes….)
What is at the root of this problem?  One answer is nothing.  There is no deep meaning; this course is simply not giving me what I wanted.  This is no one’s fault and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the course or the teachers.  It’s just not what I thought it would be.  I hold no malice or rancor.  I just need to acknowledge it and move on or finish it.
The other answer to my question is that fear and disappointment are at the root of this.  The disappointment has already been expressed.  What’s harder to express is the fear.  I’m 53 years old and I’m still struggling to be where I want to be in life.  My personal life is going through some major shifts and not all of them are pleasant.  I know what I want but I don’t know how to get there.  Worse, I don’t know what’s in me that has kept me from being successful and prosperous.  If I were 23, this might be understandable and forgivable, at 53, not so much. 
Perhaps I’m overstating my case.  I’ve had successes.  I have a good job, which I’m good at doing.  I have people who love me.  I am extremely and sincerely grateful for all that is good in my life.  But I’m just not where I want to be.  I know I could be doing more.  I know there are people out there who speak and write for a living.  And I don’t understand why I’m not one of them.  Granted, I only just took the reins of my life eight months ago when I wrote my first blog, so maybe I just need to keep working and see what the rest of the year brings.
As I write, one thought comes to mind.  I need to work harder.  I need to be more disciplined.  There’s a house on the beach and I want it more than I want just about anything else in life, because it represents the culmination of almost all my goals.  More work is the answer, not less.  And not just work, but disciplined, determined and effective effort toward my goals.  I think it was Thomas Aquinas who said, “He who loves much, does much.”  
I need to finish this course.  I may still present my concerns to my teachers or I may not.  It doesn’t matter though because I need to finish what I started.  And I need to Get Started and Keep Going.