This January I found myself back in the place I have perpetually been throughout my life, which is wandering around aimlessly, wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life and how I got to the place where I am and how that place where I am always feels like a place I’d like to leave – immediately.
You know why I love Oprah? Its not because of her fabulous hair or because everybody is afraid of her or because she gets to hang out with Obama all the time. It’s because she doesn’t go two weeks on her show without doing a story about somebody who was nobody until they got inspired one day and then changed the world. I live for those stories. Without believing in those stories I would have no hope that one day my life will abruptly and powerfully change and my angel will come to me and say “Love, lets do this. 3-6-34-51-52 and the Powerball is 22. I’ll let you know what God wants you to do with it, but in the meantime, why don’t you just go ahead and buy a beach house in Zihuatanejo, kay? You can run your new philanthropic foundation from there”. I mean, Oprah has me convinced that one day I’ll be minding my own business and ordering my Value Meal #2 at McDonalds and suddenly the heavens will open up and I’ll just “know” that the cook in the back is a genius orphan who is homeless and just needs a chance and I’ll adopt her and she’ll grow up to be the President and I’ll get to live in the White House and she’ll make me ambassador to Tahiti and life will be totally sweet because of my awesome inspiration to take her home with me on that fateful day I was quenching my insatiable hunger for a Quarter Pounder with cheese. I could tell you about a million other scenarios I’ve feasted my mind on, but you get the point. Nobody loves stories more than I do about ordinary people doing extraordinary things that make this world a cooler place to be because if I’m being honest, I really believe that one day I’ll get to be one of them. When I hear those stories I don’t think, “Oh, thats really neat.” I think, “When is it going to be my turn?”
Which makes me really a different sort of person than the people I find myself surrounded by most of the time. I know this because I’ve taken every damn personality and motivation and self-discovery test this world has to offer in an attempt to find out why it seems like I can’t find anybody like me out there in the world. And usually my results break the computer or they come back but it says something like, “ERROR- value unknown” or “Only 1% of the population is this type…” and when you read the description of a person that would get this score, it is usually brief because it commands a total loss for words to describe. I think the issue is two-fold: only three people have ever scored this combination and those three people are too strange to really describe. When you look at professions that are good for my personality type, you wind up with stuff like unicycle rider, psychic, manic-depressive and homeless. What you don’t get is ‘efficient little cog in big corporate machine’, which is what I am, except for the efficient part.
On the other hand, the fact that there are a few people out there – that it is humanly possible to meet someone like me – gives me a lot of comfort. There are so many days when I look around at the people I work with, or the parents at my kids’ school, or my neighbors, or whatever group and just think, “am I the only one thinking…(x,y,z)?” and I’m pretty sure I am. And after awhile you start to feel weird and lonely because people look at you really funny when you tell them what you’re thinking. So I’ve learned to self-edit, especially when at work. It is very unbecoming for a professional salesperson to say she could care less about the money and sometimes she tells her clients not to buy stuff from her, because she knows her competitor has a better widget. These things are completely foreign concepts in the circles I travel in and they would likely get me fired or at least demoted. Some days I fantasize about getting fired. But then I cry inside knowing that if that happened, the bond between me and my favorite fabulous gay salesman Leonardo at Banana Republic might be broken forever.
So back in January I decided that I either had to go into therapy or get a life coach or I might go insane because I was born to change the world and so far all I’ve done is changed careers four times. And a lot of dirty diapers.
I thought if I went into therapy there was a good chance I might never get out, so I thought it was safest to try a life coach first. So I began the search for a life coach to tell me what I am supposed to do with my life and why I always feel like a fish out of water wherever I go. You want to have a fun couple of weeks? Interview some life coaches. Ones you find on the Internet and not through a referral because of course, you don’t associate with anybody who doesn’t double over laughing in amusement by the whole concept.
But it was awesome. Wow. Some life coaches have PhDs, or some sort of relevant training and some life coaches have an extra phone line and illusions of grandeur. And honestly, a lot of the times you can’t tell which is which by talking to them. Some are really great and some are train wrecks. But, to their credit, they are amusing train wrecks. Like the guy who I was interviewing that talked to me for a half hour about why he thinks his second wife left him. I had to interrupt him, “Hey, could I offer you some coaching? She just not that into you.” After that moment of genius, it got me thinking that maybe I should be a life coach. I mean, if all you have to do to be a life coach is give people advice and help them solve their problems, then sign me up. I clearly don’t have a great grasp of the world, but I know about people. I can read people. And like I said, my personality books tell me I’m well-suited to be a psychic as well. So who wouldn’t want a psychic life coach? But, I’m an intellectual snob and as such, I can’t get behind waking up one day and calling myself a life coach. So that is a whole other fun story, but the point is, I actually found a coaching situation in February and signed up for a year and it has, much to my delight and surprise, actually changed my life.
That said, the meaning of life hasn’t presented itself. And I’m still working for The Man. And a few months into it I was still feeling pretty alientated from the world. My coach recommended that I do stuff that comes naturally to me, take inspired actions and go find my tribe. She suggested that perhaps people in my tribe don’t hang out at my corporate entity. Perhaps if I were really living the life I was born to live, it wouldn’t be as a corporate drone at a Fortune 100 company. It would be me, doing something else, surrounded by other people that teach and inspire and make me laugh everyday.
A concept I hadn’t thought of. One I wasn’t sure existed.
So what did I do after my third glass of wine one night? I started this blog. People in real life laugh at my stories. And it turns out that when I’m at my best, I’m entertaining people with my stories, but they aren’t always of the ilk that are appreciated around the water cooler at work, or at dinner parties with parents from my kid’s school. So I decided to hell with it – what if I just wrote all my stories down and didn’t worry about what my coworkers or family or the world in general thought about it, and then maybe my tribe would find me. Maybe people who “get” me will enjoy what I write, and start reading it and I will have a community of people who I can entertain and who I “get” and who will teach and inspire and motivate me to be great.
And here you are.
Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for commenting on it. Thank you for following me. Thank you for writing your own blogs that are real. That teach and inspire and make me snort Diet Coke out my nose laughing and unable to read the screen through eyes full of tears. I think the vast majority of you know exactly what it’s like to need to blog as an outlet and tell your stories and write down your thoughts and be validated by other people. So we’ve found one another. Our tribe. Lets keep blogging, keep reading about each other, keep commenting and validating one another and maybe we can keep each other from going postal or owning too many cats. Maybe we can be great together.