Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Being "In The World" and Working Hard

For many years I tried to learn to be sturdier, emotionally-- and eventually developed some kind of "mask" of capability. Seemed to work, although some of my closer friends seemed to "get" the fact that the facade didn't really match what was going on, on the inside. However most of my work life, and much of my social life seemed to demand it.

I guess I have more or less told society that it can have its BS... and that my inner peace is about me being happy, not about them being happy because they feel like they can "safely approve" of my activities. Maybe it sounds somewhat egocentric, and not very HSP-like.... but I guess I am not into being society's doormat, on some weird level.

So I am not "getting it together and getting tough" in this economy... instead finding peace with the idea that there is still lots of "fat" in my lifestyle that I don't really need. Because, ultimately, I don't want to be a tough, competitive person. I don't believe in "getting ahead" by being on your toes... on someone else's toes.

I don't speak from some nihilistic "because I don't have it, I don't need it" perspective. I've owned a business, had stress, made a six-figure income.... and have decided I didn't like who I became, as a person. The world's perceptions of what I "should" be doing to be a "success" laid on my skin like an oily film... polluting my "self," and leaving me with an "empty" feeling. What's that expression? "Hollow victory?"

I "quit" and became a writer. Struggling? Sure. A friend of mine quit a high profile engineering job with a local Fortune-500 company-- now she's self-employed and has a pet sitting service. She feeds her "need" to (a) make people's lives easier and (b) cultivates her love of animals. She has created her own reality.

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