Getting Comfortable with Discomfort

This limbo I’m in is kind of uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, not working for the past four months has been amazing. I’ve never had a break like this, and I’m so grateful for it. I have a friend who likes to call it “funemployment.”

But every few weeks, I’ve been interviewing with one company or another, and then I end up in this weird, awkward limbo until I hear whether or not there’s further interest. Even the jobs I’m not particularly excited about or interested in—I still find myself on pins and needles waiting to hear what will happen next.

I’ve had the approach since the beginning of this adventure that whatever is meant to be will be. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to hustle and go after what I want—I’m just not going to resist whatever the outcome is and freak out if I don’t get the offer.

Which all sounds good in theory, but then no matter what I’m always completely depressed when I have to make another draft transfer from my life savings to pay my bills.

a watercolor painting I like to keep nearby as a reminder.

Plus I still want to find my passion, and ultimately, work that fulfills me creatively and provides for me financially.

So in between where I want to end up and where I am now, is limbo. And it’s kind of uncomfortable. It’s awkward when I have to pass on meeting friends for dinner at a swanky restaurant because I simply can’t afford it. Or when I can’t pay for the barre classes I used to enjoy going to, or the massages I used to get at the spa with my girlfriends, or the treats I used to splurge on on etsy.

Discomfort is Key

I heard recently on a podcast that successful people have to be comfortable having uncomfortable conversations—and that completely resonated with me, because I hate confrontation, or really any form of social discomfort. Or hey, let’s be honest—discomfort in general.

I am anxious to get out of a hard yoga pose after a couple of breaths; I am an expert at talking myself out of an early morning workout when I’m sore from the day before or just a little tired, and I will certainly make a hasty exit from any conversation that starts to get weird.

We all hate discomfort don’t we? It’s human nature, and it’s especially so in this day and age of convenience. We hate discomfort so much we buy pre-chopped vegetables and peeled garlic and instant coffee and Ugg boots.

But I’m starting to realize that the uncomfortable space is where the lessons are.

Because if you don’t figure that out, you’re just constantly soothing the beast, right? And then you don’t learn anything, except how to insulate yourself and stay stuck exactly where you are.

A Path, But No Plan

So why am I am uncomfortable in limbo? I think it’s because I’m usually a planner of gigantic proportions. And for probably the first time in my life, I don’t have a plan. I know and believe in the path I’m on, but there’s no master plan.

Steps to somewhereI don’t know what’s going to happen next. And there’s a magical wonder about that…and also a terrifying unknown in that.

So I think if I can just settle into the discomfort a little bit, I might be a whole lot better for it in the end.

Because despite the awkwardness of my current lack of income, I love the perks of this free time. I love being outside as much as I want (and Nature allows), being able to spend time with my furry BFF, cook dinners with thought and love for my husband, and taking an 11:00 am yoga class if I want to.

So damn it, discomfort, you and I are going to make nice. I don’t have to like you much, but we’re going to get to know each other. And in the meantime, I’m going to remember that what I’m seeking is also seeking me: in this case, a creatively fulfilling new career that might look nothing like what I thought it would.

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