We’re not taught how to handle the crumbling of our identities. If your sense of identity is like a slab of concrete, what happens when there’s an irreparable crack? Hope for glue? Sometimes that glue is easy to find and fill. It could even match or be aesthetically celebratory. What if we just want things to go back to the way they were? There’s one catch: we forget that life before the crack wasn’t solid.
I need to exorcise these thoughts from my head.
I accepted a job I thought was like X. We discussed some Y in the interview, but primarily, it was X. The job ended up being almost exclusively Y. When we chatted about this on Monday, the response I got was “don’t limit yourself to X.” Y is so much different that X it’s like a whole new language. “If he wanted an apple, why get an orange?”
To accept this job, I jumped ship from another company.
That old company wasn’t too happy about me leaving. This new company wasn’t happy that I couldn’t pick up Y. Pulling out all of my teeth would be easier for me than studying Y. I was fucked, and until something actually solidifies, I’m still in a bind. Monday and Tuesday were not feel good days. I yelled at someone Tuesday morning.
I’ve been negligent in going to meetings to talk this over.
However, reader, in working through this incredible damage to my identity, I do have a new found resilience. I’ve rejected four or more offers for Y gigs, and yet I could never explain why. Now I know exactly why. I have at least three reasons: I’m not interested in the material, the job will not allow work/life balance, and I like X.
That identity cement wasn’t actually that solid before two weeks ago.
My self-confidence is now reinforced. I know what I want by knowing what I absolutely must not encounter. Y will now give me such a visceral reaction, like a punch to the face or really the suffering over the past few days, that I will now thoroughly dissect any innocent implications of Y because they’re not innocent musings.
In a way, the goal is to become closer to identity water.
You can cut through water. Water will just ripple and wave through any disturbances. Even dirty water can still have its uses. Broken concrete may only have limited uses. When we allow situations to break us, the only one to hold onto that suffering is ourselves. though others may notice and try to help, we’re the ones to pick up the pieces.
It’s never easy to be completely pulverized.
Yet through that suffering, through exercising worst case scenarios, and exorcising the stresses of this reality through direct confrontation no matter the immediate discomfort, we become stronger. We become better equipped at handling minor cracks when we handle major cracks in our identity cement.
Maybe eventually self-confidence will be taught along side other subjects?