Life shrinks or expands inAnaïs Nin (1903 – 77)
proportion to one’s courage.
This is not another pandemic article proclaiming you can snap yourself out of depression as if its as easy as flipping a switch or even that you are doing anything wrong– but thankfully most of us have a process that works for us and it’s getting back to that that is the key. Focus on your solution as I focus on my mine.
But, I am self-aware enough and strong enough to realize I’m sliding downhill and to get a grip. AND YOU ARE TOO.
One could say that courage and fear are polar opposites, especially in a pandemic. They are two ends of a spectrum with all mixtures in between. In my last 9 months, I have had the courage to kick in doors like I was Indiana Jones. I’ll talk to anyone at any time. I have been fearless in a quest to change careers. I’ve turned myself inside out looking for motivation and knowledge.
But in the last two months, I have felt myself shrinking more and more. I’ve noticed a total lack of motivation in myself, lack of ability to focus or keep myself occupied (much less productive), and creeping negativity. This has to be common right now. Its a depression focused on the general landscape. And, if you’re with me, you spent a month or two wallowing in a WTF-type, wide-eyed mode and to let the dust settle. And I had to snap out of it.
My life was shrinking due to the pandemic. In part thanks to our current environment, but my life was becoming narrower and narrower. I was putting my life on hold until the pandemic was “over”. Well, the pandemic’s effect on our lives is far from over. I think I can say that with assurance.
I grew very cautious when it all started. I tend to think that most people did. I was a little freaked out, honestly. It was a total shifting of gears and erasing of the board. In a 24 hour period, all sports were canceled and the government was on its way to closing the country and banning gatherings as a whole (temporarily, but indefinitely).
What worked for me?
The key to my pandemic recovery is not the decisions I have been making that all feel on the cautious side, but rather the decisions I was not making about being an aggressive networker (to the best of my abilities) and pushing myself back into that professional non-comfort zone that pivoting careers require. All while facing a new reality that has the certainties of a roulette wheel at the moment.
But, aggression in my short term goals, as opposed to passivity, allows me to feel like I am taking more (not all) control of my uncertain future. But, it takes corage to jump back into your process. Will it still work? What adaptations do I have to make? There are many areas of my life where an abundance of caution is called. Navigating a family through a pandemic is not a time for risk-taking. One of my favorite phrases is “There are answers to our problems.”
A pandemic calls for “an abundance of caution,” as the phrase goes. But, not when it comes to pivoting careers– which, for me, has been a lifestyle change. Stay aggressive (or true to your style). Stay creative. Stay strong.
If you made it this far, did I mention I’m looking?