"All sorts of entertaining" - Elizabeth Seckman

"Michael and his pals make me wish I lived in Adelaide" - Cherdo

"If I had a daughter, I'd send her to Australia to meet him (and marry him)" - Robyn Alana Engel

"An Australian version of me. Only younger. And Talented. And better looking. Okay, nothing like me." - Al Penwasser

"Whom must I fuck or pay to get a quotation at the top of your blog post?" - Janie Junebug

Friday, 3 June 2016

How Do You Let Go of Something You're Afraid to Lose?

I've recently found myself in a situation where I've had to consider that question. I have to be very light on the details because there's sensitive parties involved. But basically, since I left high school, my relatively simple dream has been to make a sustainable living from the entertainment industry in some way, whatever that may entail. My actual interest in entertainment came much earlier than that, probably about the time I started to talk. Recently, I achieved that goal when I started the routine of hosting five pub trivia nights per week. It's not what a lot of people come up with when they think of the entertainment industry, but it's certainly entertainment. I love it for a number of reasons and it seems to come really easily to me (probably because I love it so much).

But the problem is I was only able to achieve this by working for two separate trivia companies. They happen to be in competition with each other and in short, Mum and Dad are fighting. There's a possibility that I may have to choose between the two, or worse, that one might lose patience and get rid of me. As well looked-after as I am, there are a lot of people who can do the job I do, which makes me expendable. So that's lead me to this question - after trying for six years to get into a position like this, what would happen if I lost it?

I consider myself to be a vulnerable, but ultimately resilient person. I've lost friends, possessions and of course jobs before. When faced with the possibility of losing my car, I certainly felt sad, but I was also already thinking about the next one. I think if I lost my house, if my parents got divorced, if my laptop with all my important information was stolen, I'd eventually get over it. I would hate it, sure. But time would heal that wound just like any other. There are two situations in which I can't imagine that being the case. One is if I was involved in some sort of horrible accident which left me dismembered or disfigured. The other is if I lost this dream job and had to go back to going whole fortnights without any income, no longer making progress towards owning my own property and finally moving out of my parents'.

This makes me think of Yoda and a teenage Anakin Skywalker, sitting in a dark room in one of the Star Wars movies. Anakin reveals that his fear of losing Padme is giving him nightmares and premonitions. Yoda's simple response is "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose." It's not something you want to do - letting go of the things you're afraid to lose seems to me like a paradox. But you have to reluctantly accept that it's the perfect advice. You're afraid to lose it? Put yourself in a place where you're not. Simple. The harder question is, how on Earth do you do that?

For me, putting my thoughts in writing has helped. It's put things in better perspective and made me realise that if I got to that position once, I'm sure I could do it again. It might take another six years, much to my parents (and my) dismay, but it could happen. But that hasn't yet made it all better. What else can I do?
Meditation?
Therapy?
Distractions?
Quit before I can be fired?
Just snap my fingers and stop caring?

Normally with these posts I at least provide some form of answer, but this time I've got nothing. What's the thing in your life that you're most afraid to lose? How do you deal with that fear?

20 comments:

  1. Here's my two cents worth, Michael. Certainly don't quit in any kind of pre-emptive action. Keep on working for both, be charming to both employers, don't take sides, see if you can ride it out. Who knows? Your fears may never come to pass. But if one or the other company lets you go in the struggle, don't burn bridges. Believe in yourself -- who knows what new opportunities may arise from the ashes? Sometimes even BETTER ones. That's what happened to me a couple of time. Disaster struck -- I lost jobs -- but then found even better ones at even better money. Trust the universe!

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    1. Yeah, Dale Carnegie once wrote that 90% of fears don't come to pass. However, I've inadvertently added fuel to the fire already with my own actions, so that adds weight to it.

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  2. Not easy. I agree that for the moment at least you should just continue doing what you do, for both companies. With commitment, honesty and integrity. And fingers crossed.
    The thing I most fear losing is my mind. Sadly a possibility for my disorder.

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    1. That didn't occur to me, but losing my mind would be a big deal. I'm very fond of it.

      Delete
  3. I have lost the home I grew up in in a most horrible way, through deceit and sorrow. I lost my dad to cancer when I was only 23. My health went and I only ever worked at the family business so finding a job in the field I studied was an uphill battle. So many interviews started with them saying," So you worked for your mom and dad". It was disheartening. Today...I have been at my job, that I love, for 25 years. If we did not lose my home and all I knew, I doubt I would have found a job that truly suited me. I carry my dad's memories in my heart and mind. My health, my pain is chronic but I refuse to give in to it and do my best to enjoy each moment. If you have your health, then you are doing really well. Even if the worst happens and you lose your job, you have gained knowledge and will be able to find something else that you may even enjoy more. We all deal with fears and many do not come to fruition but if one does, you survive and move forward. In the past 6 years, my current hubby and I have dealt with his job loss, his ADHD diagnosis and rheumatoid arthritis, my mom's dementia, loss of income but we have endured and that is the key. Face the fear and hold your head up high

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    1. I'm often reminded that there are people going (or have gone) through so much worse than me and you seem to be one of them. I hope I can be as strong as you if all that ever happens to me.

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  4. In my life, I'd had several times when I found myself at a proverbial fork in the road. There were things I wanted on both paths. An example would be when I moved to Tennessee from Ohio (11 hours away - whew!). I had friends, memories, a good job...but there were other things I wanted, too, and that path went towards Tennessee.

    In all the cases I reference, I just had to ask which I wanted more. With the time I spent on Choice A, could I make Choice B even better? In Ohio, for example, I worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. Crime was bad, I just didn't want to raise my children there anymore. But I had friends...

    In the end, I refocused and reinvented what our lives looked like: willingly. In fact, I've been fortunate in all my "hard life choices" by seriously asking myself what I wanted most of all and letting the rest go.

    Give something up so you can let "the other thing" fully fill your life's work and perhaps, for example, 40% more time focused on one thing might make your life 100% better.

    Personally, I hate the space between a issue and a resolution so much that I push through it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...and the most important thing: best wishes! I believe in you, Michael. You can do anything...and you WILL.

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    2. Thanks Cherdo. It seems like you have a healthy approach to choice-making. I hope I don't have to face that process for now.

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  5. Yeah, don't quit. Be a perfect employee to both and see what happens. Obviously they didn't have a 'no rival' policy in place when you were hired, so they can't fire you for that.
    Ride it out and keep your eyes open for other options.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that's where my own fault comes in. When I joined the second one, the first one understood that I'd only be working on days that don't rival them.

      Delete
  6. Keep doing what you're doing. And as far as your parents go, expect them to separate, that way it won't be a shock to you if it happens. I hope they work out their problems, but if they don't, they're still going to love you. You're their son. Hang in there!

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    1. I do know they both like the job I do. But like I said, there are others who can do it.

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  7. I've already lost almost everything. I'm still here. Wait and see where life takes you. God has a plan for you. You have to get on board. Meanwhile, it's not your job to make things better between your parents, and if the worst occurs, you do not have to choose. Let them take their journeys while you take yours.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's good, a kind of "go with the flow" attitude. I need to learn to accept what happens without it slipping into apathy.

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    2. My children don't talk to me about their dad, and they don't talk to their dad about me.

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  8. I know for me, my fear is my family. I choose not to think about it, to be optimistic that the bad things won't happen, that nothing will take my husband or two young children away from me. I'll drive myself to ulcers if I dwell on what I can't control. So, I don't. I don't let go, and I don't think about ever having to. Yeah, not much help there. Sorry.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha that's okay. It's nice to know how you feel about it.

      Delete
  9. I enjoy your honesty in your posts warts and all
    Cheers for this

    ReplyDelete

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