Saturday, August 22, 2015

99 Problems

I got 99 problems but dollas ain't one.

Cause I don't have any dolla dolla bills, yo.

I guess it's my fault for going to college and getting a liberal arts degree.  If only I had gone into chemistry or computers, I would have a steady, well-paying job by now.  I wouldn't know the struggle of trying to pay bills on a part-time job.  At least the only "student loans" I have are with my parents.  At least I have a well-paid boyfriend to lean on.

Gosh, now I don't know whether I am being sarcastic or bitter.

I literally feel like I am a teenager again, only this time it's not an elusive boyfriend that I am chasing.  It's a job.  I am unsure whether all this stress is coming from trying to shove myself into some kind of mold that I obviously don't belong it, or from obsessively worrying about the future.

How did I clarify the boyfriend situation you ask?  Well, I did the most reasonable thing.  I got desperate.  Obviously that attracted all the right kinds of guys to me and I wound up with the pick of the litter! (There's that sarcasm popping up.)  Nah.  I didn't get my first kiss until I was seventeen, and then my first boyfriend came along the summer I turned eighteen.  He was wrong for me in every single way, it only took about six months to figure that out, but being the jellyfish about confrontation that I am, it took another year to break up with him.  But that wasn't the only breakup.

See, my first job was at a summer camp.  I was fifteen when I started working there, when I fell in love for the first time.  Not with any boy (though that was not from lack of trying), but with the experience.  I'd never been camping before, despite feeling the call of nature thrumming in my veins.  It was everything I'd hoped it would be, plus so much more that I wasn't expecting.  Smelly tents that made my lungs hurt whenever I breathed too deep around them. Raccoons breaking into my tent in the middle of the night and destroying my tube of toothpaste (quite possibly one of the most terrifying experiences of my life).  Waking up to a daddy-long-legs creeping across my face (and subsequent waking up the entire sub-camp with my siren scream).  Running through multiflora rose and poison ivy patches.  Getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

It sounds like an awful experience, but I loved the job so much I never wanted to leave.

I would watch my fellow counselors go off to college and find more permanent jobs, but I just wanted to keep working there forever.  The job was pretty much ideal.  Room and board, playing with kids all summer, some manual labor, being in nature pretty much 24/7.  I got to change kids' lives by giving them someone to look up to, by showing them that being weird was all right.  I had someone approach me this year when I attended the final campfire, and he told me that he had been in my sub-camp the last year I worked there and still had the award that I had given him, even though it's been eleven years.  In fact, I thought I would keep working there forever, but things turned out differently, and I acted very immaturely.

We faced a lot of restructuring in the summer of 2004; our camp master was taken away, the program director was no longer "one of us" and so it was easy to blame him for everything that went wrong.  I remember grumbling, "That's not the way we usually do it. . ."a lot that summer.  I was so caught up in feeling cheated out of a position that I was certain I deserved (nature director), so blinded by my emotions that I didn't even want to deal with the changes.  And so, when I finally broke up with my boyfriend (who also worked at that camp), it just seemed logical to not return.

At this point, eleven years later, I have just started to realize how this affected my idea of career and jobs.  I thought I would never find anything as good, as ideal, as this job.  I thought that having the job of your dreams meant that you got paid a pittance.  I thought that change meant only bad things.

These things are called "limiting factors".  Because I came to believe them through the evidence of my own actions, I created them.  Just like when I was a teenager and was obsessed with getting a boyfriend, but because of the limited pool of males I hung out with, believed that I would never get asked out... because I never did (well, once, but he only asked me out as a joke.  I wonder if that affected my beliefs.  Hmm.).  So now all these beliefs that I have about finding a new career are making it that much harder to find a new career.

In my last post, when I talked about being unable to see things in front of your face, I didn't mention that a lot of this is because of limiting beliefs.  We don't believe that things are anything but coincidence, and so they are not.  To quote one of my favorite movies, "Humanity took a good idea and, like always, built a belief structure on it.... I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier." (Ten points to Ravenclaw if you can name that movie without looking!)  To change your belief is incredibly hard, unless something kicks you in the back of the head.  You literally have to sit down with yourself and work through why you believe what you do, why it's wrong, and then prove why it's wrong.  Even then, your brain will automatically go back to that original belief unless you take the time to correct it.

Spiritual work can be exhausting sometimes, but it is so incredibly rewarding to do this process.  At least, I think so.  I believe that is what my last years at summer camp taught me:

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