Tuesday, August 12, 2008

You, Too, Can Learn From a Selfish Horny Loser

This post is totally long and worth it.

First of all, WOW, so many new readers. What I love even more is that so many of you are commenting. As, you know, it's very important because comments, to me, are better than getting on the scale and losing 2 pounds.

Today, we're talking about a topic you guys had a lot to say about: How To Get Out of A Rut.

I was reading this article in "Elle" magazine called "Danger Man" by Phillip Nobel about a man who walks out on his marriage, kids, his life. He committed to this life - the family life and then he realized, he didn't want it anymore.

"I was bored, Just bored... I had one thought and couldn't shake it: This isn't the life I was meant for."

It's kind of amazing how socially acceptable it is for men to create a certain life for themselves, marriage, kids, the house and cars and then walk out of it when it all becomes too much, to routine, too boring.

But then I got to thinking, maybe there's something we can learn about that.

It's incredibly selfish and self-centered to just leave and barring that a woman is going to be devastated, cry a lot and start drinking martinis at 3:00pm because her life has gone down the tubes... it's kind of admirable what men do.

Okay, now you hate me. Let me rephrase. Today, we're gonna learn a lesson from Selfish Horny Bastards, but in order to do that, we have to look at the action of walking away from a life that doesn't work for you.

So take the whole "walking out on his wife and kids" thing out of the equation, that's depressing. Just focus on the walking out on "High-functioning misery" as the author of the article calls it - that takes courage.

You wanted to know how to get out of your rut and I'm going to tell you:

YOU NEED TO BE BOLD. Bold like a Selfish Horny Loser.

Men are bold all the time. Why can't we be?

If I look at myself, I once was just too polite to walk out on a life I was not enjoying. I had worked so hard at a job I hated that I thought it was admirable to stay. The right thing. I had already invested so much time.

I don't want to start over.

I don't want to take a pay cut.

What if I can't hack it in a new job and then I get fired and END UP WITH NOTHING?

I imagined myself living in an over-turned dumpster in a back alley rooting around for leftover pizza in a trash can. (Everyone knows, of all trash food to eat, pizza is the most safe.)

THEN I GOT BOLD.

Okay, semi-bold. Semi-Bold is when life gives you a sign that this job ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY just isn't for you anymore. For me, that came in a scared-out-of-my-mind emergency room visit, my heart rate was at 230 BPM when it should be like 80 or 90.

The doctors thought I was on cocaine. I thought, "OMG, I wish my life was that glamorous! I want to be that girl!"

Then reality set in. "This job is killing me. I have to leave."

I had to face all those really scary questions that we all avoid by watching tv, surfing the internet or keeping so busy we can't possibly register a THOUGHT INTO OUR OWN HEAD.

My friend who is a writer, like a totally famous writer with shiny awards and stuff, said to me he gets the best ideas by just being silent right in the morning right when he wakes up. He said something smart like he always does that I should have written down but kind of forget.

But the idea was that your conscious, which we ignore all damn day, is kind of speaking to you in the wee hours, in a way we can't block out, so the most truest thoughts will come to you. (Just like they often do in your dreams).

So I did it. I did it a few times. It said:

"What happened to you? You wanted to be a writer but you're so damn afraid to really pursue it that you hide in a job you hate that is eventually going to kill you so you never have to risk having a career you could love. Yeah, good plan."

My conscious is such a sarcastic bitch.

So I was like that Selfish Horny Loser who, for my first time, didn't think about anyone else but me. And I did what I wanted to do. I walked out on my old life.

AND THEN I WAS SHOCKED BY WHAT HAPPENED.

I enrolled in a class at UCLA in sitcom writing. That teacher liked my work and tried to get me an agent. That didn't really work out but high praise from this former sitcom writer turned teacher got me to end the career that I hated and take a job as a writer's assistant.

It was a 70% pay cut. And no, I'm not kidding.

I was terrible at my job. I could only type with two fingers. The writers probably didn't love that I couldn't type their notes fast enough but when I was accepted into a prestigious writing program, people were really sweet to me. They listened to some of my ideas, I got an agent.

Two years later, I had my dream job. Because I was BOLD. Because like the author of that article, I was tired of living the life I wasn't meant for.

It's amazing the things we make sure we have in life. We whip out our credit cards and make sure we have rockin' clothes, big screen TVs, trips, cars, iPods. But we don't use that money to ensure our own happiness - like quitting a job we hate, taking another and supplementing the difference in pay with a zero percent credit card, a loan, etc.

This is just one part of getting out of a rut and we'll talk about more. I just thought a natural place to start is with a job because not only do we spend so much time there (70% of our waking day) but for a lot of us, okay for me, it defines a lot of our self-worth.

I'm not saying it's something to do today, I'm saying, it's time to lay in bed in the morning and let those thoughts come to you. If you can't, if it's too hard, it's journal time.

What do you want to do with the rest of your life?

What makes you happy?

How can you get there?

Are you ready to be bold?


This blog is dedicated to being mini-bold, semi-bold and gia-normously BOLD.
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26 comments:

Andrea said...

Um...I love you??

Kidding..but in all honesty, this post came at the right time. I woke up this morning so irritated that I have to go back to a job that bores me to tears. I spent the majority of my morning quiet, crabby and giving people the "don't dare talk to me" look.

I'm not saying I have the balls to quit just yet but your post was great motivation. Thank you!!

Katie said...

Wow, I needed to hear this and I'm only 25. How did I get in on a job I don't even like? Oh, yeah, student loans but really, I don't want my life to suck and hate every day.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Rose said...

I really really want to be bold. But something stops me everytime. Either its the fact that I don't know what to do next and when I ask I get a bunch of different answers. I need to really figure it out. But this post helped a lot!

Tw!nkleTw!nkle said...

Hey girlie. wanted to share my story of boldness. well to me it feels bold, i dont know what ull think about it but here it goes:

i came into college with an idea that i wanted to be a doctor. where did that idea come from? who knows. a child who starts to watch ER at like 10 years old and gets addicted to Greys anatomy? well anyway, when i couldnt cut the classes (advanced chem, advance ORGANIC chem...etc) i went down a tad and switched to nursing. i didnt want to give up. i took chemistry 3 times and finally passed it a month ago. when i got insomnia, started sleeping through classes, started WILLINGLY skipping classes, started failing, i knew something was wrong. when my entire body was hurting and i had nightmares every single night, i knew something was wrong. i knew i had to get out of this life, it wasnt for me, i cant do it.

i took a class this summer that was a history class. its a pre-req for school but u get to choose ur own class out of like 50 options. so i chose a history class. i LOVED it. i also almost cried last semester when i found out that there is no room in my schedule for my german classes (im german and it felt just wrong).

walking to my history class one day i saw in the school newspaper, right there on the front page, a story about a professor at my school who is doing research on the holocaust. now to anyone else it might have been just an interesting story. but to me it was a sign.

so now i am a double major in history and german. im coming back to get my masters in german studies and possibly go on to get my PhD.

my mother talks to me almost every day about "someone" shes talked to or "something" shes heard. this and that about what i should do but i have to brush it off. i know in my heart that this is right. my insomnia vanished and i have a new outlook on my life.

sorry this is so long. wanted to share!!

adventure grrl said...

Andrea, keep at it, girl! Can I borrow your "don't dare talk to me" face? :) Katie, glad you liked this post, Rose, you, too. Start a journal, ladies, you'll be shocked when you let go, what your "self" really wants to tell you.

TwinkleTwinkle - Rock on girl! Sometimes, we have to eliminate what we don't want to do before we find what we do want to do. I think it's cool that you left yourself open and listened to the signs.

SOMETHING EVERYONE CAN LEARN FROM.

When we don't listen, our bodies start screaming at us. You're now in the "May Parents Hate My Career & Have A Lot to Say About It" Club. I'm the President. Although, they have stoppped saying so much once I got successful. Until then, tune them out.

IT'S YOUR LIFE. They just don't know it yet.

Alex said...

I'm a new reader and I loved this last post.

I hope to read many more like it. I really admire the boldness you show.

Linda Salas said...

I´m thinking, yeah, it takes guts to let go!

thanks for a great great post!

Trials and Tribulations...NAH Just Tabb said...

AMEN!!! 6 years aog I had a great paying job but hated it...so I quit, 2 weeks after my husband and I bought a new house. We also had a 18 month old! I went back to school part time and stayed with my munchkin the rest. I now have my masters in curriculum and instuction and couldn't be happier. GO US!!

Tw!nkleTw!nkle said...

Adventure Girl, thanks for the pep talk :) it feels really good. i sit back and smile and think im SO GLAD that i made the change. i just feel lighter and im looking forward to actually learning and excelling. it sucks being the stupid person in class, or being the one thats afraid to ask the questions with obvious answers.

yea i guess i am in that club now :P can i be VP? i just let my mom go, let her finish what she has to say and i say "thats nice mom. too bad ive already made my decision". lol

Anonymous said...

here's a good article about the very same thing that I just read on Oprah.com:

http://www.oprah.com/article/omagazine/200809_omag_beck_coach

Ali

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jolie said...

You are the bold-y-est of the bold. I just found your blog and I looooooove it. And this post was so great and really what I needed to hear.

LoveBug said...

Who would think I could feel so lost in my 20s. UR blog makes me feel so much less alone and instead of just feeling sorry for myself, has inspired me to do something about it.

KBO said...

You're daring me to be bold, and I had some bold-ass ideas today that I'm going to do. Happening upon your blog was a sign!

LoveLucy said...

I have just spent the past several hours laughing and crying while I read your blog. It really is amazing all that you went through and I just wanted to say, "You're waaaaaay bold!" Thank you, thank you.

RadoMom said...

HOLY CRAP you are right in my head...or I should say my husbands head? Without going on and on...he HATES his job and love's his "life"...ie me and the kids, but 70 percent of his life is work.
I'm totally printing this out and leaving it out on the coffee pot in the morning!
THANK YOU....
--Radomom

cl-pooh1972 said...

Bold... It took a stroke for me to learn that I hated my job. I was out of work for 2 years. Now I have been offered a job that's at a school where I can actually TEACH instead of breaking up fights.

It's a hell of a pay cut, but I get to do what I went to school for.

Michelle J said...

Inspiring!!!

Indeed girlie!!

I am ready to be BOLD!!!

Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi I just came to your blog on a whim today and I needed to read it. I am 41 and although I love many aspects of my life, I feel I need a change but I am scared. One thing I want to do is live somewhere else...farther away...but it scares me. It scares me to be away from friends. Even though I've been very independent my whole life...to walk away from the community I have built would be hard.
I believe we have an inner voice but we don't hear it. We don't hear it because we are too distracted, busy, filled with too many emotions, or we just never get quiet. I can totally relate to the middle of the night stuff...I am going thru that right now. There are messages but I am not sure how to "get" them. I am like "okay, I hear! I hear! but HOW???" I am willing but HOW??? What else can I do? One thing spirit is telling me is to clear out my house which I am doing now. I believe the next step is almost always there..take that and the step after will come.
I would like to start a journal but not sure what to write.

Call_Me_Toots said...

I just found your blog and I have been trying to read it all in the last few days. You are so inspiring! I have the people and things in my life that I want but I wish that I was looking at it differently. I wish that I could start to see stuff a little more clearly. Thank you for giving me that little bit of a nudge and inspiration to do that, even if I only start an Adventure Bowl. :o)

Cassie said...

You know those kinds of days where 5pm cannot come fast enough? (at least in an office setting) I had one of those today and followed your link over from Dooce. I'll admit that I spent a lot of my work day reading your entries (from day 1) and I have to say I'm definitely bookmarking your blog. Your journey hits so close to home and entries like this one make me sit up and re-evaluate what's going on for me.

I've been with this company for 4 years an although I like a lot of my coworkers I'm going nowhere. This post made the tears leak out just a bit and I'm hoping this next week is the starting point of finding something better.

RadoMom said...

Thanks for the comment on radomom AG! I do take the pics, but will someday go "bold" on photography. Thanks again for inspiring my husband (not on the "selfish horny loser part--the career part). He LOVED the blog...
Talk again soon!

MizFit said...

newbie

long post? so worth it.

LOVELOVE your humor.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Thank you for posting this. Just by chance I came across it today and I think there might be a reason for it.

I am feeling very sad lately feeling like life is passing me by. I am not sure how to change this. It's not like I don't have passion or interests, I do, and I engage in them and they bring a lot of joy into my life. And it's not like I am not involved in something outside myself, I am very active in a certain cause and very glad I am. I have some friends and people to go out with.

But I still feel something is missing and it is screaming "relationship", "family" or something like that. I los my mother two years ago and she was the last family person I felt who really cared for me.

I've had several love relationships in my life and I never said "YES" completely to any of them. I am feeling sad about that not sure if my intuition was guiding me correctly or if the problem is me. It's always easier to think this looking back.

Anyway, I am thinking in order to change my life and bring more satisfaction and happiness in it, I need to be bolder. I am in a rut here, even with all my activities, and the chances of meeting someone here are probably small. That may mean traveling on my own which makes me feel lonely...however, doing so could open new horizons.

I believe sometimes we need to make a first move to change our lives...and we need to pay attention within for answers. I am trying to! I am seriously thinking of either taking some kind of cruise in Europe (meet European men) and/or getting a motorcycle and joining a woman's motorcycling group and traveling all over.

Thanks for your post.

Oh, I am 41.

adventure grrl said...

Dear Anonymous,
I love your comment especially, "I believe sometimes we have to make the first move to change our lives." That is so beautiful. GO DO IT! The cruise and the motorcycle club. It's not the destination, it's the journey - it's the fiercess along the way that helps us find ourselves and gives us power to harness the strength we feel - AND THEN APPLY IT to other parts of our lives.

KEEP IN TOUCH!

Rasquachi said...

As someone who has dealt with boredom and dissatisfaction by picking up and moving to a different state where I didn't know anyone not once but several times, I can truly say it's been fabulous.

If you've got no kids or other dependents, do yourself a favor and get the fuck out of dodge if you're unhappy-- whether dodge is your job, your town, your school or your significant other's kool-aid.

Yeah, you'll miss your friends. So what. They'll still be your friends. You'll visit each other. You'll make new friends. You'll find new favorite places to go and crappy apartments to love in spite of yourself. You'll have fabulous 72-hour first dates that might just turn into the love of your life. Best of all, you won't die a little bit inside every day hating your existence.

Do it. It rocks.