Dear empty room,
Something is happening in me. I’ve been thinking of it as a re-creation. We’re regular visitors to the Museum of Science and Industry now, and so we have observed many hatching chicks of late. The external, obvious, identifiable product of the re-creation is not tangible. But weak muscles and joints within me have been nourished, and I might just gain strength enough to crack through a shell.
I think it started about a month ago, when I listened to an On Being podcast*. I almost never listen to On Being. It’s a little to heady and blah-blah talky for me, generally. But something about the title of the episode caught my attention: “Successful Givers” with business school professor Adam Grant. I work in nonprofits, even in fund development at the moment, so I listened to the unedited version of the interview.
While listening to Krista Tippett and Adam Grant, warm and engaging speakers, I had a growing sense that I have not felt open and generous in my work in a very long time. There was a moment in the interview which I’m not sure made it to the edited radio show: I heard Adam Grant describe how people become less generous at work when they have been hurt, and suddenly I felt open to learning how very difficult work situations have calcified me from trust and generosity in work relationships. I know the tightness I’ve felt has had an affect on my job search–can’t open myself to new experiences when I feel constricted by the past. It’s even affected the way I represent myself to the many new people I’m meeting in our new community. I’ve been bashful about who I am professionally, unclear even to myself on the value of my ideas, my education, my experience, my creativity, my capacity to learn and try and fail and try again.
I am learning to view myself with grace, with optimism. I’ve been reading Brene Brown, I’ve been working in a dysfunctional organization, I’ve been preparing myself for the new year. I feel like I’m experiencing healing, not clarity, not certainty, but some healing. Even to acknowledge my experience as hurt, my need as for healing, that’s progress.
One element of my writing that will keep me from becoming an overnight blogging sensation is that I tend to end my meditations abruptly. So here, I will end this note with a list. A list of things I could think more about by writing about them:
- How working in a crazy environment helps me see myself more clearly.
- How dysfunctional environments aid people in treating one another badly.
- About the 3 bullet points of shame at the beginning of Daring Greatly that helped me understand a most set of work dynamics.
- How a bunch of things I read and listen turn out to be surprisingly related.
- What I’ve learned about entering a distinctive work culture
- About leaving so much good behind and finding myself in a desert, about the hope of what will arise from the desert floor.
- Ideas for making the most of the time we have in this place.
Good night for now, empty room. I hope to visit you again soon.