I have spent every day for the last week in a constant state of anxiety. It feels like there's an elephant standing on my chest for at least eight hours of every day. If you've ever had the "help! there is an elephant standing on me!" sensation, then you know that it's one of the more unpleasant ways to pass the time.
And yet there I am.
I get yelled at a lot in the course of my day, and told I'm stupid. And a moron. And incompetent. Oh, and there's my favorite, which was "maybe if you'd gone to college you wouldn't be stuck in this job" by an angry person who apparently thinks it's okay to make judgement calls about people he can't see and knows nothing about while he's quite literally screaming at ...well, me ... for something that is literally both unavoidable and not my fault (but due to my university education I was able to think of several fancy adjectives to apply to his behavior, so that's something. Maybe).
I know that I have said recently that I need to evaluate where I'm living my life and finding my joy. That remains true. Unfortunately, what is also true is that while I'm perfectly happy finding my joy elsewhere and defining myself through other aspects of who I am?
I'm not okay with abject misery and abuse for the other hours of my day.
The reality of the situation, however, is that this is not something I can change right this minute, or tomorrow, or in the very near future. It's not possible to make wholesale change at this moment.
It's important, though, to realize that wholesale change might not be possible but small scale changes are ALWAYS possible. It's the life version of thinking globally but acting locally; if it's unrealistic to change everything -- and sometimes it is -- then why can't you just change a something? Even a very small something can have a large impact on an otherwise overwhelming situation.
I can't change what I want to right this moment. But I can start the process of change. I can begin to evolve and adapt. For right now, that means: research classes and online opportunities. It does NOT mean dropping everything and going back to school. That's global. Looking up online classes and programs? That's local. Thinking about a timeline for classes? Also local. Local = possibility and potential. Local = doable.
Local = not having to beat yourself up for failing as we so often do when we try to go global without really being prepared -- and let's face it, you have to make the local changes for the global ones to really work. Local = single steps. Global = the whole journey.
By giving myself the permission to make smaller, local changes, I know I am on the way to incredibly necessary global change.
And that makes the elephant step off my chest, if only for a few moments.