on dabbling

i had a realization today. i am a dabbler. this is not a bad thing.


until you want someone to take you seriously in a city where people don’t really know you. namely those who haven’t dabbled. because they just don’t get it. the value of dabbling is lost on them. furthermore they lump you into their internal category of flake, misfit, unstable, non-committal, unreliable, discontent, irresponsible. which is just not true.

well, except maybe the discontent part.

i read a little ditty about dharma the other day out of a fantastic book by stephen cope called “the great work of your life: a guide for the journey to your true calling”. stephen says, “the false self is a collection of ideas we have in our minds about who we should be {and} there is a quiet suffering of the false self: there develops a stilted relationship to work: mediocrity, lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm, lack of soul-connection to work.” yes.

enter discontent.

meander down the dabbling path with me for a moment, won’t you?

first stop, legal assistant. takeaways: city planning and zoning exists which informed my commercial title insurance dabbling {see fifth stop later.}; medical benefits are nothing to shake a stick at {drove my car into a ditch 2 months in, broke my back. oops.}; composing professional correspondence is an invaluable skill; and strong women with pretty handwriting can still be taken seriously in the business world.

second stop, commercial photographer. takeaways: my writing ability far outweighs my resume {i got the job by writing a poem.}; advertising has very little to do with art; my daddy was right ~ i do have a good eye {learned it from him.}; and when someone calls you talentless and replaceable, it’s time to go.

third stop, restaurant manager. takeaways: managing the people who were once your peers is next to impossible but it is one surefire way to earn respect; greek guys are not as great in bed as you might think; and don’t ever send one of your employees to deliver the call-in order from a guy that sounds a whole lot like john cusack {because it is john cusack.}.

fourth stop, legal assistant {again. see aforementioned takeaways. oh. and, don’t ever work for someone whose filing system is ruled by post-its.}.

fifth stop, commercial title insurance. thank you fascinating land research. thank you bo feagin for showing me what it feels like to be trusted, supported, believed in. thank you financial reward that brought me to the feet of my goals. thank you massaging of the left brain. thank you for pushing me beyond my limits so that i could reach for something better. something else. something more satisfying than discontent.

i do believe that what has been happening during all of this dabbling is that i have been doing my overachieving gold star best to avoid “a quiet suffering of the false self.” and rightfully so.

during my most recent dabble i found myself staring out the window of my office into a grove of live oak trees as these huge yellow swallowtail butterflies kept flying repeatedly into the glass. it was as if they forgot that they could simply fly the other way. i was in a state of … well … discontent. and numbness and quiet rage.

and a flesh-eating desire to have a continuum run across my life that does not stop where my profession begins. that everything is me.

i am at a crossroads now.

i feel like i am dangerously close to knowing who that “me” person actually is.

and that “a quiet suffering of the false self” is unacceptable.

judgment of dabbling be damned. bring on the continuum.

One Comment

  1. Glenda Walker
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I loved your post. I believe in Divine Discontent.
    It will take you to your true calling, your true passion.
    And dabbling is a bit like piddling – both can be quite artistic and energizing – and fun! Finding true self, true north can take some effort, but so worth it!

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