Monday, November 5, 2012

Where's My Change? (A Non-Political Post About Change)

For the longest time, I've been wandering around life with this feeling that something has gotta change. I just feel unsettled most of the time. Not really anxious, but like I'm at the tipping point of the next big thing in my life. It's like I'm waiting for something to flick me into the next phase. I feel like I should be doing something, but I don't  know what that something is. I keep thinking it will come to me. Just show up on the doorstep and yell, "Here I am! Now get on with it!" So, I don't do anything. I'm stuck. By now, you are likely as confused as I am.

But, that might be about to change.

Recently, I started reading Seth Godin's blog to gain industry insight for some freelance blog posts I'm writing for a marketing firm. While Seth writes very simply and matter-of-factly about business, his musings also apply to life. His writing style hooked me; his advice keeps me coming back because it makes me think.

Last week, I discovered that Seth writes books. So I checked two out from the library: Poke The Box and Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? I started with Poke The Box, a book about taking initiative and being curious in a time where most people don't and aren't. Basically, Seth's premise is that if you want change in your life, then it is up to you to make it happen. Otherwise, you are just wandering around life with this feeling that something's gotta change. Keyword: Initiate.

As I read the book, I began to remember what it was like to initiate projects, share ideas, and ask questions. I used to do all of that, but somewhere along the way, I gave up interest or power. Maybe both. And as I read, I realized that even though it is in small ways, I am still an initiator. For example, most mornings, my girls and I walk to school. Our path is strewn with litter. For the first month, I kept thinking, "Someone should pick this up." Finally, I clued in. Why shouldn't I be the one to pick up the trash? And so I do. And my girls help, too. What a great way to set an example about taking care of our world. It feels good.

Here's another one: We moved to our new old house in May. We did a bang-up job of unpacking, with the exception of a box of framed artwork which sat in a corner of our dining room for 5 months. I kept wondering, "When is Mark going to do something about that box?" Yesterday, I took the initiative. I unpacked the box, enlisted Mark's help in haning the artwork, and claimed my corner. It took only 10 minutes,but it made a world of difference.

My biggest initiative has yet to play out. About a  month ago, I reached out to an old high school buddy who needed a freelance writer. He jumped on my offer, and we've been working together. Last week, I got a lead on a full-time position as well as some part-time work at my former publishing company. For whatever reason, I "poked the box" (thanks, Seth) to see what would happen. I interviewed, and now I am I'm freaking out because I don't know if I really want to go back to work in an office. Or back to work full time. Or just explore my freelance career from the comfort of my own home. This is why people don't poke the box: fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of happiness.

Regardless, it feels good to take some initiative after a long hiatus.

What about you? How have you Poked the Box (thanks, Seth) recently?

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, keep it real.


  1. Love it! So excited to see what your poking leads to! Maybe you needed all that unsettled time- whatever you pick will be the right choice! So cool!

  2. Thanks for reading! I'll keep ya posted. I hate big decisions for FEAR I'll make the wrong one. Wait. Isn't that just what I wrote about?