re: my… malaise.
While I was in Denver a few weeks ago and pretty much everything went the way I didn’t want it to go, a friend and coach suggested to me that I look at what, in my life, I was still not dealing with or letting go unmanaged. When she asked me, the answer was right there for me:
I can’t have what I want.
So then she asked me what I want, and I realized I didn’t know. Asking someone what they want is a pretty open-ended question and while I am pretty clear on what I don’t want, I haven’t spent a lot of time figuring out what I do want.
Over the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking about what it is that I really want, and why it is that I so deeply believe that I can’t have it. And then, some time on Thursday, the conversation shifted:
I already have what I want.
The more I think about it, the more I see that this is a more accurate statement. I really, truly do not know what I could ask for other than what I already have.
What I realized is that my previous core belief assumed that I want solutions to all my problems, and that’s not so. Without problems I’d be miserable. I’d be bored to tears. I’d have nothing to do. I have constituted myself as someone who solves problems and there’s nothing that makes me happier or feel more fulfilled than having a big set of difficult problems to sink my teeth into. The best moments of my life have been when I have worked and worked and worked and finally solved something. These moments were brief, and followed immediately by thoughts of how I will do it better next time–not like there’s something wrong with the solution I came up with, but excitement that there’s still a level of performance and improvement I can reach for.
I have reached a point in my life where the problems I have chosen (and am choosing) for myself to deal with are really hard problems. Some seem hopeless. None of them are problems I can solve on my own. I’ve complained ad nauseum about them, but I realize now I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They are my problems. Some people have kids and some people have students and some people have pets and I have problems.