“Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough
I just knew too much.”
– Lyrics from the song, ‘Crazy’ by Gnarles Barkley
I worked hard and did everything (well, most things) “right” in my life to reach the point I was when I decided to take my life back. While, most would say I was “successful”, the truth is, by that point I was desperate.
Over the years of consulting and staffing, the growing awareness of being viewed in the Corporate Culture ultimately as a resource and peripherally as a person had embittered me. The incessant, unspoken expectation to put its objectives above my own jaded me. The feeling of having less mental control over the moments of my life and allowing my intellectual energy to be hijacked by some project, deadline, meeting, problem, conference call, email thread or other matter that required my attention burned me out and wore me down to a nub, like an over-used eraser. I needed to get out. FAST.
It’s funny… When you’re desperate, in pain, bleeding emotionally and mentally, all you can think about is how to make it stop. NOW. It doesn’t matter how. Unfocused desperation is a dangerous thing. It makes you reckless. And recklessness usually ends with regret. Unfocused desperation makes you say and do things that a person with a sane mind wouldn’t even consider! It will make you behave in ways that will have folks giving you the DEEP side-eye and ‘respecting your space’ to the point where you feel even more desperate and alone.
BUT, I discovered something unexpected and amazing about unfocused desperation: It’s fearless. It’s open and willing to explore uncharted territory in an effort to soothe itself. That’s when I began to write. I started writing down whatever ailed me at the moment I felt it, no matter where I was. In meetings, at my desk, in the bathroom, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office; I wrote. At first it felt like the mad, disparate scrawling of a prisoner on a jail cell wall. Then it felt like a call to action. Then it became action. Focus. Still desperate, but focused.
Focused desperation is a beautiful thing. It’s urgent and pregnant with creative thought. It’s hungry and searching. And searching almost always yields bounty. My bounty was ACTION, itself. It started with confronting my excuses, pushing past them and taking my time back to focus on the things and people most important to me. It birthed Excuse Breaker, my mission to completely live life beyond my excuses. I could use some company along the way. Bring your dreams and your focused (or unfocused) desperation and let’s get rolling
Is your 'desperation' focused or unfocused?