You: “Hi Ev, how’s the cycling career going? Staying vertically?”
Me: Well things are mostly going horizontally since I have suffered a severe back problem because of working my ass off in order to pay for my (amateur) cycling career.
It was September 13th, 13:13 pm and 13 degrees outside. I was standing in line for the bakery with number 13 in my hand when it happened.
I couldn’t move for about two hours without pain shooting from my lower back down my left leg. It felt like a nerve got stuck between my back and my pelvis.
The next day, the chiropractor tried to snap me out of it.
But after two sessions I was still on my back.
Here I was having spent a ton of money on a brand new road bike, already crippled before it had even started.
A good thing about being horizontally is it gives you a chance to look up. And reflect. While I was gazing at the sky. Reading the clouds. I was trying to envision what my next move would be. Once I would be back in the saddle -literally- and able to move, that is.
Autumn has come, my sabbatical is almost over and I still don’t have a clue about what I’m going to/supposed to/want to do with my professional life.
Like time slipping away like sand in an hourglass. The more time ticks away, the more the realization comes:
I need to start choosing a direction.
And since there’s no more thing as ‘One Direction’ …
… things can go ANY way.
And that shit’s crazy scary.
But -apparently- this is the part where I should throw in the word ‘exciting’.
My girl Kylie McGirr, could you take the word please? I need to pee.
(Listen to her, she’s the renowned writer of an … (E-)Book on nine steps to successful goal setting titled ‘Get Your Year Into Gear’ … Written by Kylie McGirr… Lovely rhyme work to say the least)
Coach Kylie is right. There IS an exciting side to it. People are seducing me with great job offers. I’ve pictured 5 different futures already. All had some nice things to say for them.
But it’s not ‘picture a future’. It’s ‘pick a future’.
What to decide?
Where to go?
I need a BIG road sign in my life
No, not that one…
Rather one with:
‘Your direction here’
‘100% regret proof’
‘100% satisfaction guaranteed’
‘Try now, you’ll get an ‘always right, never wrong’ compass for free’
‘Don’t like it? You’ll get an alternative route for free’
One year ago I wasn’t ready to choose. I took a detour. And did what traffic loving Belgians like to do: place a big sign with ‘Works ahead’. To work on myself. To work some stuff out. To do anything but work work work.
The consequences were horrendous.
If I could I would have just 8-balled my way out of this pickle. But those things tend to change their minds more than Donald Trump opens his mouth.
Will I find the right direction?
Will it bring me a gainful, mentally stable, enjoyable though creatively challenging future?
I know I need to choose the way myself. Without tools. And follow my inner compass.
What says my head?
What says my heart?
What says Pocahontas??
The subtext here is: The key to pursuing excellence is to embrace an organic long-term learning process, and not live in a shell of static safe mediocrity. Growth comes at the expense of previous comfort or safety.
Every challenge you accept is a new shell, a new home and a new opportunity for growth. The current one you have might be comfortable for now, but what are you depriving yourself of to stay there? What challenges are you shying away from just so that you can remain right where you are?
Let’s all think about this while indulging on a savory treat.
Crab cake anyone?
I guess this blog post will be another ‘to be continued’.
Let me know if you’re looking for a bigger shell. We can all go shell-looking together. Apparently hermit crabs use their social network to trade up a shell. When a hermit crab finds a new, larger shell, several other individuals gather around and form a kind of queue from big to small. When a hermit crab that is sufficiently large arrives for the empty shell, this puts a chain reaction in motion: the largest crab takes the empty shell, the second largest creeps into the newly abandoned shell, etc.
Oh before I forget. I want to end this post with a small communication service.
Recently I was going through my social media and I came across someone using the hashtag ‘#funemployed‘. Now, I know this blog is called ‘Blonde/Clueless’ but I was shocked by so much cluelessness after discovering this hashtag.
Was taking the ring to Mordor fun?
Sure it was adventurous, and Frodo didn’t have to go to work for a long long time but leaving your job to go look for new and unexplored roads isn’t fun. It’s fucking hard work.
Sometimes I just want to snap people into place myself:
You: “Ahm… You should say, you’re having a relationship with a bicycle.”