Sometimes, when things are a mess, I think we have to make them into an even bigger mess before they can be organized.
Eric and I are in the midst of unpacking and settling into our new home together. I have this inability to relax when things are not all in their place, so he might be able to sit on the couch after work and unwind from the day – but I sit next to him, fidgeting and thinking through all the things I need to get done that evening. (That, by the way, is the reason our bedroom is the one place without boxes and piles of stuff. Growing up, I could never go to sleep if my room was a mess, so I am insisting that the bedroom be free of clutter so it can be the one place we relax.)
While Eric was working late one evening, I decided to make some much-needed headway on unpacking and condensing. However, that condensing turned into a pile of clothes on the bed, a pile of unwanted items in the living room to give to a local thrift store, and a quickly-being-filled trash can of items that fit into neither of the previous categories. I walked through our house (which doesn’t take long – you can stand in one room and see into all the others) and felt like I had made no progress.
But I know that I did. I moved things around to get them one step closer to their final destination, whether it be closet or dumpster. It’s overwhelming to look at a room full of items needing to be sifted through, and it’s hard when you start sifting and feel like you have moved the mess from one room to multiple rooms, but from there it gets easier to put things away.
Doesn’t life seem like that? I feel like I am in that place right now career-wise. I had such clear goals for my life leading up to college graduation, or at least an idea of where I thought I was gifted. Now I am six months into a job and, even though I am blessed to be working at this company, I feel like I am no where near where I want to end up. I don’t know that I am using my strengths, but I don’t even know that I could recognize my strengths right now. I went into the job thinking I was exactly where I should be. Then I switched positions. Twice. And I feel further than ever from hitting the sweet spot.
But, the truth is, I have learned a lot in this process. It’s like unpacking – I am learning what I want to keep, what I want to avoid, and what I want to let go of, even if it is something I thought I would want at one point.
So I might feel like I am making even more of a mess of things and getting further from that settled state, but through this journey I am sorting things out and trying to accept that everything is getting clearer. Even if it doesn’t look that way from the outside.