Sometimes I Feel Like Crying :-(

I woke up this morning and just felt like crying.  Nothing in particular prompted this feeling…I think I just get this way when life feels confusing and overwhelming, and that’s how my life feels right now.  I have lots of feelings swirling around in my mind – disappointment, excitement, nervousness, happiness, worry, thankfulness, doubt, joy, fear, gratitude, pain – lots of feelings and I think it’s more than I can manage to control at this moment.  For a long time, I’ve felt lots of internal pressure about my success, or lack thereof, in life.  For me personally, success has taken on a very flawed definition of having a well-paying job in a great career area, being financially stable, being a homeowner, being married, and having children. And though flawed, it’s based on a simple premise…my desire has always been to be more successful than my parents, and so because in my eyes my parents have mastered all of these things over the years, at a minimum, I need to achieve these things in order to be successful.  Unfortunately, because I haven’t achieved all of these things yet, there are days when I feel very unaccomplished and very unsuccessful.

There are some that have and would argue that I shouldn’t feel this way or that I put ridiculous amounts of pressure on myself, but I think we all have to be authentic and true to ourselves, and despite how others feel, this is my own “flawed” definition of success.  Each of us has our own set of goals and dreams for our lives and they’re birthed out of our personal worlds – our families, our social environments, our physical environments, our friends, our experiences, our mentors, our role models, and the list goes on.  Some of us want to model lives after our parents or other family members, while some of us strongly disliked what we witnessed in the lives of these individuals and want to do the exact opposite.  Some of us hold onto money because we’ve been dirt poor and possessing money is our definition of success.  Others view driving the latest and greatest car as success because in a previous life everything required walking and/or riding public transportation.  Some have even viewed graduating from high school as success because no one else in their family had done it.  While none of these define success for me, all of these definitions of success are grounded in something meaningful, just as my own definition, the challenge with my definition of success though is that it often causes me to feel like a failure.  Do I think great things have happened in my life…absolutely!  I’ve had wonderful experiences and opportunities, I’ve faced some tough challenges and survived, yet, more often than not, my definition of success causes me to view myself in a negative light, rather than propel me into a happy place.  As a result, I have some days like today where I don’t really desire to be around lots of people and I just feel like crying.

But, I won’t cry for long…in about 15 minutes, I’ll pick my head up and go out to face the world.  One thing I’ve learned very well over the years is to wear the mask that grins and smiles…sometimes that mask makes life so much easier.

Until next time…

Honored to Serve!

Well, I haven’t posted as much as I would like to here lately.  Life has kept me incredibly busy, which is both great and stressful. Last Monday marked the end of my first year in my management intern program at work, and this year has looked nothing like I  thought it would.  When I started the program, I had not only mapped out my rotation schedule, but I had also identified specific offices that I wanted to work in during my two-year stint in the program.  I’ve worked in one of those offices so far, and I’ve managed to get through three, not the four planned rotations in my first year.  I could be irritated and frustrated about not reaching my goal, but instead, I find myself more excited than ever about my job and the work I’m preparing to do.  Yes, I’m often tired, yes, I’ve failed to go to the gym and cook as I should many times over this past year, but it’s been a long time since I’ve loved going to work this much.  I remember the days when I would wake up looking for a reason to skip work…now it’s not uncommon for me to have to force myself to leave the office.  Spending my days working in the Clinical Center at the NIH has been so refreshing…I know it sounds somewhat crazy to be refreshed by a place that is filled with so many sad situations – young children who are looking for a miracle so death won’t be their fate, adults who have illnesses that their own doctors are unable to diagnose, and so many individuals who are hoping and praying that the latest experimental drug will be their lifesaver – yet, the Clinical Center gives me life, it gives me hope, it reminds me that the work I do matters, and I love it.  Even if my work is only indirectly linked to the patients at the NIH, I’m honored to be able to serve them and be a part of their healing process.  My prayer for each of them, many of whom I will never see, is that they may be well!

Until next time…