Well hi July, how did you get here?
I just returned from a physical therapy session, in which I got another dry needling treatment. If you're not familiar with the technique, it involves a physical therapist sticking a million tiny needles into your most painful and sensitive muscles to elicit a release and relaxation response from a trigger point. Yes, it hurts as much as it sounds like it hurts. But when you're in pain you do what it takes for relief.
I kinda overdid things the past few weeks, and am pulling back as I start another week. This is all part of me finding a new equilibrium in my life and in my schedule. I'm my own boss. Followed by, oh my gosh, I'm my own boss.
Part of what I'm doing this summer is a whole lot of healing. I've been sitting curled up at a desk in an office since age 21. Back then I remember my first headaches, which came bent over at the newsroom, working till the early hours of the morning. I thought maybe getting out of newspapers would help how I processed stress. This is what we call a sort of "geographic cure." It did not. The adrenaline junkie, the perfectionist, the achiever -- she took that everywhere she went.
As someone who has worked in an office for 19 years straight (albeit not the same one), I'm adjusting to the freedom that comes when the 9-to-5 goes away. It's good, and sometimes difficult, and always revelatory. I love being able to read, and work on my personal writing, and attempt to meditate/go to TJ Maxx, without constraints.
It also has brought to the surface is how much work still was part of my identity.
When I was first in recovery, a sponsor told me she thought I had another addiction -- work. This is what's called a process addiction. I was like, "no ma'am I do not!" Nearly two years later I can say yes, yes I did. Even when I didn't particularly like a job, or felt like it wasn't the best path for me, I still clung to the illusion of security around having a 9-to-5.
There's so much I love about work. I love being part of a team, and I'm very good at leading them. I enjoy working with, coaching, and mentoring young writers and content creators. And of course I love the process of shaping a narrative, be it a story, a package of stories, or an entire publication, from start to finish. I love solving tough problems.
I'm reminded in this season that I can still do that, and am being shaped to do that again in a new capacity. Opportunities are unfolding that allow me to do these things, but it's unfolding in a way that's unfamiliar and different. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't scary. Sometimes it's downright overwhelming. But here it is, unfolding.
Just like the dry needling, part of my process is going deep into the trigger points. What still hurts? What still needs to heal? What brings relief? Only then can we create a meaningful life, with work in the mix but not at the center. Maybe it's what I needed all along.