The Stranger Within

In the recent talks I’ve had with my boss, who is often quite perceptive about people even if some people (myself for one) don’t always like hearing what she has to say, she mentioned that I “live in my head a lot.”  I’ve been chewing on that comment for a while, trying to make sense of what she meant by it, and what ( if it’s even true) it means about my life in general.

First off, I’ve decided she’s right – I do live in my head most of the time, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Oh, the part that obsesses and worries and agitates everything to death, effectively displacing the positive and encouraging thoughts that make life a little easier to manage – that part of my inner life is not altogether good.

But the part that imagines and dreams and wonders, the part that thinks about people and their stories and how to tell them, the part that hears music and starts playing along – that part of living in my head is all good.   But that’s the part that needs to emerge from within my head and start living in the real world.  I realize I’ve been hiding this part of myself like a wayward child, keeping it locked within the confines of my brain, and that’s why I’ve been so miserable.

The culmination of my boss’ comments was that I had so much to offer the company in my management role  that she couldn’t understand why I wanted to leave it.  Apparently she grasped the concept of me living in my head, but she had no idea what was going on in there.  To fulfill the duties of a “manager” in business requires so much energy there’s nothing left over for the life going on in my head.  My life is not business or management or marketing…it’s caring for my family and feeding my creative soul.  It may be my particular weakness, but I can’t seem to “do it all” with any degree of satisfaction.

This morning, as I was walking my four miles, I was thinking about the people I know at work and wondering about the life that might go on in their heads.  What’s their passion?  Because I think you must have a passion – we’ve talked about that before.  Whether it’s music, sports, art, crafts, animals, gardening, car restoration, cooking – something that gets your heart rate up, something you dream about doing, something that makes time fly by.

If you live in your head (like I apparently do) it’s easy to obsess about passions and not do anything about them.  That’s been my problem for quite a while, I think.  But I’m planning on changing that in the days and months ahead.  I’m planning on bringing that stranger within my head out to meet all of you.

And I hope we’ll be friends for a long, long time.

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4 thoughts on “The Stranger Within

  1. Wow, I missed reading the entry on leaving your job. Seems like you could hear my envy on this, it shrieks so loudly! It’s a huge step to take; hats off to you for doing it.
    I find it interesting that your “boss” mentions you live in your head. Why is she feeling free to tell you that…now? I think it’s true of many/all(?) writers – there is that living in the head thing. It’s necessary. It comes out on paper. You have to write, but you know that.

    ANd now you’re leaping into the freedom fray – that is awesome.
    I look forward to your emancipation – both on paper and in real life!

  2. It sounds like your boss is quite perceptive… and that’s a valuable quality. But her perceptions are directed by her own bottom line. I like this quote by Joseph Campbell: “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”

  3. Well, Becca, I DO think you have a lot to offer — and I’m glad you are finally offering it to yourself, because that in turn will feed your family, friendships, and joy. I simply can’t wait to learn more of your passions, your joys and your adventures, bring what’s in your head into genuine focus into the world! Big smile on my face! Hooray!

  4. Perhaps because it’s Easter, I’ve been thinking that if the Word hadn’t taken on flesh, there wouldn’t have been any of that teaching, preaching and miracle-working to fill the pages of the story-book. And, of course, there would have been no resurrection.

    If Easter tells writers anything, it reminds us that words have to take on flesh to be communicated – they have to move out of our heads and onto paper (or screens, if you will), or at minimum be spoken aloud. It’s the only way for them to bring new life – to us and others who might experience them.

    And I understand perfectly your point about creative energy being limited. As the wonderful saying goes, we can do it all – we just can’t do it all at the same time!

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