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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mistakes



Admitting mistakes and managing expectations...

If I could un-do the first three months of 2016 and probably the last couple of 2015 - or even erase them completely, I absolutely would.  However, if I've learned anything about change recently it's that whatever was done can usually be un-done.

Back in September/October of 2015 - I made a number of decisions that I thought would greatly enhance my "quality" of life.  These decisions were fairly well-thought-out in my mind, although may have appeared impulsive to those around me.  I'm not the best at explaining myself - especially on things I've been thinking about internally for quite sometime.  Things that seem rational, intentional, and purposeful internally - externally present at the drop of a hat because I haven't told anyone what I'm doing.  The biggest one - my decision to move.  This along with a number of other smaller changes I made all at once over the course of a month or two.

I moved on November 30th, 2015.  By the second day, I was painfully aware of my mistake.  I thought it was just moving day nerves/anxiety.  I unpacked as quickly as possible, thinking once all my stuff was in place, I would start to feel better.  If anything, it just made my anxiety worse.

I hated everything about that apartment and I couldn't explain it.  I couldn't sleep in there, I couldn't work in there, I didn't like the noises, the darkness, the space.  I would sit in my car in the evening after I got home at night, sometimes for an hour or more just because I didn't want to go inside.

I decided I couldn't risk staying in an environment where I felt so unhappy, where I had to struggle every day to stay in the light.  It wasn't good for me and I needed to feel in control of the situation especially if I had the opportunity to change it.

But how do you explain that?  How do you explain that mistake to your family and friends?

Well, I didn't.  I just told everyone I was moving back.  Then I was really unhappy that no one was being very supportive and that everyone was questioning me.

Lessons in managing expectations: I've been listening to the Jess Lively podcast since about August of 2015 - she's amazing and you need to check it out!  I don't listen to them in any particular order but recently I listened to #108 (conscious uncoupling) where they discussed managing expectations when you're delivering news (good or bad).  It made me reflect on my most recent experience with this - my moving news (other many professional applications as well).  The theory isn't necessarily about explaining yourself (which is hard for me), it's about setting the stage for what you need after you give the news.

For example - instead of me just blurting out, "hey I'm moving back." and waiting for all the Why?s and other questions which eventually just upset me more.  I could have started out by saying "I'm in a stressful situation and I really need your support on this first and foremost.  I'm planning to move back - can you support my decision?"  By directly asking for support, it can help limit the negative why questions and will hopefully start the conversation out with "yes, I support your decision - what's our next step..."

If only I had noticed that podcast sooner!!  By not managing expectations (mine and others) when I shared my somewhat sudden news, I turned a negative situation into an even more stressful one (mostly for me).  It did eventually all smooth over, but could have gone better.

I moved back April 1, 2016.  And I'm a little nervous to type this into black and white... but things have NEVER been better.  It's shockingly weird.  I understand many things align to create good v bad days / good moods / that high on life feeling... but things are back to where they should be.

Some people would power through, make the best of the situation, whatever you want to call it... it's settling.  You have to trust your soul, your gut, your intuition to know when things just aren't right and believe when you need to fix it.  Life is way too short to be unhappy.

Also, I hated wordpress.  I'm back on blogger as of Sunday.  Someone got in my head about giving up on this blog so I'm here, I'm writing again.

-Justine