You, Too, Can Learn From A Selfish Horny Loser

This is an original post from my blog 100 DAYS IN BED. It got such a positive reaction, I thought I'd post it here, too! I hope you enjoy it. Today, we're talking about a topic you guys had a lot to say about: How To Get Out of A Rut. I was reading this article in "Elle" magazine called "Danger Man" by Phillip Nobel about a man who walks out on his marriage, kids, his life. He committed to this life - the family life and then he realized, he didn't want it anymore. "I was bored, Just bored... I had one thought and couldn't shake it: This isn't the life I was meant for." It's kind of amazing how socially acceptable it is for men to create a certain life for themselves, marriage, kids, the house and cars and then walk out of it when it all becomes too much, to routine, too boring. But then I got to thinking, maybe there's something we can learn about that. It's incredibly selfish and self-centered to just leave and barring that a woman is going to be devastated, cry a lot and start drinking martinis at 3:00pm because her life has gone down the tubes... it's kind of admirable what men do. Okay, now you hate me. Let me rephrase. Today, we're gonna learn a lesson from Selfish Horny Bastards, but in order to do that, we have to look at the action of walking away from a life that doesn't work for you. So take the whole "walking out on his wife and kids" thing out of the equation, that's depressing. Just focus on the walking out on "High-functioning misery" as the author of the article calls it - that takes courage. You wanted to know how to get out of your rut and I'm going to tell you: YOU NEED TO BE BOLD. Bold like a Selfish Horny Loser. Men are bold all the time. Why can't we be? If I look at myself, I once was just too polite to walk out on a life I was not enjoying. I had worked so hard at a job I hated that I thought it was admirable to stay. The right thing. I had already invested so much time. I don't want to start over. I don't want to take a pay cut. What if I can't hack it in a new job and then I get fired and END UP WITH NOTHING? I imagined myself living in an over-turned dumpster in a back alley rooting around for leftover pizza in a trash can. (Everyone knows, of all trash food to eat, pizza is the most safe.) THEN I GOT BOLD. Okay, semi-bold. Semi-Bold is when life gives you a sign that this job ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY just isn't for you anymore. For me, that came in a scared-out-of-my-mind emergency room visit, my heart rate was at 230 BPM when it should be like 80 or 90. The doctors thought I was on cocaine. I thought, "OMG, I wish my life was that glamorous! I want to be that girl!" Then reality set in. "This job is killing me. I have to leave." I had to face all those really scary questions that we all avoid by watching tv, surfing the internet or keeping so busy we can't possibly register a THOUGHT INTO OUR OWN HEAD. My friend who is a writer, like a totally famous writer with shiny awards and stuff, said to me he gets the best ideas by just being silent right in the morning right when he wakes up. He said something smart like he always does that I should have written down but kind of forget. But the idea was that your conscious, which we ignore all damn day, is kind of speaking to you in the wee hours, in a way we can't block out, so the most truest thoughts will come to you. (Just like they often do in your dreams). So I did it. I did it a few times. It said: "What happened to you? You wanted to be a writer but you're so damn afraid to really pursue it that you hide in a job you hate that is eventually going to kill you so you never have to risk having a career you could love. Yeah, good plan." My conscious is such a sarcastic bitch. So I was like that Selfish Horny Loser who, for my first time, didn't think about anyone else but me. And I did what I wanted to do. I walked out on my old life. AND THEN I WAS SHOCKED BY WHAT HAPPENED. I enrolled in a class at UCLA in sitcom writing. That teacher liked my work and tried to get me an agent. That didn't really work out but high praise from this former sitcom writer turned teacher got me to end the career that I hated and take a job as a writer's assistant. It was a 70% pay cut. And no, I'm not kidding. I was terrible at my job. I could only type with two fingers. The writers probably didn't love that I couldn't type their notes fast enough but when I was accepted into a prestigious writing program, people were really sweet to me. They listened to some of my ideas, I got an agent. Two years later, I had my dream job. Because I was BOLD. Because like the author of that article, I was tired of living the life I wasn't meant for. It's amazing the things we make sure we have in life. We whip out our credit cards and make sure we have rockin' clothes, big screen TVs, trips, cars, iPods. But we don't use that money to ensure our own happiness - like quitting a job we hate, taking another and supplementing the difference in pay with a zero percent credit card, a loan, etc. This is just one part of getting out of a rut and we'll talk about more. I just thought a natural place to start is with a job because not only do we spend so much time there (70% of our waking day) but for a lot of us, okay for me, it defines a lot of our self-worth. I'm not saying it's something to do today, I'm saying, it's time to lay in bed in the morning and let those thoughts come to you. If you can't, if it's too hard, it's journal time. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? What makes you happy? How can you get there? Are you ready to be bold?

Kayla

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