There’s a passage that stuck in my mind from ‘The Story of the Trapp Family Singers’. I can’t find the words (because my copy of the book is still in shipping, somewhere around the world at the moment) but I distinctly remember Maria talking about her poor friends in New York that couldn’t let go and get on with it. They were the migrants in dank New York apartments, too poor to pay for heating, yet sitting in their fine furs from Europe. They waited for the USA to recognise their brilliance, but had already been forgotten by a war torn Europe and were just not enticing to an American market. As Maria reminisced, ‘They never really “made it”; they live[d] unhappily between two continents.’ The Trapps never really “made it” either, if they compared their success to their European stature and wealth. But they certainly let go and got on with it in their new USA home, singing wherever they could and establishing a farm. It’s not exactly like Baron von Trapp, a Navy officer, was really knowledgable in the art of farming. But the family was good at making friends, and with the help from their friends, they could claim to having “made it” truthfully.
That seems to be a pretty key element in making a success after a major change – letting go and getting on with it. My pride is high after my previous role in Singapore – I want a job that’s not only good, but continues the impressiveness of my career. I am good at getting what I want, but in this case, it’s just not happening. And so, I am at the point of needing to let go and get on with it.
Here are some of the reasons for my resistance to the process of letting go:
1) Pride. Personally, I find pride to be like the heroin of human emotions – first it’s wanted because it feels so damn good, but then it’s required not to get sick. A seriously deadly, scary substance that is not qualified to be making life decisions for anyone. But it’s such a glamorous thing, isn’t it?
2) Sentimentality. It’s a bit like looking into a fogged up mirror, of course everything looks wonderful, you can make it look like anything in that distorted reflection. However, the only person being fooled is the one looking into the mirror. It’s such a fun, self-idulgent past time though.
3) Practicality. The questions come up one by one of “how will this affect my ability to get a good job later?” and “am I going to be bored out of my brains, am I going to be unhappy?” And one by one, every question is answered with a utility bill and general bodily requirement for food. But life’s necessities are so boring – there’s so much more self-importance to be found in worrying about how it will all affect me.
But I gotsta pay the rent! So it’s time to get on with it. It’s time to practice (or perhaps acquire) some humility. It’s time to get a crappy job, pay some bills and move on with life.
And if you are experiencing some major career change too, I hope you are able to “make it” in your new circumstances. Maybe this will be comfort to you, because it’s certainly a comfort to me in times like this: I have never heard a eulogy based on the deceased’s resume, it’s just not what our loved ones really care about.
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.