What My Stomach Tells Me (and other intuition tales)

I turned down a second interview today.  Not only because the job didn’t fit for the direction that I am attempting to funnel my life into but because I am a sucker for following signs.  As I frantically searched craigslist the other day (I still haven’t been able to get rid of that nervous tick that makes me do this every five minutes, even though I am now convinced that everything on the site is a scam), begging for some guidance on which direction to take my potential “career” in, I received two unexpected responses to emails that had been sent out weeks prior and promptly forgotten about.  These told me that there were opportunities and avenues out there that I didn’t even really know existed, and taking something simply because I am sick of searching wouldn’t really sit well with my psyche.  And god damn it, I just can’t be tied to this state because someone offers me a salary and benefits.  (This is what I have to keep repeating to myself…bear with me here). 

Paying attention to that queasy feeling I get in my stomach when I know that something just isn’t right hasn’t always been my way of operating.  Last year I accepted a job nannying for a family I had worked for a few summers before.  I promptly stuffed the memories of dealing with their insolent brats to the back of my mind and smiled through gritted teeth as I said I would love to take the job.  I was so desperate by that time that I didn’t even think twice when the mother told me that they would be firing their current pregnant nanny in order to give me the job.  It was ok she said, the girl was overweight and rarely wanted to play with the kids.  Instead of paying attention to the flaming red flag that was flailing in front of my face I told her that I would love nothing more then to take her little tykes on ten mile bike rides and play strenuous bouts of tag at the park.

A few weeks into the gig (this was about the time when the extreme acid reflux that set in upon entering their house began to feel like second nature) I was in the middle of completing their meal prep when the universe attempted to show me just how absurd this job really was.  After huffing and puffing through slicing and dicing vegetables I couldn’t pronounce and dousing them in fish sauce I tried to turn on the food processor-to no avail.  Thinking that my employer might just tell me to move on to another task (like scrubbing their dirty laundry or the like) I was flabbergasted when instead she told me to pull out the mortar and pestle she had in the pantry and muscle through it.  Let me just say that grinding cloves of garlic by hand is nearly impossible for someone that has literally no muscle mass. 

This situation, I realized after some much needed reflection, was simply the icing on the cake.  I had put up with unnecessary power struggles with an eight year old that could insult me better then most adults I knew, and the insane antics of a five year old that I swore had to be crack related.  And of course I had nodded understandingly when the mother had told me that they couldn’t afford to pay me more then they had a few summers before (when I had little experience under my belt) because of the poor economy.  Come to find out they were both lawyers and her husband had made partner.  Funny, I didn’t think lawyers were really struggling, but I digress…

This, I would say, was about the time when I began to appreciate my body’s ability to instigate illness when I wasn’t in the right situation, right job, or simply the right state of mind.  And everyday I am learning to be better at tuning into my intuition- even when, irritatingly enough, it starts to sound like something my parents would say.

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5 responses

  1. Sometimes it’s hard, but I do believe in following your gut. Whether that means staying when you don’t want to, or going when the whole world says stop… your gut knows what’s best for you better than you do most times. Good luck finding the job your gut says yes to soon.

  2. Whoa! Someone who gets it! For a few years now I’ve been a huge advocate of ‘doing what your tummy tells you to’….and I get all sorts of slack about it…because I don’t necessarily do things as conventionally as some, and sometimes my decisions don’t make as much sense to others as they do to me…but following my gut has worked for me so far.

    And that’s not to say that I ONLY follow my gut…I make calculated decisions based on what I feel deep down is right or wrong….the way that my tummy is telling me that life is supposed to be taking me…and so far…it’s been okay. Even the things when I followed my gut and it turned out a little wish washy…I still don’t regret those things at all…because they’re some of the biggest learning experiences that I’ve had so far in my life and the most valuable ones I’ve had…and I think that I needed to have those in order to move forward in my life…so I think that my gut was maybe just trying to push me in the right direction anyways 🙂

    Also, I completely sympathize with being an underpaid, overworked, holy crap I need to make some realizations about my life nanny – I spent last year in Switzerland working for the ex-wife socialite of a Swiss banker – haha!

    Glad to have stumbled across your blog on 20sb! 🙂

  3. nice post (found your blog through 20sb and like your writing style).

    It’s nice that you were able to link how you felt physically to the emotional/mental dimension. I’m learning to listen to my body, too.

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