I’m sorry I can’t take credit for today’s visual because the image of the ‘Cannes newspaper bicycle’ was actually bought, on a postcard from Paperchase but I have since mailed the card away over the Pond, to my friend who created the amazing scrap book in this post here.
Sorry! It’s not my copyright but it’s a great image. I cropped the original image because I added my own text to the white space around it.
Yesterday I went for a job interview, which required travel by train, for a very brief period of time. Nonetheless I was wary of Pola pratfalls worthy of a latter day French farce.
Happily there were none. Except perhaps right at the end of the interview when I wasn’t 100% sure that the interview HAD ENDED so got them to call one of the interviewers back ‘to say a proper goodbye’. See what I did there? He returned and said:
“Was there another question you had, or something?”
“No, no, I just wanted to say goodbye properly and check that there wasn’t some kind of… (words left my brain)… closing ceremony?”
“We could sing a song, if you like!” (Humour carried, thank God.)
I laughed, shook hands politely with a closing greeting and left. I hear back next week.
I don’t take train journeys except when I’m in work. There was something very strange, like an echo – rather than a shadow – about being back in corporate clothing. The more interviews I attend, the more I think that the ‘me’ pre-diagnosis is not entirely gone.
In all ways: neurally, sartorially and attitudinally, I felt like the me I used to be was back on track. She isn’t gone. I didn’t believe that was really possible, however much I read that and even typed that. But it could happen, with an angle adjustment for the essential nuance… of still believing in your own competence.
It’s easy to be too scared to take the best parts of yourself forward when you get hit by an episode.
The urge to leave that person at a “Before” crossroads so that you you can drag yourself back up from the floor by your fingernails, to build an “After” is immediate. Survival and sanity-gaining is the first response. The second response is grief and loss, then you have to re-negotiate the trauma until it sits better with you.
I had built a foundation of academic excellence to facilitate the next stage of my life, my overreaching made me crash like Icarus… what I forgot was that there was always more than one possible future. The foundation for any one of those is still there.
I genuinely want to make a good return on the delayed good start. But the key is, not confusing material success with a sense of purpose. They’re very separate things. I’ve known this a long time, but unless life gives me a vehicle for the lesson… chances are I won’t go anywhere, beyond the theoretical.
~ Pola ~