Monday, March 31, 2008

When It's Time To Change...

Have you ever realized that the approach you've taken to life, though it has kept you safe and secure, has also held you back?That was the thought that was slowly entering into my head as I was driving into work one day last year.I was still a cable technician at the time and driving 35 miles, one way, to get to work at a job I hated so much that it took all of my inner strength not to break down in the parking lot when I got there.

So one day I was driving in and thinking "Why the hell am I doing a job that makes me so miserable?"I never even tried to hide it.I was mopey, melancholy, lethargic, and it was affecting my job performance in a negative way.I had ZERO enthusiasm and was in danger of using up all of my sick and personal time in the first 3 months of the year just so I could have "mental health days".Something had to change and I finally reached the point where I was so miserable that I had to act.I went to my HR rep, told her I wanted out of field service, and the rest is history.

The point is that I've always tended to let problems build up around me.I have always waited for opportunity to come to me and when it didn't, or when my problems got too big for me, I just dealt with it.It always seemed so dangerously uncertain to confront my issues head-on.I figured that since I was the only one hurting, it wasn't a big deal.I would rather suffer a million times over than cause someone else discomfort.My first shrink said that I was into "self-punishment."Looking back, it might have been the only accurate judgement he made in the 6 months or so that I saw him.

Last year, after I had started in my new position, I decided that I needed to approach my job differently.I had no plans of leaving and didn't want to revert back to my miserable, jaded self one year later.Simply put, I decided to just look for positives.I decided to smile and say hello to people instead of hiding myself and hoping that someone spoke to me.Lo and be-fucking-hold, it worked.Here I am one year later and I'm still not aggravated at the job.I'm friendly with a number of people there.I talk to people...on my own.I go out of my way to help and be useful.I'm still happy.It made me think that if a new approach can work at the job, maybe it can work in my personal life.So I started to work on that.

First, I resolved some long standing issues with my family.They are a little too personal to blog about, but they were holding me back and really preoccupying my thoughts.I vented to them in a way I've never even attempted before.It worked.I brought up all of the uncomfortable topics that everyone always danced around and avoided and made my positions crystal clear.My parents and I have come to a new understanding and time will tell if things hold up.At least for now, I have a clear conscience.

Another thing I did, and just this weekend, was to amend the dissatisfaction with my wrestling "career".I've blogged about it many a time in the past, but I'll repeat it here.I got involved in pro wrestling five years ago as a manager.I figured I was too small and skinny to actually get in the ring.When I got there, I realized that there were many guys who were my size, and some were a bit smaller.Still, I held on to my belief.Then I realized that I loved the wrestling part, and that standing on the outside as a manager was just depressing me.I felt I was missing out on what makes wrestling fun to be a part of.I cut down on my show schedule and, eventually, stopped going to practices.I was dreading going to shows and only stuck around out of loyalty.

One thought in my head was to stick around until my 100th match, and then quit.Last month was my 100th match.So I steeled myself and got ready to tell my promoter/trainer that I was leaving.I figured that I'd mention wanting to wrestle, but did not expect him to be too receptive to the idea.It wasn't an easy thing to do in spite of how unhappy I was.I was still involved in something I had loved my whole life, and couldn't believe that I was a part of.And I was going to walk away from it.

So I went to his office and laid all of my thoughts out.I wasn't a dick about it.I thanked him for the opportunities that I had been given.I told him what I wished for, but also relayed my concerns about my lack of size.Eventually he asked, "What do you want to do?"I told him that I wanted to take at least six months off to train, get in better shape, buy some new gear, and get my confidence up in the ring.Once I did all of that, I told him, I wanted to start wrestling.He said OK.

What that means is I just hit a big reset button on my wrestling life.I'm starting from scratch, but this time with 5 years of accumulated knowledge.I can come back as a good guy.(Please.Oh please.)I get a new gimmick and character.I get new gear.Maybe I'll come back under a mask.The sky is the limit for me now.

That's the question I have now:What kind of character should I be?I'd prefer to be a good guy(face).I'd prefer a more lighthearted gimmick, as I'm more at ease with being a little clownish over being serious or angry.The mask idea doesn't seem so bad to me.Even though I wasn't a big deal and will be gone for at least 6 months, people still might remember who I am.There aren't many guys out there with past-the-middle-of-the-back length red hair.(I'm not cutting or dying it either.I won't even entertain the thought.)It's all very exciting.

This also means I have to start exercising and trying to develop some muscles.I have never tried to get in shape before in my life.For me, having a metabolism that keeps me forever skinny has always been enough.I'm not completely sure that I can put on muscle.It should be interesting.I'll even have a diet to follow.That's another first.

I can't wait to see how it all works out.

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