Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Follow Your Bliss, Right Off the Cliff"

One of my favourite albums of all time is the self-titled debut album by the band Boston -- still one of the top-selling debut albums of all time. It came out when I was 15 in 1976 and I played it over and over and over again. I have it on vinyl, cassette and CD, and if & when I finally cave and get an iPod, I'm sure it will be one of the first pieces of music I buy. I still crank up the radio whenever a Boston song comes on the classic rock station dh & I like to listen to, and I love to sing along. The guitars! The clear, soaring vocals (RIP, Brad Delp)! The harmonies!

One of the lines I love, in one of the songs I love, "Long Time" (see video clip at the top of this post) goes: "I gotta keep on chasing that dream, though I may never find it... I'm always just behind it..." 

OK, back to the present, lol. There is a point to my rambling... the song just came to mind when I found a New York Times article last night about a couple of people who kept on chasing their dreams (careerwise) -- and lost their shirts in the process. The title (love it!): Follow Your Bliss, Right Off the Cliff.

As always, I saw some parallels to the ALI world that I think are worth reflecting on. Because, in infertility -- as in most aspects of life -- we are constantly urged to keep on chasing that dream -- to "go for it!"  Follow your passion! Don't give up!  Even when we're financially, physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted.

But tell me -- does any of this sound familiar?

One of the story subjects chucked aside her career as a fashion editor to open a high-end boutique with her sister in Los Angeles. It lasted just two years, and she's only just emerged from several years of financial struggle. 
...even when the future looked grim, Ms. Tyree hung on. [emphasis mine] In fact, she dug in. She bought more inventory for the racks and threw celebrity-fueled parties at the store to generate buzz.
“Your gut says this could be a problem, but your head overrides it because you have just put in this huge investment,” she said. “You are hanging on to not just the dream, but you are hanging on to the sweat equity and what you put into it financially.”
The article points out that it's human nature not to want to walk away, especially when you've invested so much.

Another story subject once owned five shoes stores in Los Angeles.
"I personalized the outcome to a degree that it was unhealthy,” he said. “I thought failure was total and permanent — and success stamped me as a worthwhile business person.”
That’s a normal reaction, says Dr. Richard Peterson, a psychiatrist and managing director for the New York-based financial consultancy MarketPsych. “There is a part of the brain called the anterior insula, and that is where we process losses,” he said. “It creates a physical sensation of pain, and it also creates a sensation of disgust.” avoid the pain, Dr. Peterson said, we hope.
...“We overestimate our ability to control outcomes that have some element of chance” and we “tend to overestimate the extent to which good things are going to happen, especially to us.” 

For both Ms. Tyree and Mr. Dearing, hope — and money — finally ran out.
...“I thought I had one shot to be successful,” he said. “I had no idea that my career — or anybody’s career — is actually a multiround process and that you had many, many at-bats.”
I wouldn't interpret this to mean "keep batting till you hit that home run"... rather that there are many, many ways that you can build a great career, or lead a fulfilling life --which may or may not include children. There is no one right path or answer, and sometimes you have to hit a few strikes before you get that home run. (Or even a walk to first base.)(Or maybe switch to soccer or hockey.)(OK, enough with the sports metaphors, lol.)  
...“suffering comes from being attached to the outcomes.”
As paradoxical as it sounds, he said, “If you stop worrying about the outcomes, you will achieve a better outcome.”
(In ALI-speak, I don't think this means that if we "stop trying & relax" we'll get pregnant.)      
And if you asked either of them if they had any lingering pangs about those earlier, dashed dreams, the answer, even with all that money lost, would be no. So, pursue your life dream, whatever it is, but with caution. Or at least a cushion of savings.

And a plan B (or even C) in your back pocket. ; )

I'd encourage you to read the whole article... and then tell me what you think!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this link! I liked the article. I think our culture treats "quitter" and "loser" as synonyms, which is harmful as well as incorrect. IF culture is hardly exempt from this kind of thinking! Your blog has always been a breath of fresh air in this respect. : )