October 14, 2012 by Amanda Zahn
People always talk about “the light at the end of the tunnel” as a motivator to get through rough times, tough experiences, and poor decisions. I have always been a little irked at this phrase, but only because it indicates a finish or an end. For any struggle, I am sure stepping through the end of that proverbial tunnel, and into the light of day, can be refreshing, relieving. To me, the light feels like The End. The truth is that we step from one tunnel into the next as we soak in the sun, catch our breath, and tackle the next obstacle of our lives.
Where most people have the light at the end of their tunnels, I have a warren of twists and turns, like a subway system that has long outgrown its city. I would think my issue with “the light at the end of the tunnel” had something to do with a metaphorical claustrophobia, but the tunnel system I use as a motivator is much more related to common claustrophobia than having a reprieve between the end of one tunnel and the beginning of the next. It is dark in my tunnel, but it is comfortable. It is worn, like an old pair of shoes I am too stubborn to discard.
I am constantly motivated by the possibilities of my personal metaphor. I have talked about forks in the road – both proverbial and literal – in many of my blogs. Used as an indicator of choices available to me, I lean towards forks in the road because having options is the same thing as having hope. One path might be the “right” one, but the other path or paths might have equally beneficial outcomes as much as they could have detrimental outcomes. It is as much a form of roulette as it is practice, skill, or hope.
My last blog was a bit rash. It was all true, albeit fueled by disappointment, confusion, and fear. I do not regret posting it because it all would have come out eventually, but I do admit that letting those negative feelings drive me might have been a bit juvenile. As the title states, it was lacking tact. The point of that post was to vent and solidify some of the things that cause me a certain level of fear. Joblessness, rejection, uncertainty, and doubt can lead to some really fragmented feelings.
I am human, much as some of my loved ones insist I am not.
Days after that tactless post, hope came to me in a number of ways. The most noticeable was an introduction to a father and uncle of an instructor I had in college. Another is a constant hope in the form of unwavering support – even when I do not deserve it – from those people who love me. From wherever it came, hope has a funny way of rekindling drive, motivation, and dedication even when the only thing I want to do is sit and pout.
I am still lacking direction, but I have at least one path in front of me that will yield results. I am not going to be using my degree, I am not going to be working in the entertainment field, and I do not feel like I am going to be fulfilling the image I created of myself in the eyes of my instructors or peers when I was in college. I know that they would disagree and comment about how proud they are of me as long as I am doing something that makes me happy, but I do feel a bit of disappointment on their behalf.
There are so many places I would love to work. I would love to have my hands in gaming companies, social media, technology, television, or movies, but life seems to be stopping me before I can really get started. So I will be forced to exercise patience and wait for my time to come. It will. It always does for me, although I seem to have lost my patience somewhere along the way.
Sadly, I had set out to write a brief post about what is really going on in my life, but I seem to have rambled a bit. It might make no sense at all to read it, but writing it was seamless and smooth in my head. Next week will likely be more controlled and make more sense, but this week I will end it with whimsy, metaphor, and hope. With these three things, we have the combination for a great surrealist, a politician, or a leader. I only have the capacity for one, although two sound equally appealing to me.