Tornado Phases

A shout out to anyone dealing with life changes

For a while, I had recurring dreams about tornadoes. Usually, there were herds of tornadoes coming toward me. Is there a group term for tornadoes? I like herd. It felt like a stampede in the dreams.

These went on for about 6 months or a year. Not every night, but consistent. In one dream, an unearthly sized tornado picked up my childhood home. My entire family was inside, including me. At first, there was a lot of rocking back and forth, and then suddenly, everything was still and quiet.

We were all sort of floating within the space of the house. It had a feeling of weightlessness. Similar to being in space, I assume. It was strangely peaceful although I was thinking we were probably all going to die. It was silent. No one spoke. We just looked at one another as if in some way to say goodbye. Strange feeling. I still recall it although it’s been a few years ago since I had the dreams.

At the end of the dream, my dad disappeared from inside the house. I don’t know what happened or where he went, but I looked around he was gone. The rest of us were still there in the house in the eye of the storm.

That’s all I remember about that particular tornado dream. It stuck with me, though. I suppose because a year or two later (I can’t recall exactly when I had these dreams), my dad passed away.

I probably wouldn’t have thought there was any tie to my dad’s passing and the dream had I not had another set of recurring dreams just before cat passed away, which happened just a few months before my dad’s passing. The year leading up to my cat’s death, I had recurring dreams that he kept getting under the house (a house, not always mine) and getting lost. He always found a litter of kittens in every dream, but one. The last dream, he didn’t run away or get lost. He spoke to me in that dream. He was unfriendly in that dream, like he didn’t feel well or was upset with me. At the end, he told me I cared only about him until Charlie came along.

I didn’t know who Charlie was even in the dream. Charlie didn’t exist in my life in that dream. Charlie was someone I was going to meet later. In fact, I was going to the back of this extremely ‘70s beach house to meet Charlie. I woke up as I walked into the room where Charlie was supposed to be … somewhere in the future room.

My cat passed away soon after that. So, recurring dreams are not usually good signs for me. I’m not saying I predict the death of loved ones, it’s just maybe some trigger in my brain knew that day was coming someday.

I digress talking about my dreams, though. The point of bringing up the tornado dream with my dad was that feeling when the house was lifted into the tornado and we were just floating. Anticipating the future, not knowing what’s going to happen. How bad it’s going to be or if we’re all just really lucky? Except for my dad, who disappeared.

That feeling is the feeling I’m having with my life right now. It’s not a bad feeling, but uncertain. Trying to remain calm in the uncertainty.

The beauty of being laid off from my job is that it has given me the opportunity to reflect on life more than I do when I’m working. I know I want to make changes in my life. I am working toward those, but I’m not sure if any of them are right. It’s not bad or good, just uncertain.

The other uncertainty is how much change can I make at once? Can I go all out and change my entire life? Or do I find a bit more stability in a job that fits my experience and training and then make small changes. I have tried that a few times in the past with not a lot of success. That’s why I feel pressure, within myself, to make bigger changes while I have the opportunity.

Income is such a pain in the ass, isn’t it? If it wasn’t for needing to pay the bills, all of these decisions would be so much easier. I have no fear of trying something new or going down a different path. I fear not being able to make ends meet. That wouldn’t be a fear if I could find part-time work. It’s not happening, though.

Is it failure if you can’t make all the changes you want to make at one time? Does it matter if it’s failure? Failure isn’t a bad thing.

I’ve never failed. At anything. Ever. I mean, I’m a terrible public speaker. Anything I set out to do, I did. And, if I say so myself, I did it pretty well most of the time. I’ve always received good reviews. Positive feedback.

Until this last job. I received good reviews. Raises. After my third boss in three years, though, I was told I couldn’t write. That was my job. It’s been my job my entire career. Then I was laid off with several other people, but the rub of it was still there.

it shattered my entire being. Normally, in the past, I would have taken that in stride and kept going. But, I had already been looking for a change in my life. I wasn’t happy with my work. I knew I needed to change. I don’t know. I tripped.

It’s funny when I think about it. Never really failing. Never getting laid off. It’s not from staying in the safe zone. I’ve changed careers. I’ve changed jobs (fairly frequently the last few years). I changed majors six times in college. I’ve tried so many new things. Gone to countries where I didn’t speak the language and still had a good time.

But I never failed. Then I did. Now I know I want to make changes, but I can’t quite figure out what the changes should be. How far out there should I go? Do I take a small step and try to be a creative writer and get a part-time job? Do I go all out and change everything? Go back to school or learn a new skill? But then how do I pay the bills?

The eye of the tornado. It’s not the same feeling as the spiral of the spiritual journey. Well, it is, I suppose but at 180 miles an hour instead of a slow pace.

Dealing with your first failure while trying to change your life is a bit of a challenge? You have to overcome the insecurities that being laid off gives you while convincing yourself you can do anything you want. Plus, it doesn’t hurt when you don’t know what exactly it is you want. I go from being a life coach/health coach/nutritionist to therapist, to musician, novelist, poet, herbalist, pilates/yoga instructor and more. The other day I tried to determine if there was anything close to being a professional student? I haven’t identified such a career yet.

Each day passes without income and I can’t determine how to move forward. I realize I need to just devise a plan and stick with it. As soon as I do, though, I’m not sure if it is the right way to go and I change gears. Eventually, I will run out of time, unemployment benefits.

At the same time, I see all the opportunities available to me. I can go in any direction I want. That gives me joy. That peace I felt in the dream. The calm in the center of the tornado.

Given, I spent the first three months of my unemployment incessantly looking for new jobs instead of moving in a new direction. Well, besides the pilates certification. I wasted some time, but that’s what you do when you’re laid off. Looking for a job is your full-time job, or so they tell you.

How do you take risks? Big risks? I take small ones. Calculated ones. Big risks scare me. Is it even that big of a risk to go down a different path? Not really. Not if you can find income. Maybe I do Uber or Lyft for a while. Make a little money try to do something else.

I don’t know. I would love to hear if others have thoughts on this? If anyone else has gone through this and what did they do? Did you change or stay on your regular path?

What is the point of this post? To learn from others. It’s for me. It’s selfish in that sense. And to let others know it’s OK to question your life. To question if you’re heading in the right direction or if you should jump on a different path. And, since I know some many folks who have recently been laid off, you’re not alone. We all deal with these same questions and being laid off does suck in some ways and is very good in other ways.

I read a book a while back called Guitarlo by Arlo Hennings. It is an entire book of going through these tornado phases. He always followed his heart, though, and the doors always opened. It’s rather inspiring story if you ask me.

My problem is finding what’s in my heart. I can’t seem to nail that down. Again, if others have suggestions on how to identify what’s in your heart, finding who you really are and why you are here, I’d love to hear about it. Or do you just do what you love and not care about purpose so much? That has always been a stumbling block for me.

And if you don’t comment here, that’s fine. But if you know someone going through this process. Whether they are laid off or not, but especially if they are laid off, reach out to them. Let them know what you think they are good at, what their good qualities are. That’s what I’ve been seeking without an answer. That’s the difficult part for me. I know it’s supposed to all come from within, but hearing something from without helps. It just does. It confirms something you already knew or it opens up a line of thinking you had never considered before.

If you do that, it may help them to make that decision. To make the big leap … or take the small leap. Either way, it’s good. It’s helpful. Either way, their house gets placed gently back down on the ground when the tornado passes.

Peace, y’all.

5 thoughts on “Tornado Phases”

  1. Being a “professional student” I think means being a “professional teacher.” If you continuously learn, then you must continuously share. That may be writing, speaking, or creating some other kind of course. So, you could expand this sharing: Get yourself a YouTube and share your knowledge! Give “How To’s” for your skills.

    Also- failure is a perception. A situation that “didn’t end well” is only seen as a failure if you allow it to be a failure. So the fact that you haven’t “failed” at anything says a lot about your perspective and fortitude. Therefore, you shouldn’t have fear about the future or finances too much. If you haven’t failed in the past, why do you think you will begin failing now?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can’t imagine anyone telling you that you can’t write. Perhaps they were simply jealous of your talent or they couldn’t read. My step father, my hero, mentioned to me about a dream he had about being at a park where he was with his mom, brother and sister. All these family members had passed away sometime ago, years in fact. He said the dream was so vivid it was just like being there. So real. Two weeks later he passed away in his sleep. A lot of people would like to go that way they’ve told me , in their sleep. I want to be wide awake when it’s my turn. After all how many times do you get to die? As far as your immediate concerns….. you seem to be good at many things….and interested in many things. Just pick one and go with that. You can always change your mind later if it doesn’t suit you. BTW I don’t know any of your other followers. I found you by accident. Fortunate accident for me. I love good writing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, sir. I’m feeling unsure of my writing lately, so I appreciate your comments very much. I changed my style, became looser, with incomplete sentences and everything. I’m an editor so I fret about things like that, but this is probably more how I write in my journals and how I speak.

        I’m feeling very unsure about a lot of things, though, so it’s par for the course. The kind words are good to hear, though. Thank you.

        Anyway, in a random side note, I had another dream around this same time as the dreams in today’s post where I helped soldiers in a VA hospital. I don’t recall how I helped them, but it was a fairly realistic dream. I was even awakened by a voice not in the dream. It frightened me a little, actually, but it was kind words. Anyway, I thought of that dream recently when you first commented on a post and mentioned being a soldier … or maybe I read that you were a soldier on your blog. Anyway, I’ve had lots of strange coincidences recently, and I’m just a little on edge. That’s why I keep making my site private and re-opening it. I also fear that I’m wasting time working on the blog when I should be more focused on finding a job.

        As for dying, that’s brave of you to want to be awake. I don’t think about dying much. I’ve dreamed that I die a lot, and in the dream I was always awake. But I don’t really think about my preferences — not a car wreck, though. I’ve had too many of those and they are quite frightening. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Not to monopolize your time here. Your personal security should always come first, so if making your site confidential helps then you should keep it that way. Many years ago I too had a situation similar to yours. And not knowing , or having a hard time deciding what to focus on I took a part time job. And then I took a second part time job. For a while there I had 3 part time jobs all in the same office building. They were all different. I would finish one shift and then go a few floors up and work that shift and then go down stairs and work my last shift. It was fun for awhile but I didn’t get much rest. And a few times I would answer the phone calls from where ever I happened to be at the time with the wrong business name. That’s when I decided to settle for one of the 3 and that company was happy to have me full time. The point is that having a variety of jobs helped me decide what I really wanted to do. Now your concern about the blog wasting your time. It seems to me that the blog actually helps you sort out things. Writing requires the mind to focus. Words have definite meanings and limitations. For some of us (I’m an editor and ghostwriter) the act of writing requires us to bring up from the subconscious that which needs to be expressed consciously. Oops here I am monopolizing your time again. Sorry. I will blame it on my subconscious. Can I get away with that one?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are not monopolizing my time. I asked for comments, and they are appreciated. 🙂

      I could see where having the three jobs in the same building would be fun. Not enough time to get bored or irritated before you move to another job. Sometimes I think I would very much like temp work to get new experiences and environements ever so often. For now, I lean toward part-time so I can focus on other things like my Pilates certification and possibly more writing … or anything really. I have learned that I really don’t need to make the amount of money I was making before I was laid off. It was nice, of course, but I didn’t do a lot of good with it or treat myself to things I enjoy. Now, if I had a full-time job with that kind of pay again, I would do more with the money. Funny how you figure those things out after you don’t have it anymore. Still, at this point, I think I may have to take what I can get careerwise. I did apply to a job today that has promise. It’s a good cause, uses my skills … it seems like a good fit. We’ll see how it goes.

      I don’t think the blog is an entire waste of time. I’m just not certain that I’m using my time wisely at the moment. I put off applying for jobs to write a post. I procrastinate things I don’t want to do or that are difficult to do other things instead (like write a blog post). I do believe the blog is primarily for me, which isn’t a big deal, but I’m just not sure why I feel like posting it online. Perhaps it’s to have exchanges like this. Maybe it’s just a weird personality quirk.

      As for security, I suppose I don’t feel threatened really. Perhaps unduly influenced. Rather, I’m allowing things to influence me more than anything. It’s a long complicated story that no one wants to hear, but let’s just say I’ve had some strange experiences this past year online. I believe they are all a result of algorithms and eerily targeted advertising that has made me a little paranoid. I’ve been soul searching for my purpose for so long that I’m seeing all of these similar things online and thinking they are signs from the Universe about my path instead of the tracking code they actually are. 🙂

      Anyway, I’ve rambled on here. I do feel that it is helpful to write these posts from time to time. I worry that I share too much on here. That concerns me a bit, but if I keep it private, then I probably should just write in my journal. Although, I guess writing a post at least focuses my thinking a little – not a lot but more than my journaling does. Sometimes I feel like I’m being analyzed by strangers. That gives me a weird feeling, I suppose. I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m sure I’ll open it back up at some time. It has become strangely cathartic to throw stuff out into the universe and just let it go – not contained and hidden in my private journals. That part is a freeing.

      Still, thanks for sharing your experience with the part-time work. It makes a lot of sense … if I could just find three jobs that would hire me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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