I’ve gotta (gut) feelin’

February 15, 2011

Duh, by SarahDeer on Flickr

So. You know how you hear people say that “stick with your gut” line? Sometimes that’s easy to do, right? But for some reason, there are also times where sticking with your gut is maddeningly difficult to do.


I left my corporate job in January 2010, and shortly thereafter I applied to volunteer at a couple places around town. Giving my time to others was a big part of my excitement about finally being self-employed and having complete control over my schedule. Except, a few months into it, it wasn’t exciting.

I signed up for Habitat for Humanity, enrolled in several iterations of the volunteer orientation, and could never get myself to go.

I signed up at a local animal shelter, attended several of the orientations, scheduled myself to volunteer on several different occasions, and couldn’t get myself to go.

I was failing at volunteering. I mean, seriously, who fails at volunteering?!

For many weeks and months I thought something was wrong with me. None of it felt right. I doubted that I did, in fact, want to work in my community. I felt selfish. I felt lazy. And never once did it occur to me that maybe I should think about why I wasn’t interested, or that perhaps my lack of interest was a signal one part of my brain (wherever that “gut” thing is located?) was trying to send to another part of my brain.

It’s not a fit for you, Annie! It’s not a fit for you, Annie!

Then, while I was busy working on something completely unrelated the other day, it hit me out of the blue; it’s not that I don’t want to be volunteering, it’s just that I picked the wrong outlet for it. Duh duh DUH. So I stopped what I was doing, hopped into the car, and drove to the closest library.

The library! Of course! Do I need to say duh again?

I picked up and filled out an application. I returned a couple days later for an interview. Tomorrow I have a meeting with the specific department in which I will be spending my time. Later this week I will be a full-fledged volunteer for the first time. And I can’t WAIT.

I ignored my gut for months, I logic’d myself into something I didn’t feel was right, and even made myself feel guilty about it. I wish I would have listened to that little voice in my head much, much sooner.

Why is making the decision to ignore logic and go with your gut feeling sometimes require so much darn convincing? Shouldn’t it be, you know, a gut decision? Something done without thinking?

Beats me. I don’t know the answer. But what I do know is that I will be trying to listen to it more often.

You with me?

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