2020,  Mental Health,  Musings

Musings: Ambivalence, Yes Please

Do you believe in serendipity?

Yes Please, Amy Poehler, Turkey Sandwich, Doritos, Red Bull

I do. As life unfolds, I see it in more and more. I’ve also come to learn and embrace my intuition. That feeling, I didn’t really know what it was for a long time. It’s hard to articulate, but I just feel things.

Apparently it’s a Pisces trait. I dabble and enjoy astrology, but I don’t know how invested I am in it. But I will tell you, my intuition, even when I don’t want to listen to it or accept it, seems to usually be spot on, for whatever reason.

I’m leaning into it though.

So, over the last weekend one word repeated itself in my life.

ambivalence
am·biv·a·lence
/amˈbivələns/
noun

the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

The first time I came across the word, it was in Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please. When talking about her career, she advises that you treat your career (and love life) with ambivalence. A concept I never thought about, but really felt moved by her idea. She supported this theory by also saying ‘treat it like a bad boyfriend’:

Your career won’t take care of you. It won’t call you back or introduce you to its parents. Your career will openly flirt with other people while you are around. It will forget your birthday and wreck your car. Your career will blow you off if you call it too much. It’s never going to leave its wife. Your career is f—— other people and everyone knows but you. Your career will never marry you.

Okay, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this notion about not giving so much of yourself to your work. I’ve heard or read somewhere to remember that you give up so much for a company, but in return, they’d fire you in a heartbeat if they needed too. This is NOT to say I’m unhappy at my work, AT ALL! This is just to set a frame of reference for your career in general. I’m usually an eternal optimist (to my detriment at most times), so this was hard for me to grasp when I heard it.

Overall, Poehler is essentially saying that your career/job can leave you mistreated and unfulfilled, akin to a bad relationship. Think about that. Summed up quickly, she says chase your passion, not your career.

This is honestly where the word ambivalence really resonated. Poehler’s concept really can spread across multiple areas of ones life. For me, it really resonated for my career and love life.

The second time, in one weekend, I read the word was in some chic-lit. It had no real significance to anything, but when my eyes glazed over it I stopped for a second. My intuition went into overdrive. It told me this word is being repeated in my life for some reason, to which I’m still a little hazy. But enough to come here and write about it.

Poehler’s theory is important, even if I can’t really figure it out at the moment. I think reading her book was serendipitous for what’s going on in my life at the moment. I realized I didn’t know the definition of ambivalence either. I thought ambivalence was more of being unmoved either way. It’s essentially the opposite, it’s having mixed feelings toward something or someone. Which again, fits RIGHT into my life at this moment.

I don’t always know why, but I’m listening…

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