Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’ -Bob Dylan
June 30th will be my last day as an official Columbia Power and Water Systems employee. I knew this had been coming since November but when you’re faced with a change it can feel scary/overwhelming/uncertain. Surprisingly, I feel pretty good.
It kind of feels like my bonds have been cut. One more cage door has been opened. See I haven’t been able to go full throttle on the things I want to pursue because I feel like I’ve had to be this “thing”. This “thing” has to say the right thing and do the right thing all the time. I didn’t really get the chance to explore or express as I would want for fear of backlash on my employer. Well guess what… those days are over.
Take notice. If I see something I want to do, I’m going to do it. If you have fucked around and made a mess of a situation I’m involved in, from here on out no quarter will be given. Consider me a beast off a leash, an animal no longer to be caged. It is freeing to know what I can now do what I want, when I want, and the only person I have to answer to is me!
Anteambulo, noun: A person whose job it is to walk in front of another; especially an usher; also figurative. Now specifically in Roman History: a client who walked in front of his patron to clear the way.
Ryan Holiday says it best:
“Find canvases for other people to paint on.
That is, completely ignore getting credit, getting ahead, even throw out what your job is supposed to be on paper. Instead, focus all your energy on finding, presenting, and facilitating opportunities that help other people inside the company succeed — particularly the people you directly report to.
The Roman patronage system had a role in it that we have no real analog for. The word is “anteambulo” — literally meaning “clearing the path.” An anteambulo proceeded in front of their patron anywhere they traveled in Rome, making way, communicating messages and generally making their lives easier.
That’s what I am talking about. Your real job, when you just get started, is to support, clear, and aid. If you can do that well, you will be indispensable, I promise.”
Right now for some reason this seems to be the path I’m on or back on. It’s when I perform my best. I bring my best work to the table when it represents the best interest of other people!
Who are you? What are you? What do you stand for or against? This is the battle we each must fight on order to get to a higher place within ourselves.
I too am struggling with this awareness. I used to know who I was, what I was about, how to define “me”. But after a serious emotional event, you come out the other side as something, someone else. It’s this “other” that we have to deal with now.
Who are we after post-traumatic growth? What did we lose? What did we gain? What traits and characteristics can we and should we shed? What do we need going forward to maximize our latent and newfound potential?
When I started this as the “Chronicles of” I didn’t know I should have named it the “Campaign of”. I originally wanted it to be more stories and anecdotes but for me it’s evolved into a series of guideposts for my own growth and development.
In the car Saturday morning I had an epiphany. A) It’s time to re-read the 33 Strategies of War. I’m about to go to war and since it’s THE manual for such a thing, I need it. B) The first chapters are about defining and declaring war. My life should be looked at as a series of campaigns. My overall strategy should be the campaign of “Ross Jaynes”. I am my own worst enemy and should be treated as such. If I am not forwarding the overall campaign of Ross Jaynes on a day to day basis, I have failed my mission. I am the only one who can win and I am the only one who can defeat me.
It is an easy but complex problem to wrap around. I think the language we use to ourselves matters. With this new found/rediscovered idea, I can change the course for the battle of self-awareness.