– are you a lettuce?


I’ve been trying to help a friend, here in Almonaster la Real, find work and leave home.  He’s a qualified biologist, with at least twelve years experience in identifying all kinds of flora and fauna, bi-lingual, and blessed with this incredible magnetic personality.  I challenge anyone not to love him.

One of the reasons he is still unemployed is because nowhere really comes close to Almonaster la Real as a place to live, only a fool would want to leave, only there are no jobs.  And even Arcadia can feel depressing if you can’t follow your passions.

So I’ve been looking further afield for him, to find a similar untainted community and countryside.  Last year packing him off to Shetland, to WWOOF until he found paid work.  Sadly one of the hosts didn’t work out and in panic he came back, but otherwise loved the feel and potential of Scottish island living.  Getting him to try once more has been difficult though, if not impossible.  As has trying to get him to understand that sometimes it takes a few (or more) steps on the job ladder before you reach the place you seek.

Yesterday though I think I cracked it, with a neat analogy.

Right now he’s thinking like a lettuce.

That is, he’s only allowing himself to do one thing at a time to solve this problem.  Like a lettuce: growing, making leaves, then going to seed and dying.  After which nothing else happens until the following year, when the whole process starts up again, from scratch, with no development/ evolution.  Search for a job, find one, sends off a cv (even if it asks for an application form), then sit and wait for the call/ interview that never comes, while doing everything else but finding another job to apply for.  A year passes, when he finally realises this isn’t going to happen, so the process starts all over again.

Whereas if he acted more like a bush or tree, he’d be well into having an independent life by now.  This kind of person sets off from university, chases as many different options as possible, never says no to anything, regardless of how obscure, keeps it up, then uses all these (often very different) experiences to put on more height and branches, until eventually bears fruit in the career and life of their choice.

He can be like them, he simply needs to find the self-confidence to overcome the handicap of growing up in a very special place, where family and community don’t push their children to leave and has everything everyone else dreams of.  Except jobs.  I still think the Scottish Islands are for him, where he will make a fantastic wildlife warden/ guide/ teacher one day.  But if you know of a similar community, who could help him make the transition from Arcadia to independence I would appreciate you getting in touch.  He is a unique individual with so much to offer in talents and personality.

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