Yes, I feel like I’m going through an early mid-life crisis, and the worry tears me apart sometimes. I’m not supposed to have one of these until I’m 40, right? But, no, here I am at the young age of 30 trying to figure out what the heck I’m supposed to be doing with my life. And what makes it worse is that I’m an indecisive young woman who wants both chocolate AND vanilla, who hates closing doors behind her, and who would rather dip her toe in at every point in the river, rather than pick a location and wade directly across.
How did I get here? My good friend tells me that this is a normal part of the human process. It’s normal to change situations in life because we are changing beings. If you are a different person than you were 10 years ago, you may not fit in your job anymore. That’s a little more comforting than my explanation: I’ve been wishy-washy all through my life, falling into a major so that I could give myself some sort of identification and falling into a job because otherwise my parents might boot me out of the house. So, as you can see, her explanation is much more pleasant.
So, now what? Afraid to make a bad decision, and comfortable with the familiar (but also bored and frustrated with it), I can’t find a single job that truly interests me. And at this point, I’m not sure if I should be looking for the perfect job or looking for my “rebound” job that will get me from point A to point C. Anything that seems like it could be interesting also seems to have qualifications that I do not have, i.e. experience in that field. Where is the “looking for ex-teacher who wants to try something new, possibly involving writing or editing or something else creative and also leaves the world a better place?” job? (And I’ve actually tried to google something pretty close to that. . .)
A part of me wants a brainless job. And by brainless, I don’t mean a stupid job. I mean, I can go in, do my job without too much stress, and check out and leave it behind. I would like to have a job that isn’t 75% of my life. I remember some years ago I was reading a book with creative job options, and one that sounded particularly appealing was traveling around Europe picking fruit. Permanent career option? Hardly. Not even a full-time option, as it would be seasonal, but how completely lovely. Just me, the trees, and the European landscape. (audible sigh) The simple life. But then, I was the one in my foreign exchange college experience who imagined staying behind in the little Mexican village, instead of returning to the university and the states. I never pursued anything like either of those ideas, and now I’ve truly tied myself down with a mortgage, a boyfriend, and 3 kids( two cats, and a dog, which, let’s face it, are a lot less mobile than 3 human kids).
That means that for now I am a spectator on a stomach-wrenching stage as my pessimist :“You will never find an interesting job that you are qualified for AND doesn’t require you to move/leave your boyfriend and animals/sell your soul, etc” wages vicious battle against my optimist: “Your perfect job is just around the corner. Everything in your life has led up to this point, and you are exactly where you need to be. Just keep visualizing, believe, and go get it!” And I really hope that the optimist is right!
Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net