I realized that I keep talking about my crossroads (see Coming Clean – Earthquake Edition and Search for Meaning), yet I’ve never actually spelled them out. The loss of dance from my life threw the future picture of my life out of focus. I’d simply assumed I’d be a dance instructor as my next profession. Physically I can’t do that. Ummmmm… now what?
I love my current job. It is a company I respect and admire, and I’m really good at what I do. Can I imagine doing this for the next 30 years of my working life? (Shudder) No. My current job is PERFECT for preparing for my next career path. I’m done by 3:30 each day, and it’s not a job that comes home with me. Work is work, life is life. There is no cross over.
Never in my life have I planned to have a career. Jobs galore, but I have never defined myself by what I do. Much like in Jeff Hayden’s wonderful article, my profession has been like an arranged marriage. I stumbled along a certain path, would occasionally change paths when the current rut was too uncomfortable to stand any longer, but basically it has all felt pre-ordained.
But when I’m not doing anything to prepare for the next phase in my life, I get restless. I need something to work towards, and I want something real and purposeful. There is nothing giving me direction at the moment. I know me, and without this definite goal, I will stagnate and regress. I don’t want to come home from work and spend the evening on my couch. That is so not me… But my make-busy solutions can be as unsatisfying as computer solitaire or bad chocolate and just as addicting!
Not surprisingly considering I am the woman that used to plan spontaneity, I decided to tackle this quest in a very methodical manner. I took aptitude tests. Guess what: They said I’d be good at the careers I’ve already had and rejected. It doesn’t surprise me, though. They create a snapshot of what we could picture ourselves doing, and I have a really good picture of me in those roles. Understandable, yes; Helpful, no.
Which continued to beg the question, “Now what?”. So I started trying on different career hats. DH2U would get a text message or email, “Can you imagine me as X?” I’d research the possible jobs until I found out why they wouldn’t fit. With some, the hat only stayed on a couple hours. Others would days or weeks. Sometimes it was something in job itself that wasn’t me; sometimes it was extensive schooling for a slim possibility of getting a job afterwards. Among my considered (and rejected) careers were: doula, dietitian, esthetician, home organizer.
I did have an idea in the social media/website design field that held my interest for several months. I then found myself not working towards it any more. I’m not one to procrastinate, so when I do, there is normally a reason. In this case, it simply wasn’t resonating with me right now. It has been shelved, but not discarded. That work was not in vane, however, as it led me to start this blog, which I love doing and has staved off the itchy feet syndrome for a while.
I’m trying to be zen with the situation and wait for the something to tickle my fancy. Yet this is so not me. I am a firm believer that you make your own luck – preparation allows you to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. But what do I prepare for?!?!?!?!?
And hence, my crossroads…
When faced with the opportunity to do anything you want, how do you narrow down the search … or … what should I be when I grow up?