Job changes are nerve racking. I might’ve slept three hours Tuesday night. I had to be on time Wednesday for the new position in a chiropractor’s office. A big career change at this point in my life. So like a kid waiting to leave for Disney World, I was restless. Anxious for the big day to come. But like an adolescent anticipating that step on-stage to give a presentation, I also had the nervous butterflies. Will I be good enough, will they like me, will I suck at this?
Yes, I lost the driving job, but I can’t say I’m sorry. The change was abrupt and difficult, but it was time–definitely time. Nine or ten hours of driving four days a week for two and a half years was too much for too long. I tried to stay positive and eager, but truth is I rose each morning to drag the ball and chain like I was headed to the dungeon. To say the least, I’d lost enthusiasm for my work.
Work, that uniquely adult, most highly valued American pursuit. At least for my generation, your job, the work you do for a living, has always been the defining essence of who we are as individuals. Just ask any baby boomer to tell you about themselves and their description will likely begin with what they do for a living and go from there. Or at least it will be in the top four things they say, right up there with where they’re from, the number of children they’ve sired or birthed, and how long or how often they’ve been married.
While I hesitate to categorize large numbers of people as typical, it’s likely many of us are not living the dream we’ve always desired way down deep in the hidden part of our true essence.
The whole idea of which brings up a nagging issue at the start of a new job. It’s this conflicting pull between the ideas of doing the thing you love, the thing you were really designed for, or working to make a real living at whatever you manage to find yourself fairly good at–practically speaking, whatever you can manage to find when your work choices are shaped by circumstance, social standing, even geographical location. How is an ordinary Jill ,or Joe, supposed to reach for a dream and still keep body and soul together, along with all the other bodies and souls for whom they may be responsible?
I’m old enough to have tried a few jobs–and old enough to have failed at a few. Or at least found the thousand that didn’t work, to borrow from Thomas Edison’s effort with the light bulb. I hesitate to elaborate for fear of offending anyone who might actually enjoy the slave labor in a sewing factory, but that is definitely at the top of my list of jobs that do not work for me.
The thing is, I have always skirted around the idea of doing the thing I really love. For fear of failure? Sure. For want of information? Yup. But I think down deep, it’s also been because I didn’t want to work so hard to pull it all together. I have a lazy bone that is connected to my fear of failure bone. They were beginning to get arthritic. So I have finally started exercising the muscles around them. I am launching into a writing career, which takes a lot of chutzpah. And though the writing gods forbid switching metaphors, I have to say it’s damn hard work learning to navigate the waters of marketing, editing, publishing, accounting, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, that go along with being a real author.
But in the meantime, I’m also jumping into the new part-time job eagerly. I look forward to continue working with people directly, which I have always done in one way or another. It’s the other thing I believe I was meant to do. So, this is a great way to continue to stay involved in the world, with life outside the writer’s desk. It should help keep me practical and connected, grounded to earth. And new experiences like learning a new job expand the mind and add depth to the writing.
So all things considered my enthusiasm level has gotten quite a boost in the last week or two despite problems. A great place to be in personally when I launch the new book in a few weeks.
For help realizing the writing dream I recommend this lady, Demi Stevens at http://yotbpress.com/