Do you ever get the feeling that you have a lot to say out loud but when you try, it all blends and swirls and comes out as a nebulous grey speech bubble? When you have too many feelings perhaps, and instead of recognizing each one as it is you settle on a vague anxiety and focus it, arbitrarily, into small illogical fears? Maybe not, but that’s how I’ve been feeling this week, ever since I started my new job.
I haven’t written in several years, since I felt that my journaling in grad school triggered my mid-20s crisis, as I call it now. It didn't, but it was easy to have a scapegoat. Here I am, picking up again, 2 years later.
A lot has changed, hasn’t it? I live in California, as of 1 month ago, almost. I’ve been with my girlfriend for a year and four months. The happiness she brings me is beyond what I’ve ever dreamed for in my life, and I have so much gratitude for this. But I can’t seem to extend this sense of happiness and sense of purpose into my career. On Monday I started my third job since graduating, and I already feel an itch to get out, that it’s not right for me, that I’m not in the right place. Why? Should I make a change?
Above all I think I fear mediocrity, not living up to my potential, being average. And yet I have to balance my desire to find fulfillment with ordinary obligations, like credit card debt, student loans, and rent. I realize that this is, in many ways, an inner conflict many (most?) people face in life. Am I just resisting the harsh realities of adulthood? I keep getting this bursting thought that I deserve better, and need better than what I have let myself settle for. I’m more creative, more intellectual, have a depth of thinking that isn’t satisfied with a 9–5 desk job……..I’m an intense thinker with the potential for deep creative thought, and I want to be able to dip into that in my daily life.
But, that seems like too much to ask for. If I’m making good money and am not traveling, isn’t that all I wanted 2 months ago? I am lucky to have the many things I do: financial security, good health insurance, a masters degree and experience in my field. So is there a solution? And what is even the question?
The question is: how do I feel fulfilled in my life, have a purpose? I don’t feel as though I’m getting it from my job right now, if we’re being honest here, which, we are. I need to keep this job for practical reasons for now, but are there steps I can take, work toward dreams, projects, new ideas? Yes, of course. So, what next?