Friday, April 14

What I want to be When I grow up

I've often joked with friends that I'm still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. Recently,
the thought of being an author when I grow up has piqued my interest, though I don't necessarily like the thought of having to grow up.

Because really, adulating it not all its cracked up to be. I know I'm not alone in this sentiment.

Unfortunately, my vague contemplation of my future hit a reality check a couple weeks ago: I'm losing my job. The job I fell into nearly 20 years ago and which I have loved from the beginning, working for a company and with people who are fun and energizing. My particular duties are not all that glamorous, but it's been such a fun ride! But now that ride is definitely coming to a swift end. And I confess I'm feeling very adrift at the moment.

Firstly is the fact that the last time I was actively job searching, social media wasn't even a thing yet. LinkdIn and Facebook and emailing resumes... it wasn't how you did it back then. So, I'm a fossil trying to keep up with the young'uns. *sigh*

Secondly is the fact that I'm in mourning. Two decades is longer than I've had children or known my husband. Only my car has been with me that long. But the truth is that the death of my job has me experiencing the many stages of grief. Not to diminish the heart-wrenching loss of a loved one, but I've lost a bit of who I am with this, how I define myself.

Lastly is the simple fact: I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up! And the fact--the future-- is a bit terrifying. I'm floundering.

Yes, I know that whenever God closes a door, he opens a window, and I believe that whole-heartedly. I just struggle with knowing what window he's opening, and therein lies my dilemma. Is this a sign that I should devote myself to my writing career? But what if I can't make ends meet that way? It is an all-too common tale and I hold no fantasies that I'll be the next JK Rowlings. Should I find a low-level  job with the kiddo's school system so I can devote more time to my writing, bring in some money, and have the same vacation schedule as the kids? Should I gun for the next level in my career and devote my time and creative energy to developing myself with another company/industry? Can I afford any of these choices? Can I continue my writing? Should I continue my writing at all... maybe that's the sign God is giving me.

So I stare my future, rife with possibility, in the face and am filled with self-doubt. Liz's post this week reminded me how powerful self-doubt can be, and how difficult to overcome. If I wasn't good enough for my current employer to keep, why would anyone else want to employ me? Margie's post yesterday reminded me that this is an opportunity for me to be bold in my choices... but I'm not feeling at all brave, and I usually overstep "bold" and go straight to "brash," which is never a good thing.

I feel like a gambler, knowing I need to double down on something... but I'm not sure what.

So, I will brush the dust off my resume, venture into social media networking, pray, ponder the muse, roll the dice, lean on my hubby for support, and probably drink a lot of wine over the next few months. How many of us get the chance to recreate ourselves, start fresh, grab a clean slate, set off in on a new path?

I just hope it's the path I'm meant to choose.

11 comments:

  1. What a great post, and what good timing Margie had on hers! I am confident that you will do better than fine--you have too much talent and boldness (nothing wrong with brash, either) to do otherwise, and all my thoughts and "you go, girl's!" are with you.

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  2. Oh, babes--I hate that this happened, but yes, yes, yes, often when a door closes, it means another is opening for you. Just be open to whatever comes along. Sometimes, when a life-changing event happens, it's time to sit down and consider what it is you truly want to do now that the 20-year job is gone. If you could do anything in the world, if nothing at all would stop you, what would you do? Now, how do you make that happen? Hugs and my very best wishes to you, Ava. Oh, and as your editor, I can say this--don't stop writing. You are a great writer!

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    1. Is "watching tv and eating bon-bons" a viable option? LOL!

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  3. Love this post, Ava, not that that means I have any great advice for you. I agree with the sentiment that when one door closes, another opens, and I like Nan's questions ... so, I suppose my advice (such that it is) is to get really quiet and really try to picture yourself A) writing full time B) at the school job C) doing ____ -- and while you're picturing it, consider how you're feeling - happy, bored, excited. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Kristi. I didn't think of it in those terms, but perhaps some silent reflection is in order!

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  4. If you can write full time try it. If you have to get a pt or ft job just to pay bills maybe some8less stressful so you can still concentrate on writing. You'll never know what you can do unless you try.
    Look at me I went back to college at 40! I am almost done now!

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    1. Yay you! I hope you have planned a huge celebration when you graduate! Juggling family, work, and school is an enormous undertaking (and here I am whining about just a job!)!!

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  5. One of my favorite Seinfeld quotes is, "The reason adults are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up is because they're looking for ideas." LOL

    My best advice is not to make any decisions out of desperation. Because, at least in my experience, those tend to be the wrong decisions.

    Stay calm, be patient, and listen to your heart.

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    1. I think Seinfeld is right!! LOL!
      I think I do just need deep calming breaths and perhaps some time for contemplation. Thanks!

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  6. Everyone's given you good advice here, Ava. First of all, let me say I'm sorry you're losing your job. The loss likely has nothing to do with you or the kind of employee you are, so please try not to take it personally, as hard as that is to do. At one point a few years ago I seriously thought about quitting writing. But when I really thought about that reality, never putting pen to paper again, I felt a little ill. I think it was my gut telling me to persevere. Give yourself some time to grieve your loss and think about your next step. Maybe your gut will tell you something, too.

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