Oooh baby… yes, I know you kids born in the 80’s know what I’m talking about.
But really, it’s step by step in life. That’s all we can do to keep pushing forward when times are trying. We’ve made it to spring (or so the calendar tells me), and it’s time to watch the world around us grow and change. How fitting it is that I bring you news of change. I’ve landed a job! Ok, it’s a part time, retail job but I am thankful for some income and connectivity to life beyond these walls. The bonus is that my employer is an athletic apparel company so I will be working with people who follow a similarly active lifestyle as myself. Right now, I couldn’t ask for more.
I’ve never been the person who knew exactly what she wanted out of life. My mom chose a career in medicine at an early age. With my experience in hospitals, you’d think I would have followed a similar path, but no. I have an unresolved fear of failure. I could never risk someones life or attempt to save it. And I couldn’t live with myself if I made a mistake involving another person who counted on my knowledge. It’s not just the game changing careers in medicine or law that send my heartbeats into overdrive and bubble up my anxiety. I’ve heard of careers ending because of one, tiny mistake, but a mistake that affects millions. I can’t be that person. I can’t cause that mistake.
I know the web of fears in my mind seems illegitimate since very few jobs can produce earth shattering downfalls, but I’ve never been able to detach myself from the thought of failing long enough to discover what is worth fighting for. Now a days I’m sure there is probably a pill to detangle the messy weave inside my mind, but I’d rather find happiness on my own.
That is all I ask out of life: happiness. I don’t want to feel pushed into a career because it’s at my fingertips if I lack any interest. I don’t want to let anyone down either. I want to enjoy my job. I want to want to work my ass off each day because passion drives my actions. I’m jealous of people who truly enjoy going to the office most days, whatever their “office” might be. I want that!
Parallel to my fear of failure is my tangled web of interests. When they intersect, they cause one entangled ball of “Holy Shit!” Like Lays chips, one interest does not satiate, nor do I feel experienced enough to develop any one of these interests into a career. Yes, photography attracts me with a magnetic force, but compared to other candidates, my few college courses pale in comparison. Writing soothes me, but my poor vocabulary and grammar skills would send editors voluntarily free-falling off of cliffs. And health? Well, other than being an athlete my entire life, I have no educational background. What I write on Running Highs and Sexy Thighs all stems from personal experience and reading magazines.
It bothers me that I don’t have one, distinct passion that I would do everything in my power to pursue. Shouldn’t I build up my photography knowledge, take writing courses, or learn more about nutrition? I’ve tried to do all of the above but my brain can only focus on one thing for so long. I’ll place the blame on a short attention span, but I deliberate whether or not that is just a cop-out.
In the mean time, I’m grateful for my new job. I may be resorting to a high school level job that requires no educational background, but it gives me a chance to embrace the happy for a moment, to forget that I’m still suffering from a quarter life crisis at 31. I’m getting the opportunity to surround myself with one of my interests while I search for something more permanent. Who knows, I might find myself along the way.
If I seem on edge or touchy throughout this process, it’s because I lack confidence in my skills. I know I shouldn’t. I’m well educated and diligent, but it’s tough to climb the ladder when you’re deathly afraid of heights. I appreciate the help that comes my way and the reassurance that will no doubt follow this post, but just give me space. Don’t continuously ask about the job hunt. It’s ongoing and frustrating and self-depreciating. Still that’s no reason for my claws to scratch curious bystanders. If I’m rude, bitch slap me (or deal me a written blow). My mom’s already called me an asshole once today. That’s the kind of tough love I appreciate.
Despite all of my reservations and fears, I still believe I made the right decision to leave behind a job that left me feeling worthless. I cringe when I think about what I would have been doing today if I had stayed. Onward and upward…even if I struggle a bit more along the way.
45. Step by Step – “Step by Step” from New Kids on the Block