Thursday, February 1, 2007

Floating? More like floundering.

I had a crisis of personality when I was around 20. I know - crisis at 20 - the very thought is ridiculous. But it was what it was and it's had a lasting impact on my life. Until that point, I knew exactly who I was and exactly what I wanted out of my life. Then one morning, I woke up and realized that I was wrong. Tres cliche, isn't it? Since then, I have been drifting professionally. I have taken any path that seemed interesting and for the most part, it has been rewarding to float along. I have discovered a lot of jobs that I never knew existed. I have uncovered aptitudes that were well hidden. As the inimitable John Denver sang, "It's really fine to have the chance to hang around." Now, I find that I have floated my way into unpleasant waters. It's too cold and the fish are scarce. I need to start swimming. The problem is that I seem to have forgotten how. I'm floating here in the middle of this godforsaken lake and I have less than no idea of how to swim for shore. I don't like where I am. But I don't know where I want to go, and even if I did, I don't know how to get there from here. Besides, no matter how unpleasant, this place is at least familiar. What if I end up somewhere worse? What if I end up somewhere exactly the same? What if there really isn't anything better for me? I think maybe I would like to teach. That was the plan for a long time. I'd float around until my children were older, then head back to school and eventually teach college-level linguistics or literature. And that still sounds like a happy idea, except for the waiting. I think maybe I would like to teach younger people. Can I do that? Can I teach children? Do I have that in me? Or would I end up screaming obscenities at the children when they can't read? I think maybe I would like to write. But write what? And for whom? And I'm afraid that would be a hefty paycut. I cannot step backwards financially. I think maybe I would like to be an entrepeneur. I would like to create something lovely and sell it for outrageous sums of money. But that's a big risk and I am not a risk-taker. So I guess for now, I just keep floating until I'm unhappy enough to actually take a risk. How long will that be, I wonder?

8 comments:

Geri said...

I love reading your posts...even if you feel as though you are floundering, your writing is awesome. (you should look into that....) :)

Katie said...

Write what? Write books! ;-)

Lisa said...

Christy, I could have written that. Looking back, my whole career it seems like I sort of floated into whatever choice was most expedient (i.e., whatever paid the bills and covered benefits, since I was the main breadwinner). Now I'm floundering big-time, and pretty close to unhappy enough to take a risk. On what, though, I don't know.

Here's hoping 2007 brings both of us some insight.

Laura said...

I plan on floating for a while still before I decide what I want to be when I grow up. I might never decide - but I do know that I want to enjoy what I do. And I agree with Katie. Write books!!

justkc said...

Yes, write, write a lot!

Kelley said...

For sure, write! Write something, anything. Start for fun...on the side...maybe money will follow? I'm floundering with my professional (or lack thereof) place too. Perhaps it comes with the age and place in life?

Heatherly said...

I'm another one who says WRITE. :)

You don't have to write books. You could write plays, or short stories, or even commercials.

Just WRITE.

Chris Wasielewski said...

Umm, I hate to be a big old ECHO in here, but uh........Yeah................. WRITE GIRL!!!

You have an amazing gift. I too have floundered from field to field, and even when I enjoy what I'm doing I get itchy. I think it's normal, and hey, it keeps us interesting! LOL

Chris