I’ve been a little quiet on this blog lately, and partially that is due to dissatisfaction with my current circumstances.
Mainly, I don’t enjoy my job and wish I had chosen a different career.
The end of my work days leave me feeling drained and exhausted, dealing with the emotions from the day. It’s been difficult to feel like I have time or energy to focus anywhere else. I never wanted a career that took over my life, and I have a variety of interests (cooking, fitness, music, reading, writing, video games) that I’d rather be spending my time on… or, you know, friends I’d like to be calling/spending more time with. Unfortunately, I’ve been feeling like my job is interfering with progress in other areas in my life, and that makes me grumpy.
I’ve written before about how my life changed pretty dramatically in a short amount of time, in the middle of grad school. I chose to continue on in school and graduate, though I considered dropping out. But I’ve been thinking about the fact that I chose this career when I was a pretty different person from who I am now.
I had never experienced so much grief. Losing one of my best friends was a shock, and 5 years later… I was about to write, “I still feel like I’m recovering,” but the truth is that I’m just different. I don’t think one day I’ll recover from it and feel whole again, because, as my husband put it, she’s still gone. That’s not going to get better. And I’m not getting better, I’m just adjusting to life without her. I’m a different person now, with grief as a part of my identity.
I didn’t realize that money is important. I never wanted to take out loans, but didn’t get any funding for graduate school. I didn’t compare the amount of loans I’d need to the salary I’d likely make and realize it was a bad deal. When I heard I didn’t get funding I immediately thought I wouldn’t go to grad school and would figure something else out – now I wish I had taken that path.
I used to get more satisfaction out of pleasing others. This is something I feel like I picked up from my religious upbringing, though I haven’t been able to pinpoint just how yet. Possibly because I’m female – and there’s a focus on how women are supposed to serve others and focus on others’ happiness – or the focus on pleasing God and your parents – which I felt like I could never please my parents, so I focused on getting praise and positive attention from teachers and other people instead. Now I feel like I can be happy with the fact that not everyone will like me, just like I won’t like everyone (and don’t have to!). I think I find satisfaction in other areas of my life and am focused more inward. My job involves working with people, and I do tend to make people feel happy through my job, but it’s just not as important to me anymore.
However, at the moment, it’s just not really feasible to get a different job. So I have to wait it out. And I’m feeling a little stuck.
The good news is, exercise has really been helping me distract myself from my dissatisfaction with my career. Even though I’m not improving my mile time (as much as I’m trying to) and progress feels painfully slow, I often feel good after a run and it helps take my mind away from work. It took a long time to get to where running felt good, but now I can look back and be happy that I put in that difficult, embarrassing, grueling work.
What do you do when you’re feeling stuck in an area of your life? Ignore it? Focus on other areas? Try to accept it? What helps you get through the day?