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What am I doing?

by Kristy Freeman about a year ago in career
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Self-discovery and its hardships

As I sit here reading, waiting for the phone to ring, I can't help but wonder how the hell I thought this would be better. By leaving one dead-end job to work for another company from home, I've only learned that I can't keep doing this to myself. I can't keep denying the fire inside.

This isn't the first time I've felt it, the fire-the passion burrowed deep inside that they say we're all born with. No, this is familiar to me and so is what will likely happen next. I will find another job, it will challenge me for half a year and then I'll want to quit and find another one. But first, I'll spiral into another depression and ask "Why am I like this?" and then stay for another two years before I've finally had enough.

There is nothing likable about not knowing how to find your purpose in life. Especially when you know what it's not. I know that I can't keep doing this. It's time for me to actually figure this shit out! This is my accountability, something I desperately need because I may have all the motivation in the world but I have zero discipline. None. That's why I am where I am. Depressed, unmotivated, and looking for the next new challenge.

The difference this time is that I actually recognize that the problem is me. Not my managers, or bosses, or co-workers, or the company culture, or the hours, or the crappy benefits. Nope, this is all me. I've done it again.

Sure, those excuses are what I told everyone else to avoid actually recognizing that I was the problem in the past, but today, right now, that's done. I cannot keep going this way at forty-one years old.

Ok, great. I recognized and admitted I have a problem. What's step 2? Where do I go from here? Now what? Ah, yes. The inevitable blank stare. I still have no idea what the fire in my belly means. I should probably Google that-just in case.

This is truly the first time I've named the issues. That's a new one for me and it's giving me hope. Hope that I can end this vicious, ugly cycle that fills me with self-doubt and loathing. I know I can't be happy padding the pockets of another corporate asshat. I have to figure out what I can do to monetize my happiness. Is that too much to ask? It's a rhetorical question, of course. Happiness is fleeting and too dependent on circumstance. What I need to do is figure out what brings me joy. Then, how I make money won't matter. Right?

This is the forward for the book that I'm going to write once I figure that out. Otherwise, it's an essay sitting on a website leaving people wondering why there was no follow-up. Did she figure it out? Did all of her dreams come true? Did she find joy? I hope so, but she doesn't even know how to move forward from here.

Back to the fire, the burning, nagging sensation that I will never find fulfillment until I've figured out what purpose I'm serving. What is this about? Why can't I just be happy doing normal stuff? A 9-5 job, 2.4 children, a dog, and a house. That's the picture they paint of fulfillment. I have all that, mostly. Ok, I have 1 child and 3 dogs, same thing. Is there something wrong with me that this isn't enough? Am I selfish for wanting more?

I can't possibly be the only one who feels this way, c'mon. I can find a group for anything. Bird watchers, stamp collectors, even obscure things like underwater basket weavers, all have groups. Probably even conventions. Where're my people? The people who don't have a hobby that fills them up so much it doesn't matter how much they hate their job. They don't dwell on the job and think about it every moment they're working. Nope, they just think about how they can't wait to get home to weave that basket. Normal. Right?

My people, if you're reading right now, what are you going to do next? I'm asking because I cannot go on one more second without a plan to do something differently. I've heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. I fully agree with that and I feel a bit insane. So, we know we can't continue doing this to ourselves.

I want more but I know that in the past, I stop when the work gets hard. I've wanted to start my own business for a few years. It's the burn that I feel. The burn is the knowledge that you continue to do what you know deep down is not what you should be doing. The more you fight it, the fierier it becomes. I can only assume it will consume me at some point. I don't intend to find out.

Today, I will take the steps toward a different life. One in which I control myself. I decide what I give my time to and what I want. It may sound like a pipe dream, but to me, today, it's very real and I'm already reaching out to grab it. I will do this because the alternative, stagnating-AGAIN, is not an option this time. I can't continue to hate myself. I think I'm pretty great! So, what am I doing?

career

About the author

Kristy Freeman

The fun part about turning 40 is realizing all of the things that you want to do before you die. Writing is one of mine. I'm excited to be surrounded by others who feel the same!

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