A year ago, I had a very different lifestyle — one that required ties, endless supplies of pencils and erasers, patience and, above all, wit. While this may seem like the perfect description of a up-and-coming stand-up comedian, it in fact describes my life as a teacher. As of today, I have been out of the teaching profession and — as many experience — it is bringing up memories of last summer.
Last night, I went on a very long walk with a new-found friend, and it pushed me to think about where I’ve come since last May. To describe my emotional state last summer is to describe the slow eruption of a volcano … steady with an eventual collapse. Honestly, ask my family and they would be the first to tell you that I was not in a good emotional state last summer. One year later, and I find myself with a completely different feeling.
While I still get the typical question “where do you want to be in five years,” I can’t help but feel dismayed by the question itself. A year ago, I never dreamed that I would be in marketing. A year ago, I never dreamed that I would be living “in the city.” A year ago, I never dreamed that I would be approaching okay with being single. How am I to plan what life will be like in five years when I can barely tell you what I’m going to do later this evening.
The truth is I am, probably for the first time in my life, content with where I am. And, perhaps, that is what is upsetting me more. I’ve lived my life in a state of fear of losing my job but, with this new job that I (according to several sources) do well, it’s hard to think of a life doing something else. I don’t necessarily love what I do (not yet), but it allows me to just do work without constant scrutiny.
So while I’m feeling secure about my job, there is still some insecurity involved with the concept of what’s next. For example, this past week, I was part of the interview process for another “me” at work — someone who gets things done without them being told too much or someone who takes initiative. In each of these candidates, they had a projection of where they would be but, in my case, I hadn’t the slightest clue.
So, I suppose the next step in this learning process for me is to identify the what in my future. Perhaps then, things will start making a lot more sense.