Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's Not About the Food

but it's not about the food order, is it?

if you read my last post, you'll know that i'm very unhappy serving as the resident lunch lady here at my job. actually, i'm very unhappy about the whole errand girl issue over-all -- the post office (mailing bosses personal mail every day), Staples, fetching files, making copies...

but it's not about the errands, is it? it's about the fact that, as i'm soon to turn 47, i feel i've made nothing of my life professionally. career-wise, i've kind of gone backwards.

what worries me is that i'm not even sure where to begin anymore. i really don't know what i want to do. maybe i just need to daydream and daydream and jot down ideas?

career has always been a problem for me. i've just never known what to do. and i was always so, so troubled that i never stuck with anything and developed much of a skill or craft.

i'm in the position i'm in today, because I got myself here. So, who am i really mad at -- i think it's that lady who's staring back at me from the mirror above my computer.

all i have is the present. i can not change the past.

anybody have any ideas where to get started or what worked for you along the professional way?


  1. I have always wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. I got sidetracked several times, including getting my first degree in psychology and working as a social worker for years. I finally decided to pursue my dream, and went back and earned a second bachelor's degree in English/Imaginative Writing. Now I am hoping my graduate degree will allow me to find a job - and I will be starting over at 46 - that allows me to use my writing skills. I can't imagine not writing.

    So what you have to do is follow your dream? What do you like to do the most? What excites you? What moves you? What do you think you would like to do day in and day out and still love it most of the time? Don't think in terms of what is marketable - I have seen people go into nursing because it is one of the "hot" careers right now, only to find out that it wasn't what they thought and they hated it. What makes you dream? What could you see yourself doing five years from now? (Because remember, you could change careers again - who knows?)

    Then follow that path and trust it will be okay.


  2. I feel that way about my life right now. I have several college degrees yet, unlike most of my friends, I am STILL in school earning yet another degree and haven't really done anything with my life.

    The good thing is: I can tell myself that I'm in school and that when I'm done I will be DONE and can make something of my life.

    I know this isn't exactly a fix, but if you can afford it, maybe you can keep the job and take a class/some classes in the evenings. Whether you take classes that will prepare you for another job in the future or just ones in subjects that interest you, maybe it would give you a way to develop skills or to realize and be proud of the skills you do have.

    It also provides a lovely excuse (for a while) that you are making something of yourself... just don't be like me and continue the process of "making" rather than actually becoming something :)

  3. kris; this is really great. thank you! taking a class is such a good idea. and it would help me feel more interested and, in fact, interesting.

    you said the very right thing at the very right time.

    i don't know you're whole situation, but it sounds like you're being pretty hard on yourself. knowledge is great, and i would imagine that you will have very good oppty when you're ready. do you feel that too?

  4. Oh boy! You are so not alone in this. May I ask you to consider just reframing a little? it's such an American thing I think and possibly just a modern thing to synch our identities and our self worth with our source of income. First thing you ask someone at a party? Usually, "What do you do?" I just wonder if maybe we're a bit off base in looking at things this way. Yes, I get it. We spend 8+ hours 5 days per week doing something and we hope it has meaning. But I would ask that you consider your work here, for instance, on this blog as your real work, your vocation (as in a religious calling, not as in a vocational school!). You heal people here. Look at how your following has grown since I've e-known you. Look at how you've grown. I would venture to say that the woman in the mirror has devoted herself to personal evolution and, in doing so, has inspired so many others (me included!) to connect with their own inner strengths. Perhaps your stupid day job is a means to feed your ability to do this vital work for the rest of us?

    And who knows... maybe this will lead to something that may ultimately replace your day job, too. I think your key is to just keep walking your truth and see where that path leads. (Maybe that includes a class or two!)

    Anyway- be easier on yourself. If you read this entry on *my* blog, you'd certainly tell me all the wonderful things I've done amount to more than a paycheck, right?

    Sending warmth and peace your way, friend.

  5. danielle mari; you are the best! thank you, thank you, thank you. this was exactly what i needed to read. i actually read it the first time while i was knee deep in clerical work on the job.

    i think i will keep re-reading your comment. it makes my day!!!

  6. I wish I had more advice I am in a similar boat. We have made a "career" out of being sick so don't beat yoyurslef up for not being further along. It's unfortunate but it is what it is.
    I am sure if you think hard you can find an ideal job and then figure out a path to get take a class like Kris said.

  7. Missy; you are exactly right -- we did make a full career out of being sick. i always said that "dieting" was my life. some life, huh.

    i'm bummed, in a way, that i'm starting over at 47 BUT this is where i am, and it's time to start going forward. it's a very transitional time, but it's good.

    thank you.

  8. I know exactly how you feel. I am 51 years old with a college degree and I am a personal assistant/exec assistant. I've never had a career, and most likely never will. Both of my bosses are wonderful people, and treat me so well, so I enjoy going to work at least. And they make me feel like I am important, but I can't help but feel like a failure in the career department. One day I mentioned to my boss's mother that anyone could do this job, and she replied that NOT anyone could do this job. So I don't know, maybe I just need an attitude adjustment, but it's hard when my friends and family say about my job "It's like being a wife."