I am not an Anomaly.

26 Feb

Up until about a month ago, I found myself in the same place doing the same thing every day.  My partner and I moved back to Iowa five months ago to follow a job opportunity for him which allowed me to escape from a bad situation in the corporate work world.  I had been working multiple unfulfiling hourly jobs since I graduated from the University of Iowa.  The only period I actually used the Elementary Education degree I had been so confident would give me a practical boost into the career world I was subbing and working part-time retail.  So when a salaried position came up for my partner, we jumped at the chance.

At first I was content telling friends and family, “I’m just hanging out, taking things easy.”  when the requisite question about my doings arose.  I felt like I deserved a break from working just to work, and tried to devote my time to my creative muses.  After a few months of this the novelty wore off.  I found myself night after night sitting in the same spot, staring at my computer screen.  My muses had turned into red wine and South Park, and what was I reading on my computer screen?  Oh no, not another piece of Fan Fic…  Don’t get me wrong, all of those things are wonderful, but I found myself wondering just what in the world I was doing.

I asked myself a lot of questions on those nights.  Why am I not still teaching?  What am I supposed to be doing?  What do people think of me?  Why do I want to eat macaroni and cheese that looks like it’s gone nuclear?  Why does my chair keep getting smaller?

But the most pressing question of all seemed to return over and over.  What do I want to be doing?

I had joined the shockingly large mass of twenty-something college graduates who had no idea what they were going to do with themselves.  Most of us (myself at least) have been led to believe there is a certain order of things to life.

A) Graduate from High School

B) Attend college (partying and carrying on is fun, but optional)

C) Graduate from college into your chosen career path

A+B=C, right?  That’s what all my math courses ever taught me was true.  So why was I having trouble getting to point C?  I had done a few things in the interem; I got married.  I somehow ended up with two cats who are, if not ideal, at least somewhat acceptably pleasant.  We are living comfortably in a sweet little house in a town both of us appreciate.  I had been raised being told I could do and be whoever I wanted to be.  So what in the world was I doing night after night sitting in an ever shrinking red chair wondering what the hell was in store for me tomorrow?  It didn’t come to me in an epic flash, but I slowly realized that I was waiting for something to happen, but I didn’t know what direction I even wanted to take my life.

Here I was, I had an opportunity to slow way down, really take a good look around and make an important decision about who I am.  I realized that when I chose my major in college, I had no idea I was interested in the things that really give me satisfaction now.  My major was something practical and safe.  Something I thought would guarantee me a stable income and I could probably enjoy it enough to stick with it.

Three weeks ago I decided it was more important for me to feel comfortable with my identity, and invest some serious time in the things I really enjoy, than spending eight hours a day working only to come home and worry about work.  Having been trained as an educator, I find it difficult, but I choose not to follow the neat ABC’s of life.  Instead, I will follow my own winding path.  It’s true that A+B=C, but I’m looking for something much bigger.  After all, the whole world is greater than one letter.

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One Response to “I am not an Anomaly.”

  1. ajgunter February 28, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    This is a great post. I feel the exact same way right now. I’m just lost and like you I’m just waiting for my next career/opportunity to jump out and find me because I have NO idea what I want to do.

    Thanks for sharing- it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    Also- Boo says hi and *lick

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