From one day to the next, depending on whatever mood I’m in, I either love what I do or I am completely uninspired by it. On a Tuesday, I could be completely invigorated, with a brain full of ideas on how to progress my career. I’ve laid out the steps it would take, knowing I am fully capable of achieving them. I even feel excited! But, like clockwork, the next day I wake up and immediately yearn to pack it all up and do something else.
Part of this is because I, like many of you, have too many interests.
Not that being passionate about multiple things is a bad thing, but it can get a bit exhausting trying to decide which next-big-thing gets priority. I want to be a trainer, an artist, a musician, a writer, a nurse, and a teacher. It stresses me out that I can’t do them all, and it stresses me even more that I could make the wrong decision and pursue the wrong career.
I am heartbreakingly impulsive. So if I have an idea, I am totally consumed by it. The ideas are nurtured by my impulsive nature and I wildly analyze them while working out the logistics — researching how much schooling it would take to become a Nurse Practitioner, how long it will take to become a master wood-craftsman, or what type of salary I could make being a high school English teacher (not much by the way). Obviously this just distracts from what I should be doing, which is focusing on what I went to school for and what I am actually employed as. But, nevertheless, I continue to do it.
It’s a generational thing. We all want to be a success immediately after college. I don’t know about you, but for some reason, maybe subconsciously, I just expected to be working my dream job, driving a Porsche, and loving life by 23. Reality is fucking with my head, and I don’t like it. I thought growing pains were just a phase in adolescence, but whatever I’m going through now feels like the same thing, except more physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing. I don’t know how long it will take, but I am hoping to eventually reconcile with the truth that getting to that ideal job and lifestyle takes time. It takes a lot of work. And it takes patience.
It’s hard not to feel discouraged after spending four years and tens of thousands of dollars on a college degree, and be faced with a long, slow, arduous climb to the life I want. The only consolation I have is that almost everybody I graduated with is in the same predicament. That can serve as some sort of relief at times.
Alas, I regret to admit that I don’t have any philosophical advice or insider information on how to speed things up. If any of you solve this career puzzle, please share with the rest of us. In the meantime, take comfort in the fact that if you feel the same way I do, there is someone else out there compulsively questioning themselves every day.