Figuring It All Out

18 01 2011

I’m sitting here in my living room trying to figure out a few things. First, I’m trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to do about a haircut. My hair is long and my sideburns are shaggy and I just haven’t decided how to go about getting my haircut. It’s such a simple task, but one that has become a real challenge for me to overcome. It’s just a haircut. Only it’s about more than just the haircut.  It’s about the people involved, the friendship, and the routine. All that has changed.

I’m also trying to figure out how to break myself of the double-space habit. At some point I became accustomed to hitting the space bar twice after a period. It isn’t necessary. The double-space is an antiquated practice from before the time of modern word processing. It’s such a trivial little habit and yet it’s immensely difficult to break. And don’t kid yourself, I just went back and edited out all my double spaces.

The last thing I’m trying to figure out is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. This is the biggie. Much bigger than the double spaces. I had a bit of a religious experience this weekend and it really renewed my introspection into what it is that I am supposed to be doing with my life.

Part of this inquest into my life’s purpose requires that I ask the question, “What are you willing to sacrifice?” This is a difficult question to answer. It’s easy to be complacent. It’s also easy to dream about big things. The hardest part is figuring out where the big dreaming diverges into real action.

I’m not sure what I’m willing to sacrifice yet. I don’t think I’m willing to move away from my current location. I just moved into a new house and I’m loving it. Most of my family is close by. I have my girlfriend here. I’m thinking about getting a dog. Many of my friends are close. It’s hard enough to maintain and foster those relationships living this close to each other.  I’m not willing to give up the bond I have with these people by moving across the country. They mean too much. Those relationships give more meaning to my life than anything else, and distancing myself from them is the last thing I want to do.

Am I willing to give up my salary? Would I take a pay cut to find a more fulfilling career? The answer to that question is an unequivocal “YES”. I am absolutely willing to give up monetary gain for career satisfaction. How much am I willing to give? That question is a little bit harder to answer. I have basic needs like all humans: shelter, food, rent money, car payment, student loan payment, ingredients to brew beer, etc. So within reason, I’m willing to take a big cut if it means a greater sense of satisfaction and joy in my career and life.

But is the grass really greener on the other side? Probably not. I was in the mixed company the other evening with a few people who are government employees and a few people who are not employed by the public. I was lamenting a few feelings about my current employment, and the overwhelming response from the non-government employees was how much they would love to have a job like mine. It boggles the mind attempting to understand how almost every person in the room seemed to envy the position of someone else. Would everyone be happy if we all just traded jobs? Of course not!

So what’s to blame? I’m really at a loss on this one. I have no insight into the mindset of today’s workforce that will create a greater understanding of workplace happiness. I think a big portion of career satisfaction comes from the environment and the people you work with. I think some enjoyment comes from the feeling of being utilized to your potential without being overworked or underworked. Finally, I think most of us actually have some profession out there that perfectly suits us. I think there truly is something perfectly suited for everyone. That job where you show up and say, “This is what I’m supposed to be doing.’ Sadly, I think very few of us actually find it.

I’m really not sure where this leaves me. It’s clear that I’m not doing what I’m “supposed” to be doing. I think there is a plan for me and I think eventually I will find the source of true satisfaction. I have no clue what it is that I’m supposed to be doing, and I have no clue what the next step will be. I’m trying to be open-minded about the situation. I’m pretty much willing to try anything. Life is a lot of trial and error, and this is no different. So until the next thing comes around I will continue to do the best I can on the current thing. That’s really all we can do, isn’t it?

I think I’m going to approach it like a long bicycle ride. You start out and it takes some time to get warmed up. At some point early on you ask, “What the hell am I doing out here?” Then you start to cruise a little bit and get into the swing of things. That big mountain climb approaches and sometimes you hit a rough spot. You find yourself in a brief place of pain and suffering. Eventually that passes though. It always passes if you just keep pedaling. You have no choice but to keep pedaling.

I feel like maybe I’m in that rough spot. So maybe if I just keep pedaling I will reach the peak and find a nice long downhill waiting for me. I’m sure some of you are in that rough spot too. Maybe it’s your career, a family situation, personal finances, or sickness. Take solace in the fact that you aren’t alone on that climb. Others are there too. So keep pedaling and I will see you on the downhill.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

4 responses

18 01 2011
Shani

Wow. Was just having this conversation with Todd literally 5 minutes ago! Once again Geoff, you completely amaze me. It never fails that although you and I are in different places, you seem to connect to something I’m going through. I’m only trying to imagine how many other people you are resonating with as well. I sense there is a calling somewhere between these lines. and P.S. Shad is shaking his head at those sideburns! Sometimes we just have to leap! I love you and keep pedaling!

19 01 2011
Dena Donnell

Excellent post. I mean, really excellent. I think you have touched on something that everyone goes through at some point in their lifetime and most go through it more than once. I want you to know that I pray every day for you to find the “something” that will fulfill you professionally. I know it is out there and it is just a matter of time before you find it, or it finds you. Keep in mind that you wouldn’t ever enjoy that downhill near as much if you didn’t have to make that terrible uphill climb first!! I love you! Oh…I agree with Shani…take a leap with the hair…

19 01 2011
quarterlifeconfused

Two things: 1) I’m required to double-space at work so now I do it every where. It is maddening. 2) Awesome post. You know I am right there with you on this. I know the right opportunity is out there for you and that you will do what you can do and God will do the rest! Keep pedaling. And get a haircut. =)

19 01 2011
Gary

Dude, see a therapist! Kidding (or am I) ?? Awesome blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: