a bit edgier than normal

A very perceptive coworker has heard a very tense tone in my voice this week. I say very perceptive because I haven't confided in this coworker about anything other than a general distaste for a few aspects of my job. It is true, I've been edgier than normal. And tense. And stressed.

Lately I've been contemplating the future. My future. My future career and where I want to be. More importantly, why am I not there yet?

A lunch date with a friend/former coworker has helped me to put my life into perspective. It is always amazing to me that I can meet with this friend for a few minutes and walk away from the conversation with an entirely different attitude about the goings-on of my life. It is one of the things I like most about her. I've reached a conclusion: I might not be sure about where I want to be, but I know why I'm not there yet. I've set unreasonable limits on myself and on my career aspirations. I've been content to stay in the same place and be unhappy without trying to better my situation. This is not how my personality usually manifests itself. Because I'm not normally one to just wade in despair without seeking change, I've been making myself even more miserable and in turn I'm projecting my misery onto those around me, whether they are already dreary or not. I'm a downer and I don't want to be a downer anymore.

It seems that it is about time that I take the advice I'd been dishing out to my friend Kristen for the past couple years - do what you need to do to make yourself happy. Make happiness a priority. I haven't quite figured out how to do that, but I'm going to try.


Echo said...

I think you are being too hard on yourself and I don't necessarily agree with what you are saying. I don't believe that you have been "content" to stay where you are or that you haven't tried to better your situation. You made a professional goal for yourself and it made sense: work for the same employer for three years so you don't start your professional life with the reputation of being a person who changes jobs like underpants. At least that was what I understood to be your reasoning; and as a person who has changed jobs like underpants, I thought it was admirable. I think two years would be OK, but I digress. ALSO, you HAVE been seeking change, but the reality is you have come to the end of your options. You have tried on numerous occasions to reason with the man in charge and he has been "on the green" mentally and not open to your suggestions. You recently laid it all out for him in a very bold move to SEEK change and improve your level of happiness without finding a new job. As you have already identified within yourself, your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness (your loyalty to your job) – a dichotomy that is not easy to reconcile. I am very sorry your are unhappy, and I know you have been for a while. But you have tried to make the best of it, and if it's taken you longer than you think it should have for you to reach this point where you are actually looking for another job, its only because you've given your efforts time to have a fighting chance before throwing in the towel. You gave your boss the benefit of the doubt and he has let you down. Some people would stay in this hell for 40 years before doing anything. So please give yourself a break. Maybe I am taking this post too seriously, but I admire you and I think you've handled everything very professionally and gracefully and MAYBE you should have moved on sooner rather than later (for your own sanity), but if anything was holding you back it was misplaced loyalty. If it's always darkest before the dawn, EC is in a state of perpetual organizational 'night.'

Ms. Jane said...

FYI- I have yet to take your sage advice. I am not making myself happy! The decision I have made is strictly for monetary and professional development reasons and I pray it doesn't backfire in my face.