Monday, July 16, 2012

Stuck on Repeat

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m destined for mediocrity.

I’m o.k. with it.

However, I feel myself slipping rapidly into complete obscurity.

I’m spending an exorbitant amount of time pondering what sort of  space I take up in this world.  As in, what will I be doing with the rest of my life?

I’ve written about this before, like some record with a giant scratch as deep as the Grand Canyon - my needle stuck at the edge, either starting down into the abyss or looking in dismay at the distance to the other side.

Is there a place for a 43 year old woman who’s practical working skills packed up and left her 14 years ago (that would be when I stopped working…outside the home)? Despite being highly adept at stalking friends on Facebook and BlogHer Chatter, I don’t have any practical skills. It is difficult to learn something, and retain it, when you don’t really have much of an interest in it to begin with.

And so, most mornings, I lay staring at the ceiling weighing the benefit of returning to community college to finish my AA against the money it will cost and the likelihood of it actually doing me any good. Not to mention what sort of path to pursue.

I lay there thinking of the small number of jobs, the large number of applicants and where I fall should I launch myself into the fray.

I lay there thinking that retail sounds like my only avenue and how it just might crush me into dust.

I lay there desperately trying to come up with a passion for something…anything…that will point me in a fulfilling direction. I want to be fulfilled, not just employed.

My working life, before children, was whatever high tech customer service job paid the most and offered the best benefits (I am in Silicon Valley after all). I never loved what I did. I did it because the jobs landed in my lap and paid my mortgage. I wasn’t driven to them by any spark of desire, other than more money.

And now?  Now, I just want to look in the mirror to see a woman with drive that is fueled by a passion in…something.

I know of women putting their artistic talent to work creating art for sale or starting their own graphic design business. (I don’t have that kind of eye or talent – seriously)

I know of women who quit their jobs to create an Esty shop, or bookstore owner to police detective. A sales rep tired of the rat race opens a Bed & Breakfast.  A stay-at-home mom with an eye for design becomes an interior decorator or a baker of fine cakes. A teacher that finally opens up that little café she’s always dreamed of. The list goes on…

I feel lost. I feel as if, during my creation, I slept through the day when the “pursue your passion” gene was handed out. I never really had one as a kid either. Am I really an alien?

And then I get angry and wonder why I feel so ambivalent about doing anything. Why I can’t put my finger on something and say, “Yeah, this feels good. I’d like a career doing this.” And then I get really angry at myself or being a wishy-washy-whiny pants.

For cryin’ out loud, why do I make this all so difficult?

What happens when I don’t even know what that chance should be?  How can I take a risk on something that won’t reveal itself? Or, am I blocking it – locking it up and throwing away the key, because that is so much easier than failing?

I always thought that going back to work after being a stay at home mom would be wonderful, because I had a clean slate and could choose whatever I wanted to do.

But it isn’t wonderful (for me). It is overwhelming. And I feel as if I’m running out of time to find a path that will help my financial situation, rebuild my foggy brain, fuel my soul and bring me to a happy place.

Pretty tall order to fill, don’t you think?

Really…when I’m feeling like this…I just want someone to step in, take my hand and lead me where I need to go. I just want to give up choosing and go where I’m told.

Unfortunately, being me, I’ll likely find reasons why I am unqualified to it.

There, it’s out. When the whiny bubbles up and gets trapped in me, I can’t function. I have to open up and let it out…even if I sound like I’m stuck on repeat. Wouldn’t it be grand if we had hinged skulls that allowed us to open it up when it gets soggy with negative thinking and just wring it out?

Yeah, that would be spectacular.

p.s. – My daughter just passed by and asked what I was writing, to which I reply…”Oh, it’s nothing important.”  And there ya go…


  1. Anonymous1:03 PM

    I understand. I, too, seem to lack the "passion" gene. I have some enthusiasms, some yippee, some grand moments of hilarity and joy, but no driving passion. I lack the ability to dream, to answer the question of "What do you want to do when you grow up?" Lest this be all about me, I mostly wanted to say that though I am not a hugger, kisser, or snuggler, I do want to sit close by you on the couch and drink coffee while we stare out the window and finally muster up the energy to go out for a drive, to find a rock, to sit and stare at the ocean for awhile. <3

    A. for An ocean is calling me

    1. I have a very comfy couch AND the ocean is calling us. Hurry!

  2. That exact feeling is what finally spurred me to quit that job and start my etsy shop!! Where I was I felt trapped. Like a car stuck in cul-de-sac; just going around and around and around but never really going anywhere! Am I a big success? No. Am I a happier woman? YES! However, I am still seeking that driving passion to show me what to be when I grow up.

  3. I *have* a job and I feel the same way. It's a good job, too, and I make good money and all the benefits blah blah, but I feel just as stuck. I don't love it. But it would be irresponsible to walk away (not to mention impossible right now). But is that just an excuse? Am I too scared to really put my heart behind the writing thing? Fear of failure?

    I've dabbled in writing for years and I know I can do more. Maybe I think because I love it that it can't possibly be "my thing", but that's bullshit, ya know? That just makes it MORE my thing. But I gotta figure out a way to get serious about pursuing it now, regardless of my other hindering things (like the job).

    I get all angsty about this one too... er, Mary. Stella. Angela. Um, I don't know your name, and I feel a little weird calling you Alienbody. Do you mind if I call you Jenny? Lori? Or pick one: Sabrina, Jill, or Kelly.

    1. I think this is a vein of thought that runs through so many, regardless of employment. I admire those that do walk away, who have such a clear definition in their minds as to what their path looks like and how it should be traveled. There is, indeed, a skill to it. If the idea is good, if it is viable and you are a voice that people want to listen to (I'm saying it is), then go for it. But hedge your bets and don't give up that day job too soon!