04 August 2013

Dear Diary: I Think This Might Be A Midlife Crisis









Recent events in my life have catapulted what was until now a general malaise into what I think is safe to call a full-blown midlife crisis.

It's one of epic internal proportions, though on the exterior I think I'm keeping my shit together pretty well for the most part. I don't think many people suspect that every minute of every day I'm wrangling a raging inferno of angst that consumes all my mental oxygen and leaves me feeling all crispy, crusty and charred all over (do they?!). It's like the worst kind of earworm:

What-am-I-going-to-do-now-What-is-my-next-career-move-How-can-I-make-enough-money-and-still-put-my-family-first-What-will-make-me-happy-Who-do-I-want-be-Why-can-I-not-figure-this-out-OH-MY-GOD-OH-MY-GOD-OH-MY-GOD-What-am-I-going-to-do-now-What-is-my-next-career-move-How-can-I-make-enough-money-and-still-put-my-family-first-What-will-make-me-happy-Who-do-I-want-to-be-Why-can-I-not-figure-this-out-OH-MY-GOD-OH-MY-GOD-OH-MY-GOD-

Wash, rinse, repeat. Again and again and again.

As of October 31st my contract expires with Business of Design, which means the time is now to begin looking for my next challenge. Or to create it. And answering the question what's next has me in such a chronic state of anxiety my brain is paralyzed by it.

Clearly, my crisis is career-related, but it's more than that. It's about personal fulfillment. It's about finding my professional purpose, my career calling, my little niche in the workforce where I can add value and learn and grow, all while meeting the responsibilities and commitments - emotional, financial, logistical and otherwise - in my personal life as well.

More important than ever is balance. Daryn says of raising kids, "The days are long but the years are short." In reality, I think all of life is like that. We have so little time here that every second should be dedicated to the pursuit of joy: in relationships, at home, at work, in the community and in our own heart and mind. Otherwise, what's the point of being here at all?

But, you know.... no pressure.

I have a great desire to "have it all". I have less of a grasp on how to do that, exactly, though I would be lying if I said I didn't feel like I was just on the cusp on something, teetering just on the edge of something really great.... but what? It's like that word that hovers at the tip of your tongue, or the memory that tickles the edge of your brain. It's just there, just out of reach. It *might* be driving me crazy.

My dream job...

     ...involves writing, and lots of it. In my own voice.
     ...is related to the design industry.
     ...is project- or deadline-based.
     ...offers abundant flexibility to set my own hours, and work almost exclusively from home.
     ...exposes me to new people, experiences and challenges.
     ...allows me to engage, network and collaborate with a vibrant community of peers.
     ...provides a high degree of autonomy.
     ...pays decently but more importantly, consistently.
     ...is an environment where joy, inspiration and satisfaction can manifest.
     ...requires me to continue building creative, organisational and journalistic muscles.
     ...lets me be myself.

But, you know... NO PRESSURE.

I've heard it said (and probably said it myself more than once or twice) that if you put your wishes out into the universe, the universe will deliver what you need , when you need it. So, Universe, if you're listening: I'm putting it out there. Consider it "out". Work your magic.

photo credit