I am having the hardest time making life decisions lately. I am a fickle nickel. (Or a fickle pickle? Does that sound better? I can't make up my mind about anything!) I think that's part of why it's so easy for people to get stuck in jobs or situations that don't make them happy; making decisions that actually change things in your life can be scary and confusing. But that is another post for another day.
I want to thank you all again for how great you've been in the past couple of weeks. I feel like I've been super needy lately (which is so weird for me), but you guys have been amazingly supportive. It's great to have a place to go when my family and friends get sick of listening to me. (My family and friends have been great, too, of course. But they have their own lives, and oddly, they don't find my navel nearly as fascinating as I do.)
I had some really great comments on my last post. Rachel's, in particular, made me smile, because she said "I think you know, deep down, what the answer is. So listen to yourself!"
For some reason, that reminded me of Kung Fu. I spent the next several minutes imagining us in the roles of student and teacher:
Master Rachel: Close your eyes, Jane. What do you see?(FYI: We spent the rest of my daydream sequence avenging past wrongs and fighting for the underdog. We totally kicked butt.)
Jane: I think I see the inside of my eyelids.
Master Rachel: You have much to learn, Grasshopper.
D's comment (reproduced below) probably made me think the hardest.
The change, for me, was ceasing to define who I am by what I do to make money.
I like the job because it is interesting enough, pays well enough, has good benefits, and lets me have a life (my real life) outside of it. Plenty of time for you to pursue your hobby.
I haven't found someone, yet, who loves to go to work. Doesn't matter what the job is. So, sure, change your job. Do it. Just be realistic about how green the grass is.
I've actually been ruminating about whether I'll always think the grass is always greener for quite some time (maybe even my whole life). Just so you know I never meant to suggest that I think (especially my lovely blog readers) are defined by their jobs, or that their 8-to-5 jobs are where people are living their real lives.
However, we do spend most of our waking hours at work, commuting, or getting ready for work. Yes, we work to live, but it does invade our personal lives to a rather large degree. (I'll have more to say about this particular after I post my next stand up video. Don't want to spoil the jokes, yo. xoxo)
Sure, many people would rather watch Law & Order reruns on the couch than drive to work in traffic five days a week, but there's a huge difference between a job that leaves you feeling drained and a job that leaves you feeling good about yourself. At my current (soon-to-be former) job, I sit alone all day with computer code. I interact with other human beings at work once or twice a week, if I'm lucky. I usually leave work each day completely drained. Could I be happy at a job doing the same thing if I were in a more social environment? Absolutely, and it's worth looking into.
But contrast this with how I feel when I leave my part time job teaching and tutoring. Even when I have to go in to work after leaving my 8-to-5 job, I almost always leave after my shift with an extra spring in my step. Sure, there are times I'd rather spend my extra free time doing something else, but there's a reason I've kept my second job for so long - I like the work.
At any rate, discussing which side of the fence has greener grass is kind of a moot point right now. There is no grass on my side of the fence anymore, or there won't be after the end of August. I can apply for better-sounding jobs in my field, but there's no guarantee that I'll get one. Part of my last post was really about exploring all the pastures out there so that I reduce my chances of starving to death this winter.
(And THAT, my friends, is how you beat a metaphor to death. You are welcome.)
All of this is a rambling, mostly nonsensical way of saying that I still don't have a clue what I'm going to do with my life.
I am applying for the teaching program, for sure. That has been my "someday" plan for at least three years, since I got my part time job teaching and tutoring (and probably before that, if I'm being completely honest with myself). I had been planning to do it long before I found out I was getting laid off. The job loss just raises the stakes for getting into the program a little higher. But if I don't make it this year, I'll try again. I don't know if I'm meant to be a teacher forever (who can ever know something like that), but I do think it is something I'm meant to do. And if it comes do it and I have to give up some of my free time or hobbies to pursue teaching, I will.
The next year is the fuzzy part. I have an interview for a job next week. We'll see how it goes. (I'm half afraid that they'll offer me the job and I'll say yes, not so much because I want the job but because I'm incapable of telling people no.)
I don't think I have any really terrible options, which is part of what is driving me so crazy. I'm sure it'll all work out. It always does, right? Still... if anyone is interested in switching places for a while, you know where to reach me.
Side note: It is amazing to feel like I can be completely honest about work stuff on here... I guess that's one unexpected benefit to being laid off - I don't have to worry about being Dooced.