love, life, and the pursuit of liberation
It’s been such a long time since I last blogged. Okay, it’s only been like 6 days but I’d been up to a post a day or every 2 days so it’s felt like an eternity. I’ve spent the last week getting back into the swing of work, enjoying spending time with my family, and loving the break from grad school. I have two more full weeks until I have to report back in.I’ve also been thinking about where I want to be next year career-wise. Because I’ve been in education for the past 11 years, I think of work years on a traditional school year calendar. So the time is rapidly approaching that I need to have an idea of next steps.
As you all know, I’ve been stressed to the max this year. I’m sure it’s not just work, but the combination of an intense work environment, reading and writing intensive grad school semester, and the emotional load of trying to conceive. Plus throw in being a wife and mommy and I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Like really, am I insane to embark on all of this?
This brings me to my next realization that A helped me uncover. I’m an over-achiever. Like seriously. And always have been. Much of the stress that I feel is self-induced. If I’m honest with myself, my job isn’t jumping down my throat to be perfect. But I feel pressure to be the best. In my mind, I don’t measure up unless I’m one of the top. I remember being in middle school and high school and deciding that I couldn’t be one of the best because my family was poor and everyone else was wealthy (damn girls prep school), so I shouldn’t even try. So I didn’t try my best and was the perpetual B student. And that was okay with me because I rationalized that I got the Bs because I didn’t try, not that I tried and couldn’t measure up. So the point of all of this is to say that I realize that I don’t thrive when I’m in the type of environment where I worry about whether I’m measuring up.
Sure one logical answer could be to shift the way I think about success and my abilities. But the reality is that I thrive when I feel comfortable about my skills. When I do, I push myself because I *want* to not because I feel like I *need* to and I enjoy the process. Anything else and it’s anxiety city for me. So all that to say that I think I need to be in a different work environment. Maybe it’s giving up, maybe I need to learn to be at peace with myself. But frankly, I don’t want to deal with this internal fight anymore. I’m waving the white flag at the idea that work is supposed to bring me purpose in life. At this point in my life (like I”m so old instead of a young 30-something), I’d rather get my fulfillment from other places. I’d rather report to work at a reasonable time. Go home at a reasonable time and not think about work until the next day. I don’t want to have to bring my work home, nor do I want to work like a field slave to deserve my salary. I want a cubicle, silence, and non-circumscribed time of when I can pee and when I can eat my lunch.
I actually have spoken to my immediate coach at work about my next steps and have expressed the desire to cultivate the necessary skills to move into the research and data team at my job. I think I might be okay with being in the classroom one more year if that will give me the time to prove myself at work so I can move into an office job. Plus, if God’s willing, part of next year will be on maternity leave. The other part of me wants to try applying for jobs elsewhere. I just worry if I’m qualified enough to go directly into data and research, if I’m jumping too soon before I’m ready, and the usual am-I-good-enough anxieties. I am committing to applying to jobs anyway, even if it’s just to get the interview practice. I DO know that 2011 is going to be a great year because I’m getting closer to refining my truths.