It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do any career-specific soul searching. I think the last time I did was back in 2016 and a little bit into early 2017. It was only 3-4 years ago, but it feels like a lifetime ago that I’ve had to swim in uncertainty and doubt.
Well, it happened gradually over a couple of days, but here I am, back again. There’s something intensely physical about this level of introversion and doubt. I can feel when I’m holding my breath, which is quite often, and it’s almost like my heart holds its breath with me. I can feel the rest of my body trying to hurry me along, but my heart and my head are in conflict, so there’s no moving until they figure things out. I wake up wondering and go to bed wondering.
As it was 3-4 years ago, and as it’s always been, and as I think it always will be, I find myself stuck between doing what I love and doing what will support the lifestyle that I love. In my even younger youth, all I cared about was doing what I love and what truly made me happy. In those days and years, I couldn’t even figure out where to begin. I was just starting to ask myself that question. However, in the present, I can’t tell if I’ve compromised the work that I love with supporting the lifestyle that I love, or if that compromise is the answer. Have I simply chosen a safer route? Am I on a slow but gradual path to doing what I truly love? Does that just happen to come later in life? Has my courage in risk taking reduced with age as everybody said it would?
As I approach the end of my roaring twenties (which I’ll write more about in the coming weeks beyond career), it feels a little early to completely settle into one career, but I keep wondering if it’s youth that granted us that special sort of freedom, or if that freedom is a right of ours throughout life. I miss the days of being frivolous and naive with what I expected out of my career. If when I was younger (and by younger, I’m not talking about anything outrageous), it felt like my career was meant for my dreams. Now, it feels like my career is more of a means to an end or a lifestyle.
But tonight’s been a particularly difficult one in terms of my rumination, so I may just be a little bit more somber today. Some days, like today, things just feel a little bit more impossible and unattainable. I may wake up tomorrow, ready to skydive off of an emotional plane and into a sky full of the dreams I have yet to achieve.
As a reward for reading, here’s some food I’ve recently eaten that has given me joy: