Over the last year I've been doing some soul searching. I've been trying to find a balance between being grateful for having a job and tolerating it. I am not winning this game. Thus, the guilt. All around me people I love are losing their jobs and I can't stop complaining about mine. For the last few years I've become a smidge jaded about the career path I chose to follow. The system seems to have bogged me down. But, I have a job. Guilt.
I seem to have developed apathy for my job right around the time the economy went down the toilet. Good timing, huh? Here's where relationships come into play. I have this fantastic idea floating around in my head that relationships (mainly marriage) provide you with a sense of security and support. If, as a team, you are stable enough, one of you can take a chance on something else and if it doesn't work out, you won't be asking friends and family to sleep on their couches. If you work as a team, you're not a burden to each other and are able to support each other as you both grow into your ultimate selves. I wish for that kind of stability and support. Someone to pick up the slack every once in a while. Someone to mow the lawn so I can clean the house. Someone to pick up milk (or beer or wine or dinner or dog food) on the way home because I am late getting out of work. I've been managing pretty well on my own (with the support of great friends and family), but what if I want to change something, like my job? That is a pretty big risk for a single 30-something with a mortgage, a dog, and other debt to pay off. And then I remember my friends who have no choice but to be looking for a new job. Guilt, on top of guilt, on top of guilt.
So, here I sit, the night before I'm supposed to go back to work, and I feel sick to my stomach. The distance provided by this summer has not made my heart grow fonder for the job which I return to tomorrow. But I have a job. Where is the balance? I still plan to do my job to the best of my ability because that's how I was raised and I am a professional. I must create some way to enjoy a bit of my job each day; maybe not what I do, but who I get to work with. I could do that.
I am making it known to the world, or at least to those who read this, that I will work my ass off and I will complain about it, but I will strive to make my life better so you don't have to hear me complain any more. I don't know how quite yet, but I will continue to prove that I can take care of myself and work toward finding something that I am passionate about, something that enriches my life, something that doesn't take over my life. Guilt, I hope to see you less and less over the coming months. I don't expect you to disappear over night, but feel free to take a little sabbatical every once in a while.