I always get antsy around this time of year. I get a whiff of Christmas approaching; of hot summer days (for those of us who live Down Under), of pools splashing and sand burning, of air cons working over time and flimsy dresses. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but it’s a feeling of nostalgia for past summers, and excitement for future ones. It’s a sense of me changing and things changing, and wanting everything to just pause for a moment so I can catch my breathe. November seems to be my month for change, where I realise the things I haven’t accomplished in the year, and smile at the things I have.
I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been flat out trying to maintain a balance between working, seeing my family and boyfriend, and spending time with my animals, but time really does fly as you get older! I’ve been feeling a little stretched out lately just trying to keep up with all these things, and not having enough time for me. For an introvert like myself, normal daily activities like training someone at work and catching up with friends are extremely draining, and if we don’t get that time to unwind… well, it’s not pretty. I feel like I’ve been rushing every day to squeeze a million things in, all the while feeling completely exhausted and wishing I could sleep for an entire day. Is this what adulthood is? Complaining that we’re tired every day and not doing anything about it?
I’m determined to not make the same mistakes that so many people make in life – accepting that their reality is the daily grind of a job they have no passion for, accepting that being exhausted is normal, and being completely oblivious to things that ACTUALLY matter. A girl I’ve been training at work told me she thought I was a little bit ‘hippie’ and quite bubbly this week, and I had to smile. Hippie, I’m fine with. Yes I’m into meditating and spirituality, so if that makes me a hippie then fine. Bubbly though? I don’t think she realised how utterly DRAINED I was from having to talk to someone for 8 hours a day, 5 days in a row! See I’m used to working alone which suits me perfectly fine, with the odd chat here and there to tenants and the postman. How do introverts ever find solace in a world where working in an office or shared space is the norm? I’ve been trying to work out what would be the best career path for me all year, and here I am with 2 months left to 2017 and still no answers.
Help please! Any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂
It comes up time and time again – the belief that our generation has too many options for our own good. We don’t stay in jobs or even career paths long, always searching for the next big thing. We’re worried about missing out on things but can’t enjoy what we’re currently doing. We like to be ‘free’ but are told we need a plan. Sometimes, it all just gets a little too much. How was I meant to know in Grade 12 what I wanted to study and pursue for the rest of my life, without barely having any life experience? Wouldn’t it be easier if we just had to choose between being a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker?
These are the questions that I have been reflecting upon lately in trying to figure out my next move. I did the degrees, the internships and the work experience, but somehow came out on the bottom not knowing if this was enough to satisfy me until I’m grey and withered. They say that if you do what you love, then you’ll never have to work another day in your life. While that’s all great and all, how do we know what we love until we’ve tested the waters? I’m not completely in the dark here. I know I’m not built to be a pushy sales person, or an athlete. I know I like writing, expressing myself and seeing the bigger picture. I know I don’t like red tape and strict rules, I like to be flexible and believe all scenarios are different. I know I like the outdoors, but also appreciate a nice cup of tea and quiet time. Can’t I just put all these things into Google and be told what suits me best!?
Well, yes and no. Career websites do try and help you with surveys and personality tests (tried and tested INFP here according to the Myers-Briggs theory), which apparently means I like to communicate through metaphors and fictional characters.“Where INFPs will not thrive is in a high-stress, team-heavy, busy environment that burdens them with bureaucracy and tedium. INFPs need to be able to work with creativity and consideration…” Well, THAT I figured out all on my own. But where does that leave me?
This is why I’ve come home to be with my family for a while, to take a ‘gap year’ of sorts. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing – enjoying the ocean, playing with the animals, enjoying my family, reading and writing, and fingers crossed I’ll have a stroke of inspiration and know what my next step is. At the very least all I can do is try something out – as they say “When you know, you know.” Until then, happy days 🙂
Photo credits – storyofsage & visualsofearth