This past week I’ve been taking a mental inventory of my life and my future, and one of the recurring themes has been the word “direction-less”. Frankly, I’m one of these people who can’t decide what I want to be when I grow up. I have no idea, really. I’m 32 years old and I am completely lost in my own life. I seems to be on a path to no where.
I’ve just recently realized that I’m never going to be “that person.” I’m never going to save a dying persons life, I’m never going to be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, I’m never going to try the biggest precedent setting case in history, I’m not going to make my mark in politics, or art, or science, or business, or history, or architecture. I’m not going to be remembered for my courage and dedication to this country, I’m never going to be responsible for molding a young leader’s life, there will be no weeping children at my graveside, and I’m certainly not going to be immortalized for my philanthropy.
When I put into that perspective, I sound like a complete waste of oxygen, don’t I.
I’m not trying to imply that I have a bad life, because I have a great life. My husband provides very well for us. We have a beautiful home, we don’t have any debt except our mortgage, our cars are paid for, Sam’s kids are grown and out of the house – raising their own families, my parents are still alive – as are 3 of my grandparents, I have wonderful in-laws and a fantastic extended family, and we have our health intact. And yet, despite all these blessings, I feel like there is a part of my life that is completely unfulfilled.
I know what it is that I’m lacking – a formal college education. You see, when I was 18 (going on 35), I wasn’t ready for college. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I was more interested in stretching the wings of my new-found adult freedom. I spent three unproductive semesters at a college that was 8 hours away from home before finally being asked by the Dean to leave – which I gladly did. My grades were a joke, my friends were troublemakers, and I didn’t want to be there.
Sadly, 13 years later, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do. I’ve been taking classes off and on for the last 5 years trying to get the rest of my general education requirements out of the way. Unfortunately, being a non-traditional student has it’s disadvantages; namely a full-time job. For the past 10 years of our marriage, I’ve had to work full-time in order for us to meet all our obligations. Now, we’re finally in a financially stable position so I don’t have to work and I’d like to take the opportunity to finish my degree. I know that things won’t always be this good for us. I know that with Sam and I’s age difference, at some point, I may need to become the primary bread winner in our family. And frankly, without an education my $25,000 a year job just won’t do it for us.
But what do I do? Where do I go? What kind of degree should I be focusing on? I’ve rolled this over in my mind many times and I keep drawing a blank. I’ve taken career placement tests over and over again, and they all come out the same. They say I would be good in accounting and banking types of jobs. But that’s only because that’s the kind of work I’ve done most of my life and I have a lot of experience in those fields. That doesn’t mean that is the type of job I want to be stuck doing for the next 33 years. And frankly, overall I find accountants and bankers to be fairly boring people, and I don’t want others to think I’m a boring person.
Honestly, there really isn’t anything the just pops my cork. I can’t think of a single job that would fill me with enough passion to want to hop out of bed and rush off to every day. It’s not that I hate working, because I don’t. But I can’t imagine any job that I’d be good enough at that I would also find exciting.
I wonder if this is a genetic defect? Or, I wonder if this is some heinous by-product of an overly sheltered childhood? It could possibly be a side effect from all the drugs I did as a young adult too. No matter, it is my reality and I’d best find a way to deal with it.