A Mass of Contradictions

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. – Walt Whitman

I am really struggling with the job hunt lately.  In my current situation, I’m able to pay my bills and enjoy a schedule that’s allowed me some time to refocus and regroup, which was sorely needed.  I enjoy the work that I do and I’ve enjoyed exploring different possible creative outlets that could lead to a new kind of work.

But. I (occasionally) miss having a full time job.  I miss the financial security.  I miss the routine, as exhausting as it was.  And what I miss most is having an easily identifiable career path to discus in social settings.  My most dreaded question right now is “So, what do you do?”  I have no idea how to answer that questions any more.  I end up stumbling around, something something along these lines:

  • “Oh, you know, I’m sort of between jobs right now.  Just trying to figure out my next move.”
  • “I’m really thinking about graduate school right now.”
  • “With the economy being the way it is, I find it easier to juggle a couple part-time gigs, which give me plenty of time to freelance on the side”

These answers are both true and false and usually provided in some variation of the stammering delivery usually reserved for nerds talking to pretty girls in romantic comedies.  If I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing right now, how can I possibly be expected to share that information with others?

I struggle with this in my job search as well.  I find myself applying for jobs in an almost haphazard manner – unsure of the right field or position for me.  I know what I don’t want to do and I know the work environment that’s wrong for me, but I have very little insight into what my ideal situation looks like.

That’s my life right now.  It’s stressful.  It’s exciting.  It’s remarkably mundane.  It’s challenging.  And, naturally, much like the person living it, it is marked with contradictions.

7 thoughts on “A Mass of Contradictions

  1. I can completely relate, even though I am still an undergrad. It seems like everyone lately has been asking, “So what will you do when you graduate?” Well. I have absolutely no idea. Sure… law school or graduate school would be an easy answer, but I’m just not interested in taking the LSAT or the GRE in the next few months. I want to focus on graduating before I get carried away planning for yet another degree.
    Another quick response is, take a year off and pay off some of those student loans. The problem there is the same as you described; I have a list of jobs that I DO NOT want to do, but no idea what it is that would really satisfy me. I just don’t think I’m ready to commit to any one career field.
    I think that my new response when asked about my future plans will be this: “I plan on doing field research. I will try as many jobs as it takes until I find one that suits me.”

  2. My most dreaded question is “What do you do?” because it takes soooo long to explain that I’m back in school, what I’m back in school for, and what I did prior to going back to school. Le sigh.

    Also, love the WW quote.

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