Monday, October 12, 2015

"Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time."

I'm going to be honest:

My own career is not going so great at the moment.

I've changed careers too often in my life.

My trajectory since graduating from college has included a brief stint at Radio Shack, a couple years as a student advisor, 18 months at a Harley shop doing marketing and event planning, a clerkship at a divorce law firm while going to law school, 6 months at a law firm that ultimately went under, 1 year at general practice firm, and then opening my own firm about 2 and a half years ago, during which I did freelance writing on the side to make ends meet.

I felt the most grown-up when working for other people. I was forcing myself to suffer, which is what work is all about, right?

Admittedly, a lot of it was my own fault. At first I was just young and stupid and lazy, and I felt soul-drained by corporate life, even though it really wasn't all that bad. But, after that phase, I started working really hard - for really abusive people. From my understanding, that is the norm at most law firms.

So I set out on my own. Freelancing ended up being decent, but really minimal payoff for a lot of work. My own firm has been doing okay. But it has ups and downs, and... to be honest, I don't feel grown-up.

Especially right now. The big problem is my personal life. To be blunt, I'm in a hell of depression and anxiety at the moment. It's circumstantial. It started when my marriage started to fall apart a couple years ago, and it's come and gone since then.

My energy and resources get taken up by my constant depression, and I end up sleeping too much. Sleeping doesn't really help you build a business, in case you weren't aware. I should be out pounding the pavement, establishing professional connections, and doing what I need to do to be profitable. I'm stressed beyond belief that I've stopped generating much business. But then that depressed part of me chimes in and says I should go back to sleep.

I don't feel grown-up anymore. I feel lazy, and uninspired. I don't even have the energy to mock myself for my own lack of initiative. To be honest, I don't work hard right now because I don't feel like it.

And that makes me exactly 10 years old in terms of maturity.

I am disappointed in myself. And I have to ask what I really want. I thought I wanted to be a writer. But writers have to write, and I seem incapable of doing that on any kind of regular basis. I thought I wanted to be an attorney. But I don't seem to enjoy it very much when I do it, or I'd pursue it harder, wouldn't I?

Is it a matter of overcoming some kind of hill that I've just reached at this point? Am I chickening out because the climb is getting too difficult? Or am I looking at the wrong professions? Do I need to be an employee? Is that the only way to get my ass in gear - with someone breathing down my neck? Do I lack the spark of my own internal fire?

Why am I not like other people - why can't I just seem to put on my big girl pants, buckle down, and get to work?

I think about the things I've been productive with recently, and it doesn't really make much money. I love renaissance fairs, performing at them, being an actress and singer. It's uniquely suited to me like nothing else I've tried previously. I guess my hang-up is that I'm not sure if I could make it work and still be as financially successful as I'd like. There are those who make an OK living from it, and then there seem to be mainly people who scrape by, or who end up in financial distress. Furthermore, a lot of the time spent working for a ren fair is on the weekends... week work is usually necessary to make ends meet. Meaning more stuff I don't want to do just so I can try to do what I actually want to do.

So I guess, for this, I'm at an impasse. I need a career. I need one that I can maintain, and be passionate about, and that I can see myself sticking with for more than a few years. Right now, I mainly feel like an empty shell, like it's all been sucked out of me... like I'm suitable for muddling through, coming home, and crashing out in front of the TV endlessly. Like there's nothing else to me. And that kind of void is terrible.

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