Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stuck

I try not to blog about my work.  It has taken me years to master the art of “not taking work home with you”.  I only vent once and that’s on the five minute ride home, and the moment I shut my front door of my house behind me, is the moment I close off work until 9:00 a.m. the next day.

But today is one of those days in my life where I am wondering what the hell I am doing with my life.  I am skilled in my job, and I am not saying that as a boast, but more as a fact.  Twenty-four years of this job, not in this office, but in this particular field, and I suppose I should be skilled, or at least know enough that it looks like I actually know what I am doing.

But I have come to a point where I realize that I may have steered my career down the wrong path.  In fact, I am pretty sure I have been riding this roller coaster far too long and I am starting to get just a tad motion sick from all the ups and down, and I think the last five years, I have been constantly look for the proverbial barf bag.

I feel stuck. 

With our economy not as hard hit as the States, jobs are still scarce, well at least those ones that pay above the substandard par or above the poverty level. 

To top that off, I have never looked at my job as a career.  I have always just looked at it as means to subsidize my real life outside these four bland walls five days a week.

But today I was wondering what I was doing with myself.  My boss, a mild manner man, in all respects is pretty good to work with.  However, in the past two years or so, he’s become a bit verbally aggressive in his emails and some of them even borderline on meanness.  And today, after an onslaught of these emails, I yelled some choice profanities into the empty airspace around me, got up from my desk, went to the bathroom and hid in there where I proceeded to have a good cry.

As I stood there in the disgusting, shared public washroom, I started thinking to myself, when do you make the decision to change.  Do you change your career to something else that you would thoroughly enjoy but would ultimately put you at the bottom of the seniority heap with the lack of experience and a lessor pay which would no longer fund the things you enjoy outside of your work life?  Or do you just suck it up, put in your time, pray for retirement to come quickly in the next 25 years and stay in something that is sucking your soul dry in order to retain the monetary happiness of enjoying your few blissful days of freedom per week. It's not an easy choice especially when you value the freedom to do whatever you wish on your days off, but you also value being happy every day and not just the days unrelated to work. In all honesty, I don't hate my job, but it's moments like today that I find myself not very fond of it either.

In my dreams, I work for myself on a creative basis as a contributor for a women’s specific magazine with a monthly column on trying to maintain your sanity as you grow older, or I spend hours of my day just taking photographs of foliage and fauna and publishing it in nature inspired magazines, or better yet, I write a humorous bestseller on existing in an Average Life.  But as I get excited, my lack of confidence squishes my dreams and that niggling little voice says: “who would be interested in you Tracy”.  And then I get up in the morning and repeat each day as I have for the last 24 years.

Oh how I long to be unstuck, but I am careful what I wish for, because perhaps, once I am unstuck, I will wish I was stuck again.

Until Next Time.
Tracy

26 comments:

  1. No one should yell at you or be cruel simply because they're the boss and feel they have the right to do so. Not cool. No one should have that kind of control over your life and emotions.

    Maybe you could start making strides towards your dreams and ease your way out of your job--even if it takes a year or two, you know?

    Maybe my head is in the clouds, but I like to think that life has a way of helping you out when you least expect it. *Hugs*

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  2. I feel like you do all the time. Mostly while at work. Although when I walk out of work I forget all about it.

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  3. I have no clue right now dear...my life is falling apart at the seams and, have no clue what the next 6 months are going to look like.

    I do know one thing. My son is staying in the same school come hell or high water.

    As for your predicament...mmmmm maybe we should just take a ride on a big ferry and run away together.

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  4. I think we all dream about being unstuck (except for the idle rich). Doing different variations on the same thing everyday tends to that. A few years back I moved to a different dpt. at our company and it was night and day- for about six months. All the OT last year really put a dent in our desire. Our company owner was recently asked in the company news what he would be doing if money was no object. (I raved, for him money IS no object, you fool!) He answered, "Just what I'm doing right now." (and I screamed SEE,SEE!!!)Frankly, I'd rather be on the beach.

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  5. Thank you TFV and OFT... Happy to catch a ferry and run away with you Melissa anytime... and CWMartin, I'd rather be on a beach too, in Italy! :)

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  6. I liked my old job, although it was something I never wanted to do/be. But after a few years, I felt stuck, like I'd never be able to do anything other than what I was. And I was just so unhappy. I took a leap of faith and jumped. I now have three jobs, no benefits, but I'm happier. All three jobs are something that I enjoy doing, even if I have no "me" time anymore! lol

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  7. As I just told Frisky on her blog...."boys are stupid"! There's no reason for that kind of treatment ever.

    Maybe it's time to take some steps toward your dream job.....24yrs is a long time! You are talented. You are nice. You are woman! (oh, are you to young to know that song?) You are strong!

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  8. All I can say, is money isn't everything (as I'm sure you know). Walking through life miserable is no way to go. If you can find something that will bring meaning, or at least, less misery, to your life than the overall quality of it will improve, stress levels go down, and your days might just be brighter. It's all up to you and the path you choose. Good luck.

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  9. I haven't managed to not take work home with me yet but that's because my work is so emotionally involved. However, I do think that people should enjoy their jobs. I work for peanuts but I'm reluctant to leave because I honestly love the work and that means more to me than money. No matter how frustrating or difficult my day is, I can find some piece of satisfaction or enjoyment somewhere and that makes a huge difference. So I would say to sit and think and ponder- is it the work or the company you keep? If you enjoy the actual work of it all, then I would say to consider moving or leaving companies. If it's the work you dislike, no company will be good enough to make the job enjoyable.

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  10. I do this every day. It drives me insane. I wish I had an asnwer for you but I don't. Do me a favor, if you find the answer, let me know.

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  11. Well, that's not easy, change is never easy, but neither is working at a job you don't like. I've changed careers, and if I could go back in time I would do it again, however, it wasn't easy.I guess you'd have to ask yourself whether it is the job you hate, or the people you work with, or the fact that it is not what you want to do.

    I do agree with FV, can you start working toward your dream job? Even if you start small, you could make little changes that would probably make you feel unstuck. Either way, I don't think you would want to wake up at retirement age and say I wish I would have. :)

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  12. Don't just be "putting in your time 'till you retire." You have to love your life NOW as it could end at any moment. You also can't ignore the bills and stuff. But as for your dreams....pursue them at your leasure, for your own enjoyment. If you decide to submit an article or photo or whatever,....it may be rejected, but let that be OK. Be happy doing it because in the end, it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

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  13. These are absolutely fantastic comments. Thank you all! I appreciate all the thought put into them. And I agree Middle Child, Jenna's comment was fabulous!

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  14. It is a really hard decision. I have always been more about being happy and making do with less. My husband stays in a job he hates for many reasons. I think when it gets to the point that your boss makes you cry, it may be time to look at something else.

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  15. we've been stuck in this same dumb boat for so many years now! that's the very reason we're taking a leap of faith, quitting our jobs & moving. the price is that we'll have to live with the in-laws for a while, but hopefully the end result will be a better life in a better city with jobs less hated. wow, it feels really scary.

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  16. I know how horrible it is to lack confidence in self. It's especially hard when you want to do something like write, or paint, or photograph, or make music because the arts are a competitive field. We're all about working together and loving everyone, but not everyone loves all of our work. I wouldn't want to tell you what to do, and I won't, but I will say that I feel for you, and hope you do what will make you the happiest.

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  17. Thank you Ruth as it is a hard decision. And thank you Paul for that lovely thoughtful comment. Sherilin, I am really proud of you and your hubby for doing what you need to do to make life better. I wish I had an eight of your courage! xxoo

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  18. Tracy: I understand how you feel: I've been at the same place for almost 17 years, make a good living, but sometimes I feel stuck and tired of the stress. I think you should take what you love and work on making it your living, and when you get to the point where you feel comfortable, quit that job!

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  19. Hey Tracy, I am so sorry you had such a horrible day at work, I think we have all been there, sometimes you don't have to make a GIANT change, it may just mean finding a new job in your field. Never give up on your dreams, keep writing that book and striving and working towards your dream magazine job!

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  20. Ms. Jenny hit the nail on the head there for me. I think that you should seriously look into your passions. :)

    Someone mentioned that you can't ignore the bills, that's true. But the thing about bills is that they're always gonna be there. You kinda won't...and we only get one chance at life ya know? :)

    Funny enough I'm at the opposite end. I'm just starting out and hate my career choice already. It's pretentious. Chose it for the wrong reason. I'm looking for meaningful work now. :)

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  21. Thank you guys so much... I can't believe the amazing comments! And Nerd Girl, it's great you figured it out so early in your career!!! xxoo

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  22. if you are interested in shaking your own tree loose of any weak limbs- you may as well do it.
    know it will be hard.
    you will suffer.
    but are you suffering now?
    if we don't live our dreams, we live someone else's.
    fuck that.
    i'm a poor [financially only] artist. but i have my pride and integrity, something bosses i have had in the past lacked, and my mere voicing opinions challenged them, and many others just by being me.
    so- i say, fuck it, be you. do what makes you happy, whatever it is, and don't expect alot of people to understand or support it.
    jealous bitches aren't usually supportive.
    i support life-altering change.

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  23. Thanks Violet! Totally appreciate the advice... there was 22 other comments on this post that pretty much support what you just said, but looks like blogger has misplaced them.

    Hope you have an awesome weekend!

    Cheers
    Tracy

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  24. You spend so much time at work and no one should have to put up with bullying (and that is what it is)
    Time to start looking for something new I reckon.
    Unless you really love it, no job is worth tears

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  25. oh! your comments are all gone. but at least the post reappeared. maybe the rest will too.

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