Monday, June 13, 2005

Midlife Crisis

I've heard that we actually have more than one mid life crisis. I think I can identify with that. I'm not even 30 yet and I can look back and see multiple times where I've stopped to rethink my definition of myself and/or my desired path to the future me. Now is another one of those times.

I'm nearing the end of my first year at my first "real" job after college and as I look back I'm wondering, am I happy here? Is this what I expected? Is this the kind of life I want 5 years from now? Is it a stepping stone to that life?

Post graduation I developed this theory that there are two lines of logic to follow when choosing a career path: a)you have certain lifestyle aspirations outside of work and you need a job that will provide the income level required to sustain that lifestyle or b)your work is your life so you choose a job that is exciting and fulfilling and your life outside of work enriches you to do your job (with this choice comes the natural notion that you will choose to live within your means, whatever that may be based on your career).

Granted there are a lot of people who do not think about their life work in this way. They work because that is what adults do. They take the jobs they can get and they buy what they can buy with the money they make from these jobs or the credit cards they get offered in the mail.

Truthfully, I always thought I'd find myself in some combination of both and in many ways I have. Although I'm finding out quickly that I am not happy to stay here in the middle and would prefer to choose one path over the other.

I keep asking myself, "where do I see myself in 5 years?" and for the first time in a long time, I'm not sure. On one hand I see myself in a small mountain town helping my fiance run a pub and on the other hand I see myself getting my five years of experience and moving up in the world of communications, all the while writing on the side and working toward being published, as well as paying of my student loans, saving to buy a house and go on our honeymoon to New Zealand or Fiji.

I think that in either scenario I could be happy and unhappy. Each one has it's limitations and it's freedoms. In many ways it's a matter of choice. In the past I might have thought that one was right and one was wrong, but I'm no longer convinced that life is quite that black and white. Naturally, life will throw it's curve balls, sliders and change ups, which ever choice I make, whether I'm ready for it or not.

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