Well it might not be as much fun as hula hooping (which is on my list), but this was a good week.
Over the last 18 months I’d been involved in more and more conversations that included someone speaking to a therapist and having really good results. Whether it was after a break up or a big transition in life, or just because, my friends and acquaintances were glad they had gone to therapy to talk through their lives.
I guess you could say that I’ve had some stresses this year – transitioning to a new (and unknown) career and being constantly nervous about income hasn’t created the soft and cushy environment I so crave. I also went through a really low period just before I left my full time position, and wanted to prevent that from happening again.
I found a therapist who is a 3 minute walk from home, and made an appointment (after confirming it would be covered by extended healthcare, because who just has that kind of money floating around? Not me, thus the need). I was a little nervous going into the appointment, but only because it was something new. I don’t know if nervous is the right word: what’s a good word for less than nervous, but also mildly excited? Anticipatory!
Anyway, it was nice to go; it was good to talk with someone who listened and analyzed and gave good advice in a non-judgmental and unbiased setting. It was also pretty cool that it could all be about me – how often do you get to talk for an hour just about yourself?
She pointed out that an “ideal” job is not realistic for anyone: you’re never going to find a job where you love every single aspect of it and it fulfills every single one of your interests and skills. So she suggested making 3 lists – things that I must have in a job, things that I would like to have in a job, and things I would hate in a job. Stuff like location, co-workers, hours, flexibility, team environment, etc. If a job doesn’t involve one aspect of my interests/skills, I could always have a part-time job or volunteer role on the side.
So I’m making my list. It’s pretty challenging. There are a lot of things to think about when selecting a career, and a lot of things I hadn’t thought of before. It’s a lot of work to think about work! But at least it’s making me consider things I never had, like the fact that getting a career in a field that doesn’t check all the boxes, isn’t really settling.
When I quit my full time position I gave myself a deadline. I would do this part-time patchwork for one year (since modified to 13 months because I basically took October off), and then find a career path. That means I have six months left to sort out my life. Start the clock.