I’m the kind of person that has a spreadsheet saved to her hard-drive with a list of indexed goals and working plans on how and when I expect to accomplish them. (Seriously… 2016’s spreadsheet is 17 pages long.) I don’t know how to wake up and get my day moving unless I have at least one goal to work towards. I am obsessed with self betterment and preventing myself from stagnating. I have been knocking goals off my list as long as I can remember. Sometimes they were deep seeded goals that have been with me for decades, and other times they were goals that developed as I was busy ticking off other goals, but I always had something concrete to strive for.
I couldn’t wait to get out of high school so I could start college. I couldn’t wait to get out of college so I could make “real” progress in the “adult” world. I always followed the path of least resistance and I kept running on the treadmill I had chosen. In business school I had taken an accounting class. This lead to an internship at an accounting firm, and from there a full time job. I graduated in 2008 when getting a job seemed to be impossible and you were supposed to take whatever offer was presented to you. Eventually I moved on to other accounting jobs, but I never stopped to question if this was really what I wanted to do with my life, until recently.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was on a path that would never fulfill me. I couldn’t help but feel that I was running out of time to make big life changes easily (a.k.a. without a child in the picture). I couldn’t help but question if I was on the right treadmill. I decided now was the time to make a major change. I would give myself a year to pursue some personal goals that had accumulated over the years, such as taking time to write.
The problem with starting again is that you question yourself every day. I gave up a job with good pay, great career potential, and phenomenal co-workers for the unknown. I am entering a phase in adulthood where I am redefining what I want to be when I grow up. I don’t know what I’m good at, or how I plan to make a living going forward, and though I knew it would be scary I don’t think I was prepared for how surprisingly embarrassing it feels. We spend so much time trying to figure out how to define ourselves, and your career is often the easiest way to sum up your goals. It feels terrifying to not have a job title to define myself and to admit to the world that I don’t have everything figured out.
This may be one of the most challenging years of my life, but already I can see the possibility for good things on the horizon. I’m slowly ruling out the things I thought I wanted and adding in new things I never thought I wanted, but now do. Maybe taking some time to feel aimless will ultimately help me sharpen my aim.