Work or Life

I have always had a good job. Outside of the few months after my internship after college ended, I’ve never been out of work. I’ve weaved my way reasonably successfully through 20 years of gainful employment. Although I am a good worker by most anyone’s standards I just haven’t quite aspired to be anything but a good worker. I’ve set no sights on a fancy title or corner office. I felt no need to be upwardly mobile in the corporate world. I always relied on my hard work and ability to move me along and keep me afloat and it always has.

For 12 years I had essentially the same job. Iw as a business analyst working on interesting projects in the ever changing world of healthcare IT. I like that kind of work and I am pretty good at it. I made enough money to buy a small house and live reasonable comfortably. My career had never been my priority, my focus, but instead I made sure I had a reasonably satisfying job that allowed me to pursue the things I truly enjoyed. I had time to read, work out regularly and invest my time in satisfying personal pursuits like my little baking company which lasted a few years, I studied acting and for the last 7 years doing some stand up comedy. As I watched people around me move up their ladders, I wondered though if I should have perhaps put aside my personal interests and focused on a my career more seriously. So when the opportunity to take a management position crossed my path, I took it. I committed to one year in this position to my new boss and committed one year to myself to focus on my career, to see if I had shorted myself in some way over the last years in not pursuing a career.

Now here I am a little over a year later and I learned that I have not cheated myself of some glorious part of life found in a satisfying career. Instead I learned is that this is really not the path for me. I spent a year working my ass off committed to the cause and forsaking all else. I have build a strong team, battled against the evils of incompetence and laid a solid foundation for the team’s future. I have spent a year frustrated with the lack of progress made in a backward world, fighting against the “way it’s always been” (the company motto) and come out in the end with “difficult” noted in my chart (Seinfeld reference for those with a limited sense of humor). I’m in the worst shape I’ve been in in years, my boyfriend thinks I’m a raving lunatic because of my after work bad moods (although he probably has always thought me a bit looney) and I’m exhausted. I’ve written maybe a page of anything worth reading and 2 jokes worth a minor giggle, performed less than ever and have read merely 3 books.

Now I stand here with a new realization of what a good life is and at a cross roads. What to do, what to do.

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