I found a few more grey hairs today. I wonder how many more it takes before I know what I want to be when I grow up. I think the problem lies in the lie we all buy into: that you’re supposed to know what’s what when you’re an adult.
The job is pretty good. I’ve had some ups and downs on committal, but that’s nothing new. Being a probationary employee definitely feeds my fears and wanderlust, though, because I know that if I fail my next QC (quality control), there’s a non-zero chance I’ll be let go. So I start planning and thinking about the next thing as if I have a next thing lined up (I don’t). I could get one, but do I want to?
Tomorrow, I’ll be doing my first billable area since I started with VentureSum almost 4 weeks ago. The thing about the job that I find challenging is taking and digesting the immense amount of information they throw at us at one time. And then maintaining the focus required to see the classroom information in the field and translate it onto a digital map. Last week, I had some stressful events come up in my life that flared up my anxiety and I failed two QC’s because I was so distracted by them. The mistakes I made were things that I saw with ease when they were pointed out to me but one’s focus just can’t waver or you’re toast.
The work area tomorrow seems to be as easy as it gets. Counting and marking cable attachments only while labeling telephone and power poles. One of these days I’ll get a photograph of my world out in the utility surveying universe but I’ve been busy. Either way, my first true project should be simple but one can’t help but stress. Hopefully, I’ll ace it and finally get off probation status so I can tentatively build something beyond staring at poles on the weekdays and losing myself to the internet on weekends. The job is surprisingly location-agnostic as they’ll fly you to the job site each week. I’ve been thinking in a few months I’d like to fly to somewhere inexpensive and fresh. For some reason, I keep looking at Charleston, West Virginia. We have a project starting up there in the summer and I’ve always wanted to see WV. Also, you can rent a house downtown and riverside for $600/month so that’s cool.
I was reading a bit from a self-help book earlier in the week and a question keeps nagging at me. “If you take away your work, what’s left of you?” That bothers me more than a little bit at the moment. I have stories and memories of busier times. And I seem to be trying to live a life where “my work is enough.” But is it?…I can’t think of anything better to do and every time I try to be creative I find it doesn’t pay the bills.
I’m holding out faith that something’s evolving, though, and I use the term evolving meaningfully. One of my constant topics with Kent, my therapist, is on having trust in the process. That you may want things you don’t even know you want and that your therapist and you are co-creating something out of what’s shared in the space of therapy. It’s an organic process, really. So what will my values evolve into? Will I decide checking my stocks and my 401K daily is enough to satisfy? I still want to take my camera and explore and write but where does that fit into what’s on my plate right now? Can I be okay with doubt and uncertainty? Another constant topic that deserves a post all its own.
I can’t really answer those questions just yet so I’ll just have to see if what I want is slowly coming into being and do my best not to uproot the shoots before they’ve sprouted. My split energy and focus is painful but it’s also linked to a strength of mine – there’s no way I’d have been able to learn and explore as much as I have if not for my ability and drive towards learning new things. Still, I’m getting paid to do something tolerable and for now, I’ll be thankful for that. Even as I’m simultaneously adding new travel and camera gear to my Amazon Wish List.