Beginning Again: My Career Reclamation Project

7 years ago

Heaphy TrackMy denial ain’t a river, it is a chasm.  Standing inside of myself I know I have to begin again. I don’t like it.

At age 48, I returned to school. I also had a day job, two blogs and other outside activities. I was extremely busy but happy. I made due with scraps of time. The ideas were flowing faster than I could type them down.

The idea was I’d start a new career, attend library school and continue writing. It was a good plan.  Except it did not work out like I thought.

It is the job market. It’s the economy. It is the reality that some school districts are dismantling school libraries. Across the country, public libraries are being closed, short staffed or, in some cities, there is talk about eliminating government funded libraries.

It is a time when  groups of citizens believe the individual has no obligation or social responsibility to support shared resources for the greater benefit of the community.

Except when it comes to something that they want. It is short sighted people making difficult choices.

Intellectually, I understand everything I just wrote. Inside of me developed a patina of boredom and depression that dulls my emotions, my creativity and my ability to see the larger perspective.

Emotional burnout is a trip I didn’t know I was taking.

There is exhaustion. “I’m tired but I have things to do so I can’t be tired because I have so much stuff to do.” Except I don’t do half of what I “should” be doing. My list is filled with tasks impossible to complete in a single day.

There is anger. “Dammit I did what I was supposed to do! Why isn’t this working?

There is denial. “It is all right. I’ll wait it out. And wait. And wait.”

There is depression. “Not only will I’ll not try again but I’ll stop doing things I love. I’ll take comfort in food. I’ll narrow my world to only those things I know I can do. Except that there is no point in doing anything because it won’t work out.”

Eeep! No! Wrong!

That is not true. For me that is a toxically deceptive statement. I have options.  There are always options. I first have to be able to see them.

Sybil Smith in her post on I Am…Enough wrote:

I am enough does not mean that there will never be another conflict in life. It does mean that the deep trust you have in yourself and your soul will give you the insight and strength to find your way.

And then I knew. I am back in the chasm. I’m in deep but not as far as before. 

Ok. I can do this. I know there are multiple paths out. Just have to find the right one for me.  I begin again with taking care of myself.

Reclamation Steps

Or tap. Or dance. Maybe a full tilt boogie. A stroll is nice. I think I’m moving a little away from totally prescriptive or descriptive answers.

I’m in grazing mode at the moment. I’m reading about a non-ruthless kind of ambition at author Alex Van Tol’s Infernal Memo blog. She gives examples of people who have switched direction and made it work for their lives.

It really isn’t about a seeking a job like our parents and grandparents could expect. Yes, there are jobs. That may not be the only place where prosperity can be found. That does require a switch in thinking.

I like the process Frankie Robinson at Frankie’s Soapbox writes about understanding the potential areas where a person can succeed in writing. Observing the market, traditional and digital publishing options. 

One of the things we are challenged to do is find opportunities where they did not exist before.  There may not be a job but there might be short projects. Or a part-time job with side projects. Or teaming up with other people to create something new.

Coach Nancy gives strategies on spiritual and mental wellness. Nancy Ratey writes for parents and persons with ADHD but there are items that could help structure a better way to do things. Number 6 sounds very familiar; Beware of let-downs after completing big projects or accomplishments.

Scribo at Aiming to Try says it plain. I will write. I don’t feel good when I don’t write or create. This is a good reminder.

Well, I’ve got my invisible hiking boots on. Time to get going.

Gena Haskett is a BlogHer Contributing Editor. My Blogs: Out On The Stoop and Create Video Notebook

Photo Credit: Tim Musson.

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