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23 August 2005 @ 12:58 pm
What to do  
A lot of people I know seem to not know what to do, or what they want to do in their lives. I always wonder if these people (left completely mythical for the moment) have the same problem that I do. I don't know what I want to do because I can see myself doing so many different things.

Want a be a community activist? Sure.
Want to chuck it all and start a yarn shop or small cafe-type restaurant? Also sure.
Go back to school and major in English and Japanese before going to library school? Also also sure.
Do the same but include prelaw stuff and go to law school? Why not.

Too many choices, so I sit here and research one option or another and then forget for a bit. Four or five months later I am still checking things out, and some of them are the same things I looked at before. Part of it is that I miss academia both as a place to work and a place to learn, but it is more than that. I often feel adrift, like there were all these great things I was supposed to do in my life that I have not even touched upon. It isn't too late to do something interesting and substantive, but it is certainly more difficult now than it was when I was still going to school.
Feeling like: thoughtfulthoughtful
the name of dogenochs_fable on August 23rd, 2005 05:46 pm (UTC)
I'll be unmythical and say I have the same problem for a lot of the same reasons. That being said, I've slowly started to narrow things down a bit, as I figure what sorts of working environments go along with each choice - sometimes that alone can give you a clue of whether you'd really like it. Of course you can always change course if you don't like it - people change careers several times during their life. Pretty much the only think I figured out is that at a certain point you just have to pick a direction and go and let stuff happen.
Sierciasiercia on August 23rd, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC)
I struggle the same way - often, though, I find myself toying with an idea, thinking "Sure, I could do that" and then focusing on all the reasons why it wouldn't work, talking myself out of anything I can come up with.

I think I have reached the stage of picking a direction and seeing what happens, now that I have the responsibility of a house and husband and daughter, all of whom get screwed if I decide that my true calling is to be a yak herder in Alaska.
the name of dogenochs_fable on August 23rd, 2005 06:18 pm (UTC)
But the yaks are calling! :)

Seriously, I think eventually that's just what you have to do in order to get anywhere - pick a direction and seeing what happens. Sure, sometimes you get caught short and you realize that it's not what you thought, but otherwise it's too easy to get stuck in a cycle of wishing and paralysis.
The Darkermindways on August 24th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC)
And - with the exception of some things, like kids - if you don't like the direction, you can do something else.

I've had more that I wanted to do than I had time to pursue for about as long as I can remember. Some of those paths I've laid by the wayside very deliberately for later in my life. It can be kind liberating knowing that I don't have to deal with taking my life in those directions now, but that someday I most likely will - it's something to look forward to.
the name of dogenochs_fable on August 24th, 2005 01:05 pm (UTC)
And - with the exception of some things, like kids - if you don't like the direction, you can do something else.

I think this is one of the hardest lessons to truly grok at the gut-level -- we're so used to thinking in terms of progression that any possibility of going off the track is frightening. And yeah, it's risky, and you might spend a few months, a year, a few years, trying something out only to realize it's not for you. But then all you do is do something else.

It really isn't until my own experiences of the last few years that I realized that a smooth progression from job to job to job in a single career is actually rarer than you'd think - it takes a lot of people time to figure out what they want to do. It makes it easier to say, "hey, I'll give this a shot, and if it doesn't pan out, oh well," instead of panicking and thinking it means that you're doomed.