and somehow my life purpose got compromised…
These past few days (weeks? months?) I’ve noticed something different about myself, my life, my reaction to things, like my joie de vivre is or has been compromised. If we measure the “something different” in days, that shift is directly in proportion to the lessening number of hours until my 30th birthday *gasp*.
We can probably still blame my birthday if we’re talking weeks.
And for months, nearly a year really, I’ve felt something different. An unpinnable, unidentifiable, nondescript, nagging itch in the recesses of my spirit. Not knowing what to attribute it to, I blamed the ritual of marriage my partner and I delved into. That’s a HUGE life change, so of course my psyche would react to this transition in ways that I could never imagine.
On top of that, my spouse and I made Upstate Manhattan our home. For the first time since I bummed on Lola‘s couch during bar review, I was NOT living in Harlem. This is clearly the impetus of my nagging itch. surely.
I probably need to pray more. And I haven’t been playing flag football like usual, no heavy breathing dancing at S.O.B.s, no workout sessions with my homie Rico. This is it. I’m sure it is.
Which brings me to this morning. At 7am today, as I languished in bed, melting myself into the sheets, I fervently wished these timid ass rain drops would just whip into a typhoon already so I would have no excuse to ever leave the bed. Once I realized what I was doing, my birth mother came to mind. I remembered the first day she wouldn’t leave her bed. And the second day. And the third. And how my first time seeing her move was 5 days later when she finally needed to use the bathroom. She crawled into herself and I never saw the person I knew again, even 18 years later.
Not wanting to be her or that revolted me out of bed.
Meanwhile, my husband, who somehow manages to wake up at 7am no matter how late he went to bed (yes, I’m jealous) was in our office being chipper and productive (yes, I’m hating). He cheered when he heard my footsteps. The immense joy at hearing his voice was tempered by the nondescript itch I’ve really only noticed recently, but have felt like it’s been sluicing through me for MONTHS. But I ignore it and throw myself in my favorite activities, speaking to, spending time with, enjoying my brilliant beautiful spouse. And as conversation naturally flows from life hopes and dreams to chores and weekend plans, by sheer habit, I bring up work. Suddenly, I choke on my words. The very idea of being in the office knifed through me.
I cried and finally came to terms with the fact that I am deeply unsatisfied with my job. I’ve come to realize that loving my job was an essential part of my identity, and to suddenly be unsatisfied is just… I can’t find the word. I am just grateful I haven’t gotten to a point of hating my job. And for that, I’m grateful.
So what happens now?
my love, i TOTALLY understand! i start to get physically ill when the work i do no longer fulfills my spirit. i’ve found that spending time outside of work, working on projects that can (eventually) help me transition to more fulfilling work/a new job/ etc., energizes me. even just a few minutes, knowing that i’m moving or at least turning in a new direction helps a lot.
have you identified what you’d rather be doing instead? is it the same work but a different place? or something totally different?
i wish you a happy journey. naming what ails you is definitely a great first step toward healing.
You know i don’t even have to say that I completely feel what you have written here, but not just in regard to my current job, but in regard to my life in general. At some point, perhaps when my dad became ill then eventually passed away, I lost sight of myself, of what lifts my soul. And in return, I sunk deeper into the abyss that I call work. I was so consumed and numb with grief that joy was quickly becoming an emotion of the past. Getting through the day was the objective, and the job that had ceased to satisfy me was becoming the cross I bore day in and day out. It wasn’t always like this; there was a time when I enjoyed what I did, but what I enjoyed was always supposed to be temporary, something to do while on my way to the next phase in my life (at that time it was law school). But when the second phase never came, well, that further compounded the numbness I had begun to settle into.
Slowly, very slowly, I am getting back to a sense of myself, of what I like, and what I may (God willing ) get to pursue. All I can say is listen to what your spirit is screaming out to you. Don’t bury these feelings of dissatisfaction by thinking that it is just a momentary thing that will get better if certain work conditions change, or as you get a better handle of your job duties, or, or, or.. In the process of “or,or, or,” you risk losing that spark that made you excited to get out of bed. I don’t say this to be negative, I say this because this is what happened to me, and trust me, it is a struggle to get out of this mire.
Take a deep breath and analyze the situation for what it truly is, not what you hope it may be one day (again, not trying to be negative but since I am familiar with some of the cast of characters I think this is a fair statement). Perhaps you may discover that there are certain things you can do that will enhance your current work situation, or maybe you will discover that what you need is to extricate yourself from that position. Only you can answer these questions for yourself.
You have taken the most important step in the process…
you’re such an awesome colleague and friend. thanks for reading & sharing! I am grateful for your openness.
You don’t know who you are yet and you keep looking to other people to show you who you are and to tell you that you are going to be okay. Given your abandoned and broken past, you want badly to know that you’ll end up okay, and to show everyone else that you end up okay. The problem is not your job, it’s your search for an identity. Find that first.
quite presumptuous, aren’t we Anonymous Commenter? By “abandoned and broken past” are you speaking of your own life?
I’ve “been there” and was totally unsatisfied with my job. I quit. I am pursuing my dream job that doesn’t require me to use one bit of my past college degrees and I couldn’t be happier. Find the beauty in what drew you to your career, then start branching out into another field that allows you to explore that…..that….THING that makes you say, “Ahh, THIS makes me happy.”
Wow. This is and open real dialogue. I have felt the same challenge, not for quite the same reason. But the fact is sometimes we go through the moments that make us grow. There is a solution. There is and answer. There is a silver lining in the cloud. How we feel means something is still missing.
Thanks for being authentic. I hope to find my missing element. I pray and hope you do too.