My quarter-life crisis arrived right on schedule

I think I had a breakdown breakthrough today.

I was sitting at my desk, as usual. I was feeling the Monday blahs. At the office, there are waves of stressful times, and waves of quiet times, but the feeling remains.
It hasn’t been for a long time.
Or maybe ever.
I said before that I used to have a super-creative, fun job in journalism. And without going into details, it was the best freaking job ever. The job I went to school to do. The job that gave me (minimal) fame, and tons of amazing perks.

I honestly thought I would be doing that forever, but when our company was essentially shut down, I was sent scrambling for a new job.

I found another job.
In another field.
When they offered me the position, I took it happily.
But inside, I wondered if I was doing the right thing.
The money was better, but I was worried I would get bored being a management-type. That I wouldn’t get a chance to be creative. That I would be trading my special talents for my ability to organize and write tidy e-mails.
But Darling Husband and I were just months away from our wedding. We needed a second income. We had the mortgage and car payments and a zillion other grown-up bills.
I took the job.
It was — and is — a good job. Very busy, but I like a good pace. Even though it was a completely new field, I picked it up quickly. My colleagues were (are) really great. I moved up the ladder a bit.
But it was kind of like … being an assistant manager in a boutique, after a long stint of being the clothing designer. Fast-paced but monotonous. The ability to excel at your job, but then realize that your entire job is just ensuring that the creative types are happy/organized/on track/on budget/meeting deadlines.
I used to be one of thoes creative types.
And now I’m catering to them.
Scheduling and organizing them.
And when I have a creative suggestion?
They look at me like I’m just a secretary.
You can see how this is a problem.
For months now, I have been trying to change my attitude and reason with myself that maybe this is just what working life is like. Maybe it’s normal to feel your job is lacking a spark. Maybe I was spoiled by my first job, getting to write about whatever the hell I wanted and getting snazzy media passes that made me feel like a big-shot.
But then I realized that I’m only 25. If I start settling now, I’m going to have a very depressing career ahead of me. Some people change careers and go back to school in their 40s and 50s. They work for 20 years as a lawyer, and then wake up and decide they want to teach — so that’s what they do. Very inspiring.
So today, in the midst of a blah-as-usual Monday afternoon, I was finally honest with myself. This job is a good job, and while I’m proud to be doing it, it’s not for me. Just because I’m good at it, doesn’t mean it’s what I should be doing.
I’m a writer, and that’s what I need to be.
Someday.

2 Comments on “My quarter-life crisis arrived right on schedule

  1. Wow! That's a lot to think about. Sounds like you know what you want, and that's the first hurdle to achieving your goals. Are you considering quitting your job?

  2. No, not quitting. But I'm accepting that this is not making me happy, and my goal is to write full-time.

    So until that can be a reality, I'm going to be strict about getting up early every morning to write. It's going to take a lot of hard work to get to a point where I CAN quit, but I'm determined!

So what do you think?

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