Stalled – what next?

As the title of this post suggests, I’ve somewhat stalled of late. My last post was a confession of my doubts about my current career; but as liberating as it is to admit to what I don’t want, it leaves me a bit uncertain about what I do want. I’ve seen a career guidance counsellor, which was actually affirming in so many ways and gave me lots of ideas. However, no matter how helpful that was, it doesn’t spell out the next steps in my life.

And so we get to the real issue. The truth is, I might have hit this crossroads long ago if it weren’t for the comforting consistency of knowing what comes next. Fear of the unknown is an effective paralytic. So I’ve been staying the course and being responsible. I said to someone recently that my parents raised me to believe that the world was my oyster. I could achieve anything if I put my mind to it. The problem is, I haven’t been living as if that were true. As much as I truly believe that many people need to change course in their lives or take the road less travelled, I never counted myself as one of ‘those people.’ I’m ashamed to say that despite having a complete respect for those who strike out in new directions after years of the same thing, I was smugly congratulating myself for having my life figured out. I didn’t need to find myself. I had a steady job, my bills were paid and I had a good standard of living. I was a responsible, productive member of society.

Pride goes before a fall. I should have known.

So the question becomes about what to do next. I’m taking a career break (I’m fortunate both to have the option and to have employers who have granted me the break) and will be putting together my first CV in many years. I’ll be applying for jobs (fingers crossed!) and hoping I don’t end up back in that single bed in my parents’ house again. I want new experiences and adventures. I want to meet new people and learn new things. I want to take the road less travelled. My motto from now on will be:

Get out of your comfort zone.

Blogging is a part of that. I’ve developed a habit of being cautious, guarded and discreet, almost to the point of repression. I find myself wondering if I’ve been confining myself to a role I’m not suited to, squashing the parts of me that don’t fit that role in the process. I need to rediscover those parts of me. I need to open myself up and let my guard down. It’s not easy to break the habit of a lifetime. I don’t know where all of this is leading, but I’m holding out hope for something good.
Edit: Sometimes I wish computers weren’t quite so smart. One of the guidance counsellor’s recommendations was a masters degree that I really love the sound of. I’ve researched it and I can’t afford it. At least for now. Doesn’t stop Facebook from knowing my search history and posting ads from the university on my news feed though. Oh well.

Back to blogging and some big changes 

By my count it’s nearly three and a half years since my last blog post. Wow. Time flies whether or not you’re having fun. Which isn’t to say I haven’t been having fun. There have been a lot of good memories in the intervening years. I’ve been telling myself for weeks that it’s time to get blogging again but I haven’t had the courage. I even thought about starting a new blog that would make a fresh start (for reasons that may become clear later) but I’ve been on a big push to get out of my comfort zone lately. And this is definitely outside my comfort zone.

Okay, here goes. I’ve been having a hard time. Not to go into details (I’m not that brave) but I’ve reached a crossroads. I’m doing a lot of soul searching. And it’s looking more and more like I might not be suited to this whole teaching thing after all. Over a decade in this job and that is a very scary proposition. There are so many parts of teaching that I like. I have immense respect for those people who were born to teach and who have a gift and a passion for teaching.

I’m just not sure I’m one of those people.

The next part is really scary. What next? I’ve been planning a life as a teacher since I was in school myself. If I’m not a teacher, then what am I? Or rather, who am I? As terrifying as these questions are, I’m also feeling so excited and, to be honest, liberated. I don’t think I realised what a burden it all was until I admitted to myself that something didn’t fit. And now, perhaps for the first time in my life, I have no plan and nothing but possibilities. One step at a time, I have to start over and see where life takes me.

If you’re reading this: keep your fingers crossed for me.

If you’re me: stay hopeful and watch this space.