So, I haven’t written in awhile. Really, I have no excuse other than, you know, life. However, recently I have been doing some thinking about that. I love to write, I love to blog and I love to unapologetically be the person who is not consumed by my career. I love to be the big nerd in the room, who honestly believes it is not what you do for a living but what you do for humanity that is what defines you. Now I have to apologize to my readers (Kristen Sardynski – I say readers, we all know it is just you). I have to apologize to myself as well, because I haven’t been living my life by my own rules lately. I haven’t. I have been the person consumed by my job. Why? I don’t know. I want to say it is because I have my dream job, saving the world one person at a time, making differences in people’s lives and being the best in a world comprised of those just trying to be less bad then the really evil people. This simply isn’t true. I push papers for a living. Worse even to my young idealist self, I push papers for a big box America Fortune 100 company.
Do NOT get me wrong. My company is amazing. They honestly are. They take care of their employees, from the beginning of your career to the time you die, when they take care of your beneficiaries, no matter your age. I am lucky to have the employer I have, as they honestly believe in Corporate Responsibility. Also, it is one of the friendliest LGBTQA companies around. For all this, I am grateful. Every day. I am, however, able to say as great as it is, it is not me. It is not me at all.
This is why I do apologize. I apologize to anyone who does read my blogs. I apologize to anyone who I have ignored or been distant to and I intensely apologize to myself. I lost my way. I got caught up because I do love my employer, and I do not hate my job. Which is interesting don’t you think? It’s not that I love my job and it is not that I am even passionate about it. It is not that I wake up in the morning with a burning desire to go into work to do what I do. I like my job. That is it. Such a small thing for someone who used to believe someday she would change the world. That realization brought my thought process around to the issue that I think is why I threw myself into work to begin with. There is a moment in everyone’s life when they doubt their beliefs in some form and I do believe that is what happened to me – a kind of existential crisis if you will.
Now, for anyone who knows me there might be rolling their eyes at the Psych 101, or some may still cling to the belief that to have an existential crisis it has to be some kind of religious based faith crisis. Still others may go, you were fine through engagement, marriage, you were fine through all that your family has been through in recent years, and those are the main existential crisis stimulators…what the hell. Well, trust me I have had that thought process as well. I honestly believe that a culmination of many factors contributed, but none more than getting what I laughingly refer to as my “big kid job.”
It was easy to realize that after a string of administrative jobs that ranged from really great to you know, HELL, I was at a great company that cared and was willing to develop me. For somebody who graduated with an Associate’s degree and a Bachelors degree with high GPAs, who then bounced from one entry level job to below entry level to ridiculous, this was crazy to me. I have issues that I am dealing with in this job, and the main one is that past. I feel no matter what I am going to get the last one hired first one fired speech – I tell myself we are not a small mom and pop company, or a flailing not-for-profit. I try to calm down. I then panic that I am going to reach the end of my contract with no funds to renew it…but wait, I am not a contractor. So then I think that maybe there will be some ridiculous reason, and start to panic. This is still a weekly occurrence, at least up to about a week ago.
Then I realized the big difference. This isn’t a “big kid job.” This is…GULP…a career. That TERRIFIED (and frankly still terrifies) me. I think that is why it happened. I am not someone who has ever cared what anyone thought about me, and have never need approval from those closest to me, let alone society in general. I never cared if I was part of the group or not, didn’t have any need or want to be the “cool” kid. Then, I was at this place that seemed to care if I felt well trained, that rewarded you for doing things above and beyond, that saw you volunteered regularly and brought attention to the fact that the company has a whole volunteer program. I had the opportunity to get educated in my industry – and my company pays for it. I admit I got sucked into being the person who was defined by what I do for a living. It was fine at first, because I love my company, I love my co-workers, I adore my management team beyond what most people would find acceptable…and more than that I respect them. My direct supervisor is honestly one of the best men I know, and his wife and daughter are honestly kind and wonderful people. For the first time only, not only do I feel like I have a secure place to work, but I feel like I have a family at work, and it is nice.
Then, I got unhappy. My feelings about my job did not change, except to maybe get better. So at this point I was forced to ask what the problem is. It took over 8 months to realize…I had completely abandoned me. My true self, my true personality. I am not sure at this point if anyone else ever noticed, or if they did if it was as big a deal to them as it is to me. I am awake and aware now. I am ready to be me again. I am learning how to be me with the fact that I do have this new reality, this career. How can I adapt this into who I have always been? How can I mold this Fortune 100 Company that has a system in place that doesn’t adapt to individuals easily into the life of who I have always been? What other realizations that at 31 have I come to?
Well, we will find out. As a blog that started with me writing about things that interested me and that I am excited about and want to share my passion on, it will now be more. I think that I am not the only person who has ever felt like this, who has ever had this particular loss of identity and reawakening. So, though I am getting back to it, and you will again have to read about Sharks, LGBTQA rights, and a whole plethora of nerdy goodness you can’t even imagine, be prepared. There will be more like this. It is easier for me to figure it out when I put it down in writing, and if I am going to write it, I may as well post it right?
It is going to be interesting.