35 years of age may or may not be mid life. I’m not psychic. Maybe it’s my 1/3 life crisis, or even a quarter life crisis. In which case, I have lots of time. It seems, however, that I have missed my window to be a child prodigy or to make the top 30 under 30.
For myriad reasons (maternity leave, and an extended bout of post partum depression), I find myself in transition and without a job. In other words, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
I don’t have the cash for an impressively impractical sport car, nor do I have any interest in finding some young arm candy.
What I want is work that fulfills me, and barring that, a job I don’t hate. Am I being selfish or unrealistic?
Yes, I know my parent’s generation toiled at whatever job they could get for 50 years and were grateful for the opportunity to do so. I also recognize that through the previous generation’s experience my chronological peers have been implicitly (or explicitly) given the message that it’s not worth it. We see (some of) our parents dissatisfied, burnt out, feeling trapped, and living with regret because they sacrificed they’re personal dreams for the American (and Canadian) middle class dream. With mixed messages of “follow your bliss” and “take what you can get” I am unemployed, confused, and totally indecisive.
So, as I examine my options, and evaluate my experience, how do I choose? I want to be a photographer, fashion designer, artist, graphic novelist, gardener, doctor, writer, Prime Minister, green architect, interior decorator, graphic designer, editor, shop owner, farmer, illustrator…the list goes on ad nauseum. But I need to pay the bills, and I need to do it right now. Living in French speaking Canada, I am also hindered by my unilingualism. I speak very rudimentary French, but it’s not enough to even be a warehouse worker or house cleaner.
Logically, I should write that graphic novel, because I don’t need to be bilingual to do so, but that might not pay any time soon, or ever. Equally logical is the choice to take whet I can get, even if it means being overeducated, underpaid, and miserable.
I feel like I’m starting over, except my job market competition are all 20 somethings willing to work for peanuts.
I have a plan, though. There’s a program offered at the local YWCA that helps reintegrate women into the workforce after a baby-related hiatus. If I start there, then maybe the whole thing won’t seem as daunting. Until then, I wait to be discovered and become the next blogging superstar. What would you do?