I now understand what a mid-life crisis is. I am not yet forty but it is just over the horizon.
I spent years studying – trying to find out who I am and what I want to do for the rest of my life. I had decided that as an information junkie I was meant to help other people find, understand and organise information. I attained the qualifications I needed to follow the path I had chosen but it was almost impossible to break into the occupational sector of my choice.
I eventually got there but on a lower level. I thought this is okay I can work my way up the ladder. This thought warmed me on the long bus rides – five days a week to work. I kept storing up my skills and learning new ones all in preparation for the day I would get that elusive yes. I worked endlessly, volunteering for new experiences, doing the jobs no-one else wanted to do. I honed my customer service skills collecting qualification after qualification, doing course after course – whilst almost neglecting my duties at home.
I was on the cusp of some big breakthrough – I could feel it.
Then one day out of the blue it hit me. Whack, right in the face.
I graduated ten years ago. Ten bloody years chasing the unachievable. Ten miserable, over-worked, under-appreciated years. I could not believe it.
This realisation hit me like a train, I felt that I had been steamrollered. It became hard to get out of my bed. There were days I didn’t (sorry kids). I ate like I had never eaten before. The only comfort I had was to eat.
I resented work, hated all my bosses. They were filled with their own sense of importance. They looked down on me and made it clear that I knew how unimportant I was. One of them even went out of her way every day to make me feel small. On a normal day I would never have taken the shit she dealt out but because I was feeling small and insignificant I actually let her get to me. I was feeling so low that all the pain and resentment just built up until something was going to blow.
I tried counselling and found a lovely woman called Emily to talk to. I got a few things off my chest – she helped to remind me that I was a survivor. I had been through worse than this. I hated feeling sorry for myself. I wanted things to change so bad that I contemplated moving away, shaving all my hair off and all manner of strange things in an attempt to make me feel better.
I realised though that running away was never going to help me. I had to do something to help me feel like me. I used to like myself, I used to like getting my photograph taken. There was a time in my teens that I actually smiled a lot, everyday almost. I know this because someone showed me the photos and I was shocked.
I think I am now turning a corner. I am looking for other jobs. I have a few interviews coming up. I will get where I am meant to be eventually. My career is taking a sidestep. I am actually contemplating going back to school and retraining to do something else. What? I really don’t know yet.
I am getting my mojo back. I spend more time with the people who mean a lot to me. Mostly my kids but also my sisters and brothers. I have become a grandmother twice. My lovely little grandbabies give me loads of pleasure. I am writing a little everyday. I constantly have music in my head. I feel like dancing when I am doing something just for me.
My horrible boss left Wahey!!! So work is now a much nicer place to be. I can stomach it for a little while longer. Long enough for some new opportunity to present itself. I am not going to be disheartened by a career that is dying. I am going to use it to spur me on to greater things. I will do it not because of my bosses but in spite of them.
I am back in charge and the world better watch out.
Fierce is too small a word.