Waiting for my real life to begin

So the job has been on my mind a lot lately. I think I’ve written before that I recently got a new boss, who, while a nice person, can be demanding to the point of ridiculousness, ie, asking for absolutely everything as soon as possible.

Keep in mind this is his own internal deadline. There’s no one externally saying, “I need this.”

This is the same complaint that everyone who has worked with him has had.

I’ve been contemplating a job change anyway and thought this my oppourtunity to move to our operations department. Unfortunately, openings, if any, won’t be available till the end of the summer. I can stick it out till then, but I’m getting the feeling, from talking to people and general morale, that there won’t necessarily be that many job postings.

So I’ve been looking outside my company as well, and haven’t had much luck. I just don’t have the experience that would fit in something like media, publishing, or event planning, or else the job I’m qualified for pays a whole lot less than my current one.

My boss and I were talking about my “career” earlier this week, and I expressed my uncertainty about what to do. While he assured me that I’d be good at anything I pursued, he also suggested that I should figure out what I want to do as soon as possible because “then one year will pass, three years will pass, and before you know it, five years have passed and you’re still not doing what you want to do.” He even suggested taking a short leave of absence to do something like an internship at an agency.

Then yesterday it occured to me: ALL THOSE JOBS ARE THE SAME TO ME.

Whether I stay here in marketing, or move to operations, or move to the agency side, they are all the same damned thing. None of them are really what I want to do.

Why do it? It’s not that hard (it’s the personalities that are difficult), it earns me a pretty penny, and let’s face it, it’s comfortable. It’s familiar and easy. I still have time to write. I can fund going to writing events and classes.

But is the writing enough?

Sometimes I ask myself, if money were not an issue, what would I do? The answer is easy: travel the world and write about what I see.

Hmmm. . .

I’m 35. Time is ticking. I’m still not living the life I want to be living. Or I’m living it partway, maybe 1/3 of the way. The rest of the time I’m being lazy and complacent. Or fearful.

There’s something said about comfort. Last night I was walking home and thought, How nice this is. The cool weather, living in the city in my nice area going to my nice apartment. If I live in someplace like China, it will be dirty and not so comfortable and everyone will be staring at me.

But is that a reason not to go?

I look back on the six months I lived there, gosh, almost 10 years ago, and I relish those memories. Of course I don’t think it will be exactly like that. I think it will be better.

And the thing is there’s no rush. I can give myself a year+ timetable.

September 1, 2008.

I also have the right to change my mind. :)


  1. I’m going through a work-crisis right now, too. I think that knowing you want a change and giving yourself a deadline of sorts is key – the change I want is eating away at me and I don’t know if I can sit still and be rational. You, on the other hand, have shown to be so brave. I agree with your boss that you can do anything you set your mind to.

  2. Actually heading to China for a change might not be a bad idea. There are many Caucasians who have done that and they all swore it’s probably the wisest thing they have done. Hygiene-wise, if you keep to the expat areas,it’s not as bad and best things might alot cheaper in China too. But it’s a now or never decision.

  3. Good luck with your decision. I jumped jobs 3 months ago and I am as happy as a clam. Mind you I still want to win the $37 million in tomorrow night’s lottery and spend the rest of my life working out, travelling and spending time with my family.

  4. gwen: thanks for the encouragement!

    domestic rat: dunno, china was still pretty dirty when i lived there! maybe cuz i lived in a little town and not in a big city.

    as for caucasians, can’t speak for them since i’m an abc (american born chinese). but the “natives” could still somehow tell i was a foreigner! :)

    r42k: that sounds like a perfectly lovely way to spend your life!