I don’t know if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I mean I know that I went to get my Masters in this field and I do enjoy it at times, but I do not know if it is feeding my soul the way I feel like it should be. I keep bouncing from place to place in this field and have worked with multiple levels of care, different communities, and a number of vast disorders but for some reason it still does not feel right. I find myself exhausted most days and completely burnt out. I work very hard and I have passion for it, but more and more I am finding myself drawn to the creative (mostly writing) and wishing for that to be my full-time job while at the same time fighting fear that my writing is not good enough and never submitting anything anywhere. There are so many talented writers out there and I don’t know how to even begin to introduce my voice.
I have thought about if I want to write online articles and freelance, but I do not feel like that is where my heart really lies either. I love to write fiction, but sometimes do not have the will power to finish a story and give up or get swamped in work (i.e. I have been working on the same book for almost 4 years). I submitted my first ever short story to a writing magazine the other day. It was based on a photo prompt. I have no idea what will happen with it – I won’t even get feedback if it is not chosen, but it was a first step. I also signed up for the 2017 Short Story Challenge and should be receiving my first writing assignment Friday night at 11:59pm. This first round allots 8 days and writers are given genre, subject, and character assignment to write a short story no longer than 2500 words. I am nervous, but am hoping that this helps me hone some of my writing skills and play with new and different genres that I have never written in before. I find myself reading more often than not and trying to immerse myself in words whenever possible, but I fight with the never ending exhaustion of my job and coming home too tired to do much of anything. I fear that if I am able to get to the second or even third round of this Short Story Competition I will not have the time or energy to even devote to writing.
The adults in my life have always talked about work so begrudgingly, as if it is supposed to be something that you loathe taking part in every day. When I was a child I always hoped I would never feel like that. I always wished that whatever I ended up doing I would be happy to wake up and do it each morning. There is no greater disappointment at this point in my life than that I have become one of those adults who dislikes going to work every day and the way it takes time away from the things that I would rather be doing and the skills I would rather be developing. I have this massive guilt that this degree that I spent so much money and time of my life earning has ultimately ended up not being what feels fulfilling to me now. There is so much conflict in my heart that it makes each day a struggle. I feel torn between two fields that are vastly different and for the most part do not allow time to overlap. Then there is always the pressure to succeed and the looming reality that although what I do is stressful it is stable, it allots me a comfortable(ish) salary that I can depend on and writing, well, writing is a dream and dreams aren’t the practical way to go especially when you have been instilled with the need for advancement from a young age as I have been.
I talked about not being big on resolutions, but one of my hopes for this year is to find some balance and peace with where I am at in my life now as far as my career goes. I hope to make some changes that will allow me the time and space to explore this other dimension that I had squashed down for so long because I could not allow it to be a reality due to its impracticality. I hope that I can find that in between place that feels comfortable and not so stressful – and even more that I can stop measuring myself against others abilities and start looking inward and finding my strength within myself.
Maybe this year can be for taking first steps and remembering that even one step in the direction that feels right is something…
Have you ever felt stuck or afraid to go after what you want? What first steps are you looking forward to taking this year? Please comment and share your stories below 🙂