Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Leaving Your Job And Why It's Exactly Like Schizophrenia.


I left my job this week, the details of which don't really matter.  Things ended well with everyone, security wasn't called, and we promised to stay in touch.
It was anti-climatic actually. 
I thought that doing something as big as changing jobs would be a bigger deal somehow, like part of my identity would be missing.  Like I'd wake up and be either freaked out, enormously exited, endless possibilities,  or..... something.  I blame social media for the ease of transition.  For example, 20 years ago when you changed jobs or careers, you had to turn in your Rolodex and generally stopped connecting with a lot of the people you knew.  When my Grandfather was laid off a few years ago, it was almost like they had cut off a limb.  His only access to the company news, the employees, etc. was by being at the building.  With social media, my LinkedIn is still there, my Facebook friends still update me on their every move, and my blog is exactly the same as it was last week.  I realized that however superficial my identity is on the Internet, it's permanently attached to me.  That we aren't as defined by our place of employment as we think we are.
Granted, the crazy had to set in since I am melodramatic and cannot let an event like this pass without some kind of existential drama.  Turns out that drama is schizophrenia.  Example: during the course of 1 conversation with New Jersey, I had definitively decided to: start my own company, work for someone else, work on my blog more, open a clothing store, open an art gallery, design a new software,  or some combo of all of those.  He agreed with all of those ideas because he's really supportive and probably a tiny bit frightened of multiple personality me.
I just can't help thinking that since I'm 28 now, the next thing I do is going to have to be good.  Because I always thought that having career schizophrenia was ok if you were in your twenties but not in your thirties and since I'm getting pretty close, I shouldn't still be deciding what I want to be when I grow up right?
So I laid out all of these ideas (there are 6) and tried to find a common thread (there wasn't).  I tried to "gut instinct" them and see which one really stood out (nope).  How could there be a universe in which there are so many different versions of me and how did I not realize this until very recently?  
I think that the older you get, the more these decisions we make (career or otherwise) determine how our life is going to go.  These decisions start to stick longer and have a lasting impact on our lives.  Also, and this is the hard part, choosing one thing means you are probably not going to ever do some of the others.  Maybe I don't even really want a clothing store but the idea that I could have one always pops up at times like these and that's a very tough thing to come to grips with.  Anyone else have to give up a version of themselves (pipe dream?) lately?

4 Comments:

OpenID bi8b said...

You should open a store that exclusively deals in pirate clothing. You've got the chops to pull it off.

June 17, 2009 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Laetitia :-) said...

Perhaps you mean Multiple Personality Disorder? Schizophrenia is a very different kettle of fish and you can highly offend some by confusing the two, particularly those who have lost loved ones either of them.

Apart from that, don't believe that you can't change later in life; it just might take longer, particularly if you have to work while studying to get there.

June 18, 2009 at 3:29 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I really enjoyed this post. I have a blog: http://unemployedindesmoines.blogspot.com. I'm interested in posting your blog tomorrow on my site. I always like to include guest bloggers - different points of view. Take a look at the blog, and if you're interested, send me a short bio to lead into your piece. suzanne_hull@hotmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

June 18, 2009 at 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Lindsey said...

I know exactly what you mean! Problem is I'm still trying to figure out which to let go of. I really feel like I can do it all, but not at the same time. So which way to go? I'm still trying to make that decision. Waiting is a trap.

August 19, 2009 at 8:39 AM  

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