Posted by: GeekHiker | August 1, 2011

The Journal: April, 2011 (2)

I had a dark moment the other day.

A couple of weeks ago, I was taking a practice exam, and it was not going well.  I knew I was failing it, and was feeling stupid as a result.  I wondered how I would ever learn everything I needed to know, and even though I know why I’m doing this, if you will, “self-torture”, I wondered why I was doing it.

I stared at the screen, on the verge of totally losing it, and thought about the rest of my career, the rest of my life.  And I realized that I don’t want to do this.  I don’t want to spend the next 30-40 years torturing myself like this.  It’s obvious that I’m lousy at these things, and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life torturing myself this way.

[Huh.  So important, I wrote about it twice.  Longhand.  Still, even as I type this now, I don’t know if it’s the job or the career.  And it may be some time before I’m able to answer that question…]

Of course, that then begs the question: what the fuck DO I want to do with the rest of my life, if not this?

Not to say I can’t change careers.  But, as someone said, I can’t exactly go back and become a doctor at this point; I’m simply too old to start over with 15 years of education.

[Much less keep up with the twentysomething-whipper-snappers!]

Not that I want to be a doctor; that’s not the point.  The point is: the older I get, the fewer opportunities to remake my life will be open.

I wish I knew what to do.  I wish I felt a “calling”.  I don’t.

All I see now is how unhappy my current situation is.

But I don’t see the path out.

[Okay, yes, leaving the old job may be part of the path “out”, but it certainly doesn’t answer the larger questions.  Some days I really, really wish I were one of those who knew, at a very young age, exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up…]



  1. You know you have this skill set. You know you can do this work so it’s good as a back up while you’re considering your options. This road trip should be good for you, it sounds like you seriously needed a chance to recharge your batteries.

  2. Have you done any sort of personality/skill assessments to figure out what jobs might be a good fit for you? Maybe there’s something that wouldn’t be too hard to break into that you haven’t considered yet.

    I think most people – even those of us who knew what they wanted to be as kids – go through career crises. I think it’s good to question things, and because we all change over time, our passions can change to. You’ll land where you’re supposed to. Just follow your gut.

  3. I change careers like most people change underwear. And, it’s always worked out well for me in the end. I’ve worked in banking, brokerage, non-profit services, start up, airline, manufacturing, medical and now for an auditing firm. Pretty varied. There were always some common threads in there with regard to actual job function, but still. First step…think about the things that interest you. Photography? Outdoors? Etc. Then start looking at each of those as options, using your current skills to break into. Even national parks have IT guys on hand. I know you’re not sure you want to do networking forever, but it could get you in the door into an industry where you’ll find other things to do. Just a thought, anyway.

  4. I wonder if this is why, as people get older, they seem to get grumpier. Their options are being taken away from them. Life seems better when it has hope, even if all is not going as we want right now. What do you find yourself doing in your spare time? Could it be an interest that you could nurture and grow until it becomes self-sustaining? You write this wonderful blog and are clearly so talented in both the written word and photography. Maybe that will have a place in a future career.

    BTW one of the best books I read was Po Bronson’s “What should I do with my life” because it details all these wonderful stories of people who set out to do one thing and ended up switching because they either hated it, sucked at it or something. It was enlightening. And also supportive to think this is a far more common feeling than most generally admit.

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