There’s a Pat Monahan song with a line that goes something like “she scares me to death when she thinks and drives.” Normally I’d be slightly offended, but it was very true for me yesterday (and you’ll have to bear with me).
Work travels this week meant I spent a lot of time in the car, and I spent a lot of it thinking about (oddly enough) my blog and the whole purpose behind “navigating life after school.” It came about after someone made the comment that she couldn’t believe (you and me both, lady!) I’d already been with my job for a year because it flew by so quickly. We talked about the progress both of us had made in the last year work-wise, and with a 5-hour drive yesterday my mind wouldn’t stop.
I’ve undoubtedly grown a lot, both professionally and personally, but I don’t know that I’ve fully adapted to or embraced my new 8-5 life. In fact, I’ve kind of sucked at the whole navigating life after school thing. (Probably why I’ve had a heightened obsession with goals these past few weeks…)
I think what’s hard for me to grasp is that there’s no longer a general roadmap or pre-defined goals laid out for me. I’ve reached a lot of the milestone moments – graduating from high school, then college, then graduate school. Then what? For awhile I was focused on learning the ropes of my first job, and now I feel like I’m still learning but at least have a solid base understanding to where I don’t feel overwhelmed as much. I’m relatively self-sufficient and independent, and I’ve definitely embraced living alone, particularly with all the home decor and organization projects. What am I suppose to aspire to now? Is it about climbing the corporate ladder (which I wouldn’t necessarily do in a nonprofit setting)? Do I have an end goal?
It’s not even that I feel like I’m lost or in limbo, since my sense of purpose or identity was never wrapped up entirely in school or work (it may have been a main priority, perhaps, but never my actual identity), which is something I mentioned in my very first post. I think my issue is that I’m just feeling antsy. While I tend to be a creature of habit who likes organization and structure, I think there’s a difference between consistency and being stuck in a rut. Lately I’ve been the latter.
Unless I’m traveling for work, week after week is the same schedule. I might mix up what workout I’m doing or my social activities for the weekend, but it’s more or less the same. And it’s not that I’m bored, per say (my mom always used to tell me growing up that only boring people are bored, and I’m definitely not boring). I’m just in need of a change.
That’s one of the things I knew I would miss about school. I don’t miss the homework or the tests or the stress, but I miss the routine change and feelings of accomplishment. You complete a handful of classes and after a well-deserved break you’d have a new schedule, new professors, new textbooks, new classmates. I knew that wouldn’t be the case outside of school, and I certainly don’t expect to be traveling to all corners of the world or having adventures each and every day or week. I guess I just didn’t expect to be stuck in a rut a year after I finished school.
But maybe this is the stark reality of the elusive “real world.” I just don’t ever want it to feel like this. That means it’s time to dive into some life chats, google/blog searches and good reading material. Stay tuned!
(See, I told you it was scary when I start to think as I drive….)