What am I doing with my life?


I’ve spent the better part of the last few weeks trying to figure out what this blog is going to be about.

I’m sure you don’t want to read about the minutiae of my every day life, and even if you do, well, I have boundaries.

As fascinated as I’m sure you are by my list of 101 goals and the steps I’m taking to complete them, it’s hardly fodder for a weekly post.

And I’ve wondered what could possibly merit your attention in a world full of too much information and too many distractions.

Let’s face it. You have much better things to do than listen to me blab about my extremely long to-do lists and my struggle to overcome Google Reader and LOL cats.

But in the process of making my list of goals, and my list of Someday projects, and of starting my business, I’ve begun to realize what I’m trying to go for.

Lifestyle design.

I want to create a life for myself that is emotionally and intellectually fulfilling.

I want a job that doesn’t require me to spend 40 hours per week in an office with people I don’t particularly like.

I want freedom.

You see, I’ve always rebelled against the idea that you should spend 25% or more of the hours in your week for half your life doing something you dislike just so you can pay the bills.

Why does work have to be hard, or irritating, or worse, boring?

I mean, maybe it can’t be kittens and rainbows ALL the time, but there’s no reason it can’t be meaningful and generally interesting.

I want to be a better, less irritable person.

I’ve heard that the person you are is a reflection of the 5 people you spend the most time with. When I was working, those 5 people were my coworkers.

We had nothing in common.

They weren’t bad people, but I’m a highly sensitive person (I call it HSP disorder) and an INFJ personality type, and I love making references to Greek literature or history. I read about mysticism and religion and poetry, and I don’t have the energy to spend time worrying about what everyone else is doing.

It seemed like every time I opened my mouth, someone was looking at me like I had three heads.

When I was working there, I finally understood why people would have a glass of wine or four after work, and spend all of their time wishing for the weekend to come. I went from hardly ever drinking more than a glass to getting drunk whenever we had a work function. (We’re in France, where it’s not unusual to drink at work, and I never embarrassed myself).

I started to swear often, whereas I used bad language sparingly before.

I hated having to ask for “permission” to fly home for my grandfather’s funeral and that my coworkers told my clients I was on “vacation” during the busiest week of the year. (Fortunately, my boss let me go).

And the worst part was that I felt like I constantly had to defend myself.

Sometimes it was for doing normal things, like taking a few minutes for a break after finishing work on a file. Everyone else could go on 15 minute smoke breaks several times throughout the day, but God forbid I read something on the Internet, or the admin assistant would tattle to my boss.

“Allison doesn’t work, she blogs,” she said to the temp after she finished planning her third vacation to Greece.

I don’t want to have to defend just being myself.

The fact that I had other interests outside of work and wasn’t available to do 10 hours of overtime a week. The fact that I liked to go for a walk on my lunch break or read, and didn’t really care that I was excluded from cliquey office lunches from the very beginning.

I just wanted to do a job and get paid for it. And the more time I spent at that job, the less I liked the person I was becoming.

Depressed, defensive, and caustic.

Now, I know that not all jobs are like that.

I’ve had some great jobs, where I didn’t necessarily make a lot of money, but I felt valued and appreciated for my contributions and my personality.

But right now, having a ‘regular job’ and taking the risk that I’ll end up in that situation again scare me to death.

I have dreams, and big ideas.

I know that in 5 years, or 50 years, I’m not going to regret leaving my old job, or not taking a €10 an hour job teaching English to small children.

I would regret not trying to make my own ideas work.

I have a list of about 27 businesses that would make me a gazillion dollars each if I only developed them and marketed them properly.

So I’m not looking for a job.

I’m making my own.

I know it won’t be easy.

I know that lots of businesses fail in the first year or two.

And I know that I can’t keep bumbling on forever, especially if we want to have kids in the near future.

But we have savings, and my husband’s job pays the rent, and (theoretically) I’m going to get unemployment support while I launch my business.

So here goes.

Don’t we deserve jobs that don’t make us feel like jumping off the nearest bridge?

I’m jumping in instead of jumping off.

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