Today was an incredibly fucked-up day. I had a work situation this week that escalated, and then it started to spiral out of control, and I felt like I was starting to go “down the emotional rabbit hole” because of it.
Although this situation will not turn out badly, I now find myself questioning my abilities as a manager and as a leader. I now feel like I missed the opportunity of what I was supposed to do with my career, and that I’ve just “gotten by” for the last 30 years.
I never wanted to be a music teacher. I knew that for sure after my first year at Ithaca as a music education major. I used to have this dream of being a backup singer for Roberta Flack or Stevie Wonder, but I felt like I was never where I needed to be (geographically or musically) for that to happen. I’m thankful for the education I received, but I still feel like I never figured out or felt like I knew what I wanted to do for my career.
I stumbled into customer service and retail management – it wasn’t my lifelong dream by any stretch of the imagination, and although I worked with some incredibly nice people, my years at JCPenney were pretty much the worst years of my life. (And yes, I’m hoping that COVID puts JCP out of business permanently….assholes. But I digress.) It was easy to do customer service because I have an outgoing personality. It paid the bills, but I never felt satisfied.
I’ve been fortunate to work for some incredible companies – Prudential, Vanguard and Nutricia, just to name a few….I felt like I interacted well and was a good manager, but it just didn’t resonate with me, and I left because I felt like I hit the wall. So after today’s incident, I’m feeling like I’m hitting the wall again.
I like what I do (and right now I’m blessed to have a job), but I can’t help feeling like I missed my calling. What’s more frustrating is that I don’t know what that calling was supposed to be. It’s easy to say music, but doing what? I could totally see myself working as a late-night jazz DJ for NPR, but there is no path to that (not to mention it’s probably a shitty paycheck).
Tomorrow is another day, and I hope that I’ll wake up with a better perspective and outlook than the one I have right now. And maybe I’ll figure out just what the hell I should be doing with my career to feel like I’m not just getting by.
Perhaps my ship hasn’t sailed after all…..now what?