Today, we spent some time with good friends who we always seem to forget are bit more like us than most. But maybe that is just because we have not seen them in a while. After the usual politics talk (we all lean the same way) and the whole, so what have you been up to since we last saw you, we had some seriously deep life discussions. And the result is, we are all in the same place. Listening to my friend want to change her career focus and trying to juggle learning this new skill with her day job and a child sounded exhausting. And it turns out, she was exhausted. The people who I thought had it all together, it turns out they are spinning as much as I am. As much as everyone seems to be. And more important, getting as exhausted by their life as I am. Not to mention disenchanted. We began to discuss lifestyle choice because the career refocus for her is to help her get a job she thinks she will love. And I touched on this project without actively discussing it. It sounds like my friend is where I was not that long ago. Surviving, but not living and she too fell over trying to do it all. Her solution, is to find a job she is passionate about, but I still wonder what she does for actual fun.
But while I talked all about how horse riding was me clawing back some fun in my life and how poignant the question, ‘what do I do for fun’ was to me 6 months or so ago (and I realised my answer was nothing, I didn’t even know what fun was any more), my friend asked me another truly poignant question. She asked me what would I like to do with my life – like bigger picture. I think she meant in terms of a job, but I took it a bit wider than that. In the long term, where do I want to end up? What do I want to do for a job for the next 30 years of my life? The scary truth is, I once again didn’t know. I talked about how comfortable I was in my current job, which is true to some extent, but I couldn’t think of a job that would fire up my passion. I guess that is my new quest, once I finish this project.
What do I want to do for the rest of my life? The truth on this one that keeps staring me in the face though is, I have a lot of fantasies of how I would like my life to be, but no path to get there and they probably aren’t even possible and are definitely not practical so I leave them as fantasies. But hell, I can’t even figure out if I want to live in the city or the country. I love aspects of both. I think I like the pace of country life a bit better though. Or at least that is how I felt in my ramble around our village this afternoon, turning over the question in my mind. I walked down this little wooded area next to a very busy road. I passed many dog walkers out for a ramble, and people just getting out to enjoy the sunshine. I loved the leafy calm of the thinly wooded area. I liked walking down a road which was quiet, a bit leafy and had a jumble of houses from different historic periods. There were Victorian terraces, Arts and Crafts style single homes and even a few very modern houses. It made me smile. And the other people out walking was stop their conversations, smile and say hello. So yes, I do think the country is more for me.
But during this exploration of our village, no practical or even impractical jobs came to mind that would fuel my passion. I know I’d love to be a scholar, a writer, and photographer. I’d love to live in a beautiful place and work with people. I love history. But what do those all mean in terms of a job that I can actually make a decent living at. I have been ruminating on this topic for years and I still don’t know. I think I am stuck until something clicks or makes sense. And I guess that means I need to keep exploring.