Where Do I Belong?

I often wonder if I’ll ever feel entirely satisfied with life. We need to keep so many plates spinning at any given moment; it’s almost impossible to keep them all spinning at the same speed continuously. A slight wobble here, a slow-down there.

For most of my younger years, I desperately sought love. Love was the only plate that wasn’t spinning and I wanted (and thought ‘needed’) it to be. My dating life resembled a frantic last-minute sale at the mall, rushing random men in and out of my life, quickly finding which fit and which did not. Spending nights and weekends in a dizzy blur of parties, noise, and new encounters. During these years, the rest of my plates (career, school, family, etc.) were spinning smoothly, not missing a beat or presenting a fumble.

dizzy days

Partying it up, trashy style, back in early 2000’s.

Fast forwarding to the present, my juggling act has been completely flipped. With my love life on a high pedestal for the last three years, it has now been other plates’ turns to waver or fall.

While my family plate has slipped and cracked over the past few years, it continues to spin. Most of the family falterings have been easily conquered, or at least accepted. Saying goodbye to older family members who have run out of time. Distancing oneself from toxic family members. Steadying oneself through medical emergencies and scares.

And my school plate just spins automatically at this point. Spending over twenty years (of your under thirty year life) has that effect. Before you know it, school is a regular part of your day. Not an added responsibility.

Sorry, I'm just a little tied up being an awesome graduate student.

Sorry, I’m just a little tied up being an awesome graduate student.

But now we arrive at my career plate. When I first met my guy, my career plate was just beginning to swivel and bend. At that point, I had worked for seven years in mental health and was going to graduate school to become a Clinical Psychologist. But my passion was fading by the second. The industry I had once engraved myself in was slowly evolving into a world of lies, false prescriptions, and entitlement.

After making a career change into education, I thought things would quiet down. How wrong I was.

By falling into the wrong sector of education, for well over a year I faced sexist remarks and treatment, along with an overwhelming knowledge that I was nowhere near where I thought I’d be career-wise. Despite the setback, I continued plugging away at my graduate program and applying for new jobs.

Which brings us to now. I began working in the right sector of education in January at a college not too far from home. But I worry I’ll never feel entirely at home in any profession as I continue to silence my creative urgings.

credit: blogher.com

credit: blogher.com

A holistic view among those who narrow their focus more by the day.
A positive voice among tired voices that gave up caring years earlier.
A fresh, youthful outlook among refusal to change.

When will my wanderlust be quenched? When will I find where I belong?

15 responses to “Where Do I Belong?

  1. I’m the same. I have 5 weeks left of my final semester for my honours degree and I have chosen now to question whether I want to do it. Wanderlust can be a bitch.

  2. oh my God, i just back from my job, daily inspection, and read your post. i really wonder because i thought about this thing too, on my way to office. this is similar to what I’m feeling. mmmm,,,the question…exactly the same.

  3. I have the same problem too. I spent almost a decade preparing myself for my chosen career, landed a series of seemingly perfect jobs, built a kick-ass resume…only to find that I don’t like my chosen career field at all. I don’t fit in, and I feel the exact same way that you described. (I can’t tell you how many times a day I think “these are not my people. What am I doing here?!”) All that is to say: I can relate, and I feel your pain. It’s a miserable situation.

    I do commend you, though, for being persistent in a) trying new options and working to figure out where you do belong, and b) not sacrificing who you are and what you believe amidst all the external pressure to do so. Those are two things to be enormously proud of!

    • That’s the worst feeling! I feel that way a lot (‘I don’t fit in, why am I here?’), especially at work. I don’t ever feel sad about the situation, just stressed/frustrated. I often wonder why I haven’t found my little nook where I can sit back and pass a good decade at one place/company/location. Thank you for the great feedback. It’s so appreciated!

  4. Thoroughly enjoy your writing. We are on the same plate 😉

  5. What a great post. Do we ever settle down and find our place? Part of me hates to think that we’ll never really find what we’re looking for but part of me also hopes that we don’t just settle and accept for the rest of our lives either. I do hope that you find some comfort, though!

    • Do we ever settle down and find our place? – This is a question I hope I don’t have to chase my entire life. I really don’t know – sometimes I wonder if it’s just me who never feels 100% content with where I’m at. But then I blog about it, see these responses and I feel better. I hope that we always push ourselves to do more, but are happy with where we’re at. That would be the best middle ground 🙂

  6. I work for myself alone at home as a writer — not an option in education, I realize. But I have felt VERY much out of place in a few of my workplaces with other journalists who I found hard-hearted, cynical, ego-ridden and not very bright. I was glad to flee their company.

  7. Pingback: Discovering Yourself. | The Siren's Tale

  8. Pingback: Out With the Old, In With the New: Rebranding A Blog. | The Siren's Tale

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