Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Remembering Reality

I've been trying to avoid this wretched thing called reality. It haunts me, even in my dreams. Back to work. Back to smiling and nodding and handing back change or calling out "order up!" Back to remembering that I am, indeed, all too human and frail and undisciplined.

Don't get me wrong: I loved Christmas, every second of it. I loved the food and the family gathering and the presents and the tacky wooden lawn ornaments that mysteriously appeared on my across-the-street neighbor's front lawn one day. I loved the Christmas Eve time of family worship in which we read the Christmas story and sang old-fashioned carols out of the same booklet we have used for nearly 20 years. I loved remembering that Christmas is more than jingle bells and red-nosed reindeer, and that the best gift of all came wrapped in swaddling clothes.

But it was almost too good to last. My brother has driven back to his apartment over 4 hours away, my parents took down the Christmas trees and packed up the decorations before traveling to visit extended family. As for me, I'm heading back to work at Ye Olde Big Retail Store tonight, just in time to handle the rush of returns from the Christmas present that didn't work.

So now, as the New Year looms, I'm looking back and remembering all the events of this past year, a year that has changed my life.

Ten months ago, shortly after I started recording my life events on this blog, I quit my job as a graphic designer. It all started when I realized that I wasn't happy and I was literally becoming ill from stress. A split second later, I realized the only way for me to regain my health and happiness was to leave my dream job. A day later, reality set in and I had to break my lease, eventually move in with my parents again, and begin hunting for employment. I got a job, was laid off from the job, found two more jobs to make ends meet, and you know the rest.

Now I'm feeling restless again, making me ask, is it just me? Am I giving in to discontent? Or is this God, nudging me on to my next adventure? I don't know. I really don't.

There's no shame in working food service or retail--I know that. It's honest work rewarded by honest wages. The problem is my creative spirit and intellect are feeling a wee bit neglected lately. Quite frankly, only three months after starting my two jobs, I've nearly mastered my job descriptions, and now I'm, well ... bored.

So I have a few options:

a) Start seriously looking for a professional job (or at least one that will support a lease and health insurance payments).

b) Quit one of my two jobs in order to spend more time focusing on my writing and small business.

c) Go back to school for a Master's degree or specialized training.

d) Do nothing. Keep on keepin' on until I sense a more clear direction to move.

Last time I started listing options for my dilemma, my office closed down and I ended up on unemployment. I hope this time my "clear direction" isn't quite so dramatic, but, then again, I did get the picture when it was spelled out for me like that!

This is one problem I have when it comes to looking to the future or back toward the past: I over-analyze everything in an effort to understand it.

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