“The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” –Lily Tomlin
I’m sort of going through a quarter-life plus 10 years crisis. A few months ago, I came to the “epiphany” that I was in the wrong career field and doing the wrong job. I have been having these thoughts for many years now but I was too enticed by the money to have the balls to quit. One day, after a slew of emails (that I typically respond with a politically correct solution), I just decided I have had it. Here is a sample of my responses:
“Dear xxx,Putting your email in all capitals is inappropriate. If you had followed the process that you blatantly ignored, your crisis would not be happening”
“Dear xxx,If you treated your people a little better, maybe they would stop leaving your team”
“Dear xxx,Isn’t is nice that you are blaming me for not doing something, when in essence, it is YOUR job to do in the first place?”
“Dear xxx, Please find a new person to head this project. I have put in my resignation.”
After about a few of those emails, I had talked to my significant other about leaving the business all together. Bless him, he said “I just want you to be happy. Do it”. So I put in my resignation and my soul (if souls exist) let out a big sigh.
However, I still need money, so I am freelancing. I calculated that if I did 1-2 jobs a month, I should be able to contribute to the household appropriately. I did have to give up some things like expensive shampoos and my once-a-month massage habit but I think it was well-worth it. So, it’s been about 2 months since I’ve resigned.
I decided to take some classes at things I thought I would be good at—a bunch of improv classes and some sketch writing classes. I mean, I like comedy and I like writing. Will they like me back? It’s too early to tell at this point, but my secret fantasy was that I would be so AWESOME and my secret talent would come seeping through my skin that it was a big question mark as to why I never pursued improv and/or sketch writing in the first place. Alas, that did not happen. I turned out to be somewhat funny in sketch writing and just okay at improv. (Side note: It didn’t help that one of the improv classes I hated because it felt so “actory” and cliquey and…young!) I think that is my biggest problem, that I just want to be able to pick up something and become the savant that the world has been waiting for. However, I think I can be good at improv/sketch if I just kept doing it, so there’s that.
Unfortunately, I feel just like everyone else. Ordinary. A little bit better at some things than other people, a little bit worse (or a lot worse) than other people. A lot of things I have done, I just plain suck at. Like, triathalon training? I suck. Singing? I can’t hold a tune. Sign language? I got the alphabet down. I keep taking these classes in hopes that something will hit me over the head and say “this is what you are meant to do”.
The closest thing I can think of, that I might be good at, is writing. But, I have such a hard time with coming up with cool ideas, funny premises and interesting stories that I just don’t think I have the ability to pull it off.
I wrote a bunch of sketches for a class, that thankfully, the class laughed at. It felt REALLY good when my teacher laughed at it. But, I still keep thinking–what can I do with this? Where can I go with this? Is it too crazy for me to pursue this? The thought that kills me is What if I’m not really that good and I’m just trying to convince myself otherwise?Right now, I’m feeling like the main character in a book called “A Spell for Chameleon”. In the book, at a certain age, everyone in the land of Xanth has a special power. Bink (I think that was his name, I read this in high school) just didn’t seem to have one and for years, they thought of him as this talentless being. He was even thinking “Oh god, if I could just make something from yellow to green, at least that would be SOMETHING”. Anyway, it turns out in the book that he is actually a powerful magician and his talent is that he cannot be harmed by magic (which is concealed by making it look like he escapes danger by luck or coincidence). Long story short, it took forever for Bink to figure it out because his talent was concealing itself in order to make him less vulnerable to non-magic attacks. But, what comes to mind to me is that, in all those years he thought he didn’t have a talent, it must’ve been kind of lame being Bink.
I’m hoping that’s my problem. I just can’t see what I’m good at and it’ll reveal itself at some point in time. If I find out, I’m just average at everything then…it’s just really going to suck to be me.