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Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Recent Thought-Life

This week has been an interesting one for me. I'll intersperse my reasons why with some pictures I took around the house this week, just to keep things interesting. :) I took these photos one evening when I was trying to live in the moment and appreciate my natural surroundings (later that evening, incidentally, I found a tick under my shirt and haven't been as freely appreciating our yard as much since then.... I am completely grossed out by those bugs).
One of the nicest things about my job is its lengthy vacation time, but too much time off leads me to over-thinking everything, and that's what it's been this week. Today I've at least reached a conclusion about the way I work, but I'm not sure what it means for me. I realized that in my years of work since I've graduated, I've felt rather alone in my work, and I think it's in large part because I haven't had co-workers, really, others who do similar work or who share in my daily experiences. I have had co-workers when I worked at our church in Rocklin, but we all did different things, and while I felt the most teamwork there, I still did most of what I did on my own or from home. Even the better part of my master's program was self-guided and solitary work. Maybe I just miss that as a student, I had an entire classroom of "co-workers," and it feels weird to no longer have that community. Rick reminded me today that this is kind of what I signed up for in my career choice, and that's true. Sometimes I love that it's so flexible, and I really do like working alone most of the time. But I guess I've just been wishing that I had someone to leave notes for or to office-prank or joke around with during the day, or even someone to affirm my work or to let me know that I'm not going crazy. :)
I know that most of my thoughts stem from the fact that I am spending a lot of time alone, thinking. And not having my income during these vacation times also makes it hard for me to justify driving places and doing things. But also I believe there's something to these feelings that I want to give thought to. I've been wondering if I haven't been paying attention to how I function and what kind of environment I would like to work in. I love being given projects, and I feel like my work right now is self-directed and less project-oriented. I wonder if I'm heading into a career that is going to leave me feeling like this a lot of the time.
I've thought about going back to school; perhaps being part of a cohort for a PhD program would be good for me. But I also wonder if the competition out there for jobs in the humanities is something I even want to engage. Something about entering into academia makes me excited but also completely overwhelmed, and I honestly don't know that I have it in me. But to even get to a workplace with consistent community, I need to move forward in my schooling, so that seems like the natural next thing.
I've never been good at future-planning because it easily stresses me out, and I feel like I spend a lot of time planning, and then those plans change, and so it seems better to "feel things out" instead. But then I get into spots like this where I feel unsure of what to do next, and I spend my time off over-analyzing my decisions.
In response to all of this, I have been trying to live moment by moment and enjoy my time of rest. I have also decided to become a bit more involved in the community I do have, so I'm signing up to do some tutoring, and I plan to join a Bible study group at the church Rick and I have decided to attend. I'm realizing that I need to constantly give over to God all I'm conflicted about and remember that I don't live my life alone. So I guess this is my public reminder to myself...

-Shelley

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