“I am . . . what I am at the moment I am that . . . ”
To know the world one must construct it.– Cesare Pavese
I have been wallowing around in the empty space left by my lack of employment. I am surprised by the absence of inspiration that has overwhelmed me during this period. I keep thinking I will start to write or draw or do something and day after day nothing really takes hold. So here I go writing about nothing again, or writing to make something.
I have been doing some thinking about career changes or finding more part time work and devoting more time to writing and art as well as working with children. Some other thoughts about pursuing a new career as a speech pathologist, but this requires a commitment of time, money and effort when I am not certain of any path. Maybe now is the time to be bold and commit, but maybe it is the time to put my energy into just finding a way to explore ideas about culture, creativity, education, and moving into a less career focused mode. If I choose a new career path it means I will not be able to explore the broader human experience, but if I were able to complete the training I would be able to work in a profession in which I could be paid well and help people in a substantial and immediate way. This has always been attractive to me. I am not a joiner or participator by nature. It takes a lot of effort on my part to go out into the world, but I have always felt the desire to help people, not just serve or provide services or sell things. I find that working just to make money or to make money for other people a hallow experience. I really appreciate people who can do jobs, any job, with spirit and style. I have not been able to do this. So I chose jobs that benefit people directly, mainly jobs focused on early childhood education in group settings. At Head Start, I did a lot of social services as well, but that was often frustrating, as I was rarely given the resources or time to help clients in a substantial way. At times I have been able, with the help of others, to provide a combination of classroom and home connected education that actually made a positive changes in the lives of my clients. These are the best times and well worth the struggle involved.
I can be a public person and be out there busy in the world, but it does not feed me. I am by nature an introvert. I process ideas, emotions, input of any kind slowly and am easily overwhelmed by attention, positive or negative. I do not like being in the spotlight. I avoid situations in which people focus on me. I need lots of time to figure out how I feel about events and ideas or how to approach life in general. The world seems to come at me too fast most of time, and I am just trying to figure out what just flew by, let alone trying to get a fix on what is coming. I have had plenty of time to process my experiences of the last year or so into a form that I can use as a guide as move forward.
I am now facing forward, slowly moving, gathering information on possible directions. I am finding potential opportunities to do the kind of work that satisfies me and still have time to process the world as I move in it. After a year of 10 hour days and long drives enclosed in transitions of disappointment and shock, I am looking to build a life that will keep me connected with the world and myself. The balance is hard to work out in a complex world where everything is coming a me all of the time.