Saturday, May 14, 2011

Feel the Fear

Feel the fear, and do it anyway. This is a quote from the TV series Roadtrip Nation on PBS. I love watching this show. It is a small group of young people usually around 20 or 21 and about to graduate college. They travel around the country in a green RV interviewing interesting people about how they came to be who they are. It is suppose to help these young people figure out what path they should take next in their lives. Mostly the people they interview say to find what makes you happy, find what gives you passion, find something that makes you wake up in the morning happy to go to work. The show is geared to people in their early 20’s. However, after watching episodes I feel inspired to figure myself out and find what makes me happy. I’m not in my early 20’s, but I feel that I am standing at the next crossroads in my life. Do I go left? Do I go right? Do I turn around? And I think, it is never to late to try something new. Only thing is, I don’t know what that new thing is.

I know now that I lost my enthusiasm, passion, and whatnot for my current profession. I think, I’ll give it till the end of the season. (Field season - which usually runs till the weather turns rainy and snowy) My former employer which is my somewhat current employer at the moment will never take me back in the capacity that was. I will only be working for them as a field person. Right now I work for them on a very part time basis on a temporary job as a construction monitor. The work itself is very boring. But the crew is very nice and fun and I can’t argue with the view. I have a view of the pacific ocean and the Monterey Bay.

The plan is, for now anyway, is that I will work for whom ever in the field doing surveys and excavations till the weather puts a stop to it. So I should be somewhat employed till say... November-ish. But I don’t have a plan for after that. What do I do then? I have to make money somehow.

But that is just it. I feel like I have to make money. I have to because I need to support myself. No one else can, nor should they. I know that I cannot work in a cube. I think it would slowly suck the soul right out of me. I also know that I can’t just sit on my ass and wait for “it” to drop into my lap.

So, do I go back to school... again? Take some classes that interest me? Apply to Home Depot? I don’t know. My father asked once a while back as a conversation starter at a small gathering of friends what our favorite job was. And I think my answer surprised everyone... who actually know me. It wasn’t archaeology. It was the stock room at Borders Book Store. I started out at Borders as a barista in their cafe. Then I became manager of the cafe, a supervisor. I worked at the info desks, cash registers, helped customers find books, opened the store, closed the store, etc. But when I got accepted to field school, and then grad school, I couldn’t be a supervisor anymore because I couldn’t work certain days and enough hours. So I transferred to stock. I unloaded pallets of books and stocked the shelves in the wee hours of the morning. I loved it. I got to organize stuff. I didn’t have to deal with people who would say, “I’m looking for that book, you know the one with the green cover? It was on that show.” Or “this doesn’t taste like Starbucks, why doesn’t it taste like Starbucks? Make it taste like Starbucks!” Seriously, if you love crappy Starbucks that much... then go to Starbucks!! Does it say Starbucks anywhere in here? I always wanted to say that to people. I did tell someone once who was really rude about the drink I made him. I told him that Starbucks was just at the end of the shopping center and that he should go there, I’m not Starbucks. Anyway, I got off subject. I liked making coffee and espressos, and I liked stocking shelves. There was some stress to the job, in that we had to get the pallets of books out on the shelves as fast as possible because the next pallet was always coming, but it was a manageable stress. The actually organizing and stocking was calming to me. I know, I’m strange.

I think this is why I’ve given thought to opening a new and used book store. But I want someone else to do that part. I want to stock it’s shelves and run the little cafe inside, not worry about the money or the crazy people that will inevitably come in, or the furious community group that doesn’t like the color of our store front.

I remember being told, do what you’re good at. But just because I am good at certain things, doesn’t mean I enjoy them.

So I will stand here at my crossroad for a while longer and continue to scratch my head and study my map. I feel the fear, only the fear is that I don't know or may never know what job will make me happy or at least happy to go to work most days.