Its been strange to talk about my life the past month and a half. When people ask what I’ve been up to, I have to answer in all honesty “work.”
It sounds so sad, but when I look back at my calendar and what I’ve been doing, that really is a significant part of the pie chart. And the bulk of what my brain can remember.
At the end of December, I took a new role under my existing management at work, and I’ve been trying to figure out what that means in terms of job responsibilities, deliverables, and what I’m supposed to be spending my time on ever since. It’s been interesting and a great learning experience. But I don’t think I would ever do this again.
This is not to say I don’t like the new role or anything like that. This is to say that transitions kind of suck.
I realize that this is not a singularly unique experience. There are many statistics about how Millennials will go through multiple careers before they settle into their life path of employment. I don’t even know if we can call them careers anymore, to be truly honest, or if you just need to expand the definition of career to include a more “liberal arts” approach of jobs held in an order of increasing difficulty and knowledge gain.
Regardless, this means a lot of transitions and a strong impetus to get a lot better at it. If every time I try something different, I lose 6 to 8 weeks of my life, I’m not sure this is going to work. Fundamentally, I need to change my approach, because it hasn’t been working.
At the beginning of the year, I gave myself permission to stop writing here weekly, to stop taking pictures daily, and to free myself of all the commitments to produce things outside of my job.
And I think that was a mistake.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still cooking, although that’s more so I don’t starve to death, and there is occasional knitting to keep my sanity in check. But I find myself unmoored without a regular habit of production to compliment all of the reading and consumption I still do.
I find myself frustrated, malcontent, and unable to shake this urge that things just aren’t right. I am not in the right place doing the right things, and it’s not just my professional life while I switch roles.
Now that I’ve had a couple weeks to think about it, I know that what I’ve been missing is the creation. Without these separate outlets to make things, just for me, because they’re beautiful, for some reason other than a boss or a boss’s boss wanted something done, I’ve lost a lot of the control I’ve had over my own time and life.
This is not a groundbreaking epiphany. I knew not to cut out too much of my gym time, but I hadn’t realized how important being a productive and creative person has been to my mental sanity. So I guess this is all to say: I think I’m back; I think I need to be; and, yeah, I’m incredibly slow at learning.
But hopefully this lesson is something that I can take with me, because I am very much a Millennial and there is already a tentative end date for the role I took, and that maybe it will help you too.
In times of stress and transition, do NOT give up the things that make you happy even if they take time you don’t necessarily have, because you’re friends appreciate you not being a grouchy and irritable jerkface.