If you ask me, age is just a number and the coming and going of another birthday doesn't usually make me feel older. I felt a little weird when I got to 25, but I countered it with a kiddie-style bowling party.
No, it's not my birthday, but it is one of those times that DOES manage to remind me that I'm getting older, and that's the anniversary of the day I started working for the company I'm with now, the fourth anniversary to be exact. Ok, so why is that a big deal? As Shazzie pointed out to me yesterday, it's like I've been working for the company as long as I was in school. And because I worked for another company for about eight months before that, it just means that college is becoming even more of a distant memory.
Not that I'm complaining. Maybe two years ago I would have been super-depressed to think that college was getting further in my past, but I'm at a place now where I feel happier with my life than I know I did five years ago. I've gotten used to not having summers or holidays. Plus I feel like I've accomplished a few things in the time since graduation, and I wouldn't trade those accomplishments for the world.
I know I sometimes complain here about how crazy my job makes me, and it very much does make me crazy. It's the kind of job that you either absolutely love or absolutely hate. It's hard, it's emotional, it's high-pressure and there are plenty of days that I think I can't handle that for another second. But I appreciate what those days have made me become. It can also be tremendously rewarding.
Still, I can't help but wonder what's next. My profession is one that is seriously suffering thanks to the current climate of the economy. Many friends have lost their jobs. A few more can't find one to begin with. Every day I hear something about the profession that depresses me, and I don't know how much more of that I can take. I'm grateful to have a job and especially grateful to have one in my chosen profession, but wonder if I can shoulder the burdens as my industry changes and shrinks. And will my job be here six months from now.
The thing about me and my career (and really my life) is, I've never been a super-ambitious person when it comes to furthering it. I like to let things happen and see where they take me. I'd say I'm nowhere near where I thought I'd be four years ago, except I never thought four years ago much about where I'd be now. I don't have my eye on some sort of dream job within the profession that I'm gunning for -- I just want to be doing something that makes me happy.
I'm happy at the moment, but I don't foresee myself doing this job for the rest of my life. I just don't think our generation is going to be able to (or want to) stick with jobs for the long run like our grandparents may have. Not to mention, there's a high burnout rate when it comes to doing what I do, and I have little doubt I'm going to succumb to it eventually. I've sort of stumbled backwards into my last two job changes and am grateful that I did. For the past year, I figured my next step would be to follow the Modern Ex if he decided to go somewhere else, but with him out of the picture I feel like the story of my career is sort of open-ended for the first time in a while.
And I can't wait to see where that takes me.