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What Have I Done?

That question haunts me every few days. What have I done?


In November, my then-boss asked me what would make me happy. I thought on it for a while, and the answer was clear as a bell: not doing this job would make me happy.


I started in marketing almost accidentally, but it was creative and I was oddly very good at it, so I stayed. While at a big media company, the money was great, but I burned out, got laid off, and had some down time. I don't know that I used it all that wisely, because I did little to no self-reflection and just went back into the same industry, albeit in the non-profit, arts marketing sector.


The money wasn't great, but my boss was, and he made it fun. Because of some situations beyond any of our control, he was the first of FIVE bosses for me there, so I left for another arts marketing opportunity. And after three years there, I was asked the $1,000,000.00 question - what will make you happy?


The job of a Director of Marketing has become very data driven. I respect that, and I like looking through data, and making sense of trends. But in my last position I was buried beneath a pile of spreadsheets; so much so that 99% of my job was math. I was a journalism major on purpose! I don't care for math. I like the creative.


So I left, with a good amount of time to transition and make things as easy as possible for the team I loved and my colleagues around the building.


At first it was fun, because technically I was on vacation, and we had the holidays, and everyone else was off work as well. Now that we are solidly into the new year, everyone is back at work.


Everyone except for me.


When someone asks me what I'm doing, I tell them I am taking a break from my career. When they ask what's next, I tell them the truth: I don't know. Because I really don't. I would like to go back to work eventually, but I've been overworked my entire adult life. I need the break. I'd like to write a book. I'd like to explore completely different careers, like professional organization. I LOVE ORGANIZING THINGS.


So it's wide open. Do I panic and think I'll never have a job again? Sometimes, but the idea that I'll never work again is pretty absurd. Do I panic about finances? Sometimes, but thanks to a relative I have a bit of cushion. Do I panic that for the first time in my entire life I have absolutely no plan? Sometimes, but I'm trying to sit in the uncomfortable parts and learn to deal with them, and so that's the plan for having no plan.


In the meantime, I'm working here and there, I'm volunteering a lot, and I'm writing more. Even if no one ever sees it, it's still writing.


Eventually, the path forward will be made clear.

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