Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lacking direction, aka story of my life

Siberian iris

I was never firm about prospective careers as a child. I don't think I ever announced I was going to be a ballerina or a fireman. (The latter is a more likely candidate, given I never took ballet lessons and I was a wannabe 'tomboy' for a while). I briefly thought I'd like to be involved in web design. The closest I ever got to having a definite ambition was a longlived desire to be a writer that began in elementary school and continued in some fashion over the years until stark reality hit a few years back.

To be fair, I've been good at denying stark reality so far, but in this last year of university it has been more persistent. What am I going to do with my life? Who knows. When am I going to get proactive and find a real job? July, hopefully. At least a fake-real job if I can't get a real one. Right.

I have too many cursory interests and I know too little about each. I'm not perfect at anything, and I am reluctant to put myself out there unless perfect, as irrational and impossible as that may be.

When I say I lack direction, what I really mean is I have the wrong kind of direction. Perhaps it's not exactly "wrong," but it's not self-starting ambition. My direction at the moment is England. My most important goal for the near future is having some way of legally living in England for the longterm. This is an important part of my life at the moment, so all my plans for the future attempt to factor this in. Unfortunately, I seem very willing to ignore the other things, probably to their detriment.

My most legitimate way to England would be to do more university. I am seriously considering this, on one hand. It would be crazy of me to stop now and hope to fall into a stimulating career. Maybe it wouldn't be crazy, but I can't think of anything I'd be willing to do that people would willingly hire me for with my current qualifications and lack of experience in anything meaningful. Not saying I'm bitter, just saying I need to do something more specific. What is holding me back is the cost. If I had an extra $20 000 plus, I would not want to use it to go to school. Actually, at this point I would, but I would be internally kicking myself. What would I use the money for? I don't know. School is probably a better idea than drugs. (A joke. That was a joke. I don't do drugs. Ahem.) But I don't have the money, I don't have any immediate job prospects, and getting funding for a UK degree is almost out of the question. Well, damn. Every time I do any research about this I get discouraged and talk myself out of it, but it remains the best option.

The other option is do a long working-holiday / youth mobility whatever whatever. This would get me into England legally for a year or two, but I would more than likely be waitressing or working at Sainsbury's if I managed to find work at all. Given my extreme lack of success in that so far, I don't want to pit my future against my shitty inability to find a job. And, after all that is finished, what do I have? The satisfaction of having worked at a shit job for a while, but no further qualifications or prospects. I'm pretty sure I want to get some further training, and I'm also pretty sure I don't want to put it off for two or three years.

What I know for certain is I'm going to England next week, staying for two weeks, and I'm looking for a job again when I get back. I'm planning to work for the next year or so - but that seems like an awfully long time, and I don't look forward to more 6 months periods of absence. I keep thinking my life would have been so much easier if I'd been able to graduate this June - I could have done a working holiday starting this summer and then gone from there. Alas, I have courses to complete. I can take off for two weeks, but being gone for the whole time and beyond would not be advisable. Regrets don't help, and there's not much I could have done in my circumstances. (There's really a lot I could have done if I'd had my act together from day 1, but as the previous paragraphs show, I've pretty much never had my act together when it comes to planning for the future. So never mind that.)

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