I’ve struggled with the direction of my entire life. I spent some time in the military and decided to do the full 20 and retire. Then I allowed others’ opinions to become my own and got out after eight years. I’ve had no issues staying at jobs for years at a time, but a lot of that is due to apathy and fear.
I didn’t know about entrepreneurship when I was growing up; most of my family, friends, and acquaintances worked the standard 9-5 jobs. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that path. Millions of people do it and make good lives for themselves and are quite happy. A couple of people I knew wanted to break out and do something on their own, and they struggled. A lot. People also talked about their struggles and not in a supportive way. “Why don’t they just get a “real” job” is something I remember hearing. Here’s how my understanding of life was for many, many years:
- Graduate High School
- Go to college to be whatever you said you wanted to be when family asked you when you were 6
- Graduate college
- Find “typical 9-5” job in whatever your degree was in
- Do that for the next 40-50 years while getting married, having kids, etc
- Retire, buy a timeshare, get old, become a grandparent and die
I did Step 1. When I was a kid, I told everyone that I wanted to be a doctor because most of my relatives worked in healthcare. I had no idea what a doctor did except when I went to see the doctor. After getting out of the military, I worked in the medical field until I grew tired of seeing people at their worst moments. I started working in IT because I like computers, and dealing with technology was always pretty easy for me, and that’s where the money was. Since I didn’t have a college degree, I thought I’d never make “good” money, but I also had no idea what constituted good money. But I do make enough now that I feel trapped by my possessions, I live in a house that’s too big for me, I have more vehicles than is needed for one person and more stuff than I can use, but I find it so challenging to try and get rid of any of it. It’s becoming a real problem if I’m being honest with myself.
I don’t know what to do or how to fix things. I feel stuck, and then when I try to do something to move the needle in a different direction, I inevitably self sabotage those efforts or end up thinking that I’d fail anyway, so why even bother. I am working on identifying those feelings when they happen and then doing my best to redirect those negative thoughts and emotions. If I never try anything, I can never fail, but what kind of life is that to live? Not one I want to live. This blog has been beneficial in that regard. I’m writing more than I’ve ever done in the past. I’m not allowing myself to get into “analysis paralysis” by overthinking any of these posts. I write them out, do a bit of editing and then schedule them to post. It’s also helped me to realize and accept that my writing sucks. It’s not that it won’t get better, but right now, I’m ok with it sucking! Things will get better and more familiar the more I do them. I’m not actively looking for an audience for my writing; I’m just trying to get into the habit of writing and get better at it.
Who knows, maybe writing could be an income stream for me!