(City and Colour)
A brand new year. The year we get married. In some ways, this break the past few weeks was exactly what I needed. I feel like it gave me some much needed clarity. I feel like it also made me realize that I really need to take a step back and re-evaluate some things. 2009 was a year in rewind. I feel like I spent a good portion of the year just trying to keep my head above water and figure out the next step. 2010 was the polar opposite. A year in fast-forward. A year of so many good things but mostly too much of everything. It went by in a blink.
So 2011. I just want to press play. I don't want to rush, I don't want to be over committed, over programmed. I want to sleep in on Sundays, I want to practice yoga, I want to take photography classes, I want to learn to be a better cook. I want to do all this on top of getting married (and planning the wedding) and finishing my last semester and graduating and finding a new job. I want to keep blogging. But most of all, I want to find that balance between pushing myself and feeling guilty and being tired all the time and regressing. I want to give myself the space to grow.
Lately, I've been feeling defensive. I feel like I have to justify my decisions a lot. Not because anyone is attacking me, but because I have so many wonderful friends, that I'm ridiculously proud of and that I feel incredibly lucky to know, but who live lives that I never could. I keep saying that I'm just not that ambitious when it comes to my career because I don't have these big goals that everyone else seems to and I keep justifying or apologizing for it. The truth is that there are things that I would love to do. I would love to work for the National Archives. I would love to work for a special collections. I would love to be the head of Collection Development somewhere.
The truth is that I am really scared of not being able to find something full-time and in my field and also worthwhile anywhere. The truth is that I think that with the economy the way it is and the field of librarianship the way it is right now, that I will be lucky to land wherever I land. And so I don't want to get too married to the idea of doing any one thing in any one place because my chances of being disappointed are pretty high. The truth is that I could make every sacrifice that I'm supposed to make and do everything right and still not get that dream job.
And the truth is that the dream job is just not that important to me. I love what I do everyday. I feel like it's important and worthwhile and I like that there is tangible evidence that what I do makes a difference. I feel appreciated... and the thing is, I know that I'm good at what I do. I know that I am smart and I am capable and I am confident that if I work hard it will pay off in the end. There are things that I would like to do a little bit more than others, but at the end of the day, as long as I'm not working circulation at a public library- I'll be ok.
The truth is also that I value my personal life more than my work life. And I worry that by simply stating this it comes off as a criticism of someone elses' choices. (This is also something that is seriously stressing me out in regards to my wedding- that in justifying my own choices I sound like I am criticizing someone else's.) I'm not. I'm truly not judging or criticizing anyone for their choice on where to live or what to do or how many hours to work. I just know what does and doesn't make ME happy. And I'm a firm believer in people doing whatever they have to do to make themselves happy.
I keep saying this phrase over and over again. "I'm just not that ambitious." And the more I say it, the more I hate myself for saying it. I am ambitious in the sense that I know what I want and I'm willing to make the sacrifices that I need to make to get there. I want a job that I enjoy, that I feel helps someone, that doesn't make me want to kill something at the end of every day, and that allows me the freedom to have the personal life that I want. I want to have the best personal relationships possible. And I want to be happy with myself.
There are people I know that can do it all. There are people that can work 60 hours a week and go to the gym and have wonderful relationships and that are fantastic friends. And the truth, friends, is that I am not one of them. In order to function and have any shred of patience and not completely stress myself out to the point of daily panic attacks, I need tons of support and tons of time and the least amount of stress possible.
So this year, the year of so many life changes, I am doing just that. I finally feel like I am recognizing how far I have come and how much further I have to go. And instead of feeling panicked over the change, the uncertainty... I am trying to see it as an opportunity to grow a little stronger.