Settling vs. Accepting Your Fate… What’s The Difference?Posted: May 26, 2013
I’ve been feeling really burnt out at work lately. I usually know it’s time for a vacation when I start to spend a large percentage of my day wishing I could punch someone in the face, and I passed that point weeks ago.
Last Monday I hit a wall and reached my threshold of bullshit tolerance, so on Tuesday morning I went in and told my boss that I was going to take vacation the following week. He agreed that it was a good idea and made a joke about how I must be sick of being around him, which I interpreted to mean that he’s happy I’ll be gone because he’s sick of being around me.
In addition to being burnt out at work, I’ve been spending a lot of time stressing out about my future; I just hit the 5 year mark at my job, which kicked off (yet another) wave of anxiety about what I’m going to do with my life. Conventional Gen Y wisdom suggests that if you don’t switch jobs every few years your career will get stagnant. Considering that I have no idea where to go next, I feel like every day I stay where I am is one day closer to my imminent doom.
I decided to go somewhere peaceful and do some soul searching, so I bought a plane ticket to Vegas. Before you tell me that Vegas is not peaceful I will clarify that I don’t go to Vegas to party, I go to Vegas to hang out at the pool. And no, it doesn’t make more sense to just go somewhere tropical because I prefer to do my sunbathing in the desert where there’s no humidity, or bugs, or anything else even remotely alive. I also like that I’m completely out of my element in Vegas; I usually opt for vacations that don’t require me to wash my hair, and in Vegas the girls wear eyeliner and heels to go to the pool. I find that the best way to gain perspective on your life is to immerse yourself in something that in no way resembles your life.
So here’s what I’ve been chewing on while drinking Mojitos by the pool; do I really need to leave my job? I’ve never seriously considered staying at my company because it’s just not the type of place I see myself at. I’ve always assumed that at some point I’d figure out what to do with my life and go in a different direction, but maybe the direction I’m going in isn’t so bad. My job is cushy, I do interesting work, and I know I have room for growth because my boss openly tells me that he’s grooming me for his job. And it’s not like I have something else in mind that I’m not pursuing… maybe I need to start coming to terms with the fact that I might never leave.
So, the question is… does doing something you never saw yourself doing count as settling?
I don’t know. But it didn’t in my personal life. My boyfriend of 3 years and I broke up and got back together at least 4 times before it stuck. During one of those breakups I told him that he wasn’t the kind of guy I saw myself with and there was a 0% chance of us ever having a long-term relationship. He told me that I was wrong, and that I’d eventually realize how awesome he is and feel stupid for ever doubting him. He’s going to be pissed that I told you that, so I will remind him that he was right. And I was wrong. And that I feel incredibly lucky to have him. I was wrong. I was wrong. I was wrong. (Saying that repeatedly usually gets me out of trouble.)
So maybe the same principle holds true in my career. And maybe not. But I think I need to at least start considering that it might.
This is both comforting and terrifying.