Where am I?
On the two or three occasions I've cleaned out an office and walked out the door with one of those office boxes, I've always done so with an air of anticipation. When I turned off the light-switch in that office for the last time, there was a new job or a good promotion to look forward to; a new light-switch to turn on. This time when I flip that switch, someone has already turned on the light at the new place, and there's nothing to look forward to.
In the last week since I was informed I was being moved, at least a thousand thoughts have flown through my head. Things like:
Should I try to find a bank I can transfer to, closer to where I live?
Should I maybe look into other banks?
Or should I look at other professions?
Why did I bring our family to such a financial cliff that I now have to keep climbing instead of using this opportunity to broaden my horizons?
Is God punishing me?
And then there's the question from Adrienne......... no......... more like an observation. She said, "You being a banker doesn't fit the image I have of you." Adrienne, you aren't alone; it doesn't fit many people's. Thinking on that makes me ask, am I a banker? Do I fit that mold, that stereotype, that description? And if I'm not, what am I? To be honest, I don't know.
The statement I've heard a hundred times is, do what makes you happy. Really? You're going to feed me that crap? We no longer live in a culture where most people make career decisions based on what they're good at or what they enjoy. We live in a culture where most people can't afford to do the things that actually make them happy. Or rather there's a huge financial mountain they'd have to climb just to even entertain the ideas. And most people just can't muster the courage to get over that mountain. We live in a culture where most people work with only one goal in mind: to pay the bills. So we find ourselves having to earn a certain amount, and as such find a job that pays that amount. And those jobs aren't normally in the "makes me happy" category. (Normally.)
I sit here in that same bind. I sit with a stack of bills that I have to work to pay for. I am thankful that Ell and I have taken the necessary steps to provide an actual end to the madness, but for at least three more years that proverbial suffering continues.
And it leaves me sitting in an empty office wondering what my next career move is. I can't exactly just quit and focus on my garden or the two books I'm writing or hiking the Appalachian Trail; you know, the things that truly make me smile. None of those pay the bills we've amassed or get my lovely wife through school. (Which by the way, is her dream and does make her happy.) Sure, the book thing could make me some money, and the gardening thing would fill my pantry, and living on the AT would be cheaper than owning a home. But none of those are right in front of me now nor do they pay any of the bills due January 1st. And because of those bills, I'll be heading to the new job in a week just as I've been instructed.
I am blessed to have some friends who have taken risks to start their own businesses, or raise their families on one income, or pursue a more adventurous life. Each one of them inspire me and spur me on to my own greatness. So I know the dream is possible. But there are times I wish I didn't know them. There are times I wish I had no outside influence to show me that life can be fun and a job doesn't have to be a chore. Then I'd be happy in a job that didn't fit me and a life that was lived only to pay bills. But then I wouldn't see happiness, or worthwhile struggle, or fulfillment. So in the end I still thank God for these friends, but envy them at the same time.
I know there is something out there for me, and I know my God won't let me down. But right now I'm just so lost. I feel like I'm roaming with no goal or direction. The answer may very well be in the bank, or it may be something I haven't even thought of yet. Either way, I wish I could find it soon, because the trail isn't blazed very well from where I'm standing.