I don’t usually post much about personal stuff, but I decided I would feel better if I typed this out. I have been going through a little bit of a difficult time recently, so I have done some soul searching. I think I have figured out what is wrong, I am in the middle of an identity crisis.
I have never been someone whose identity has been defined by his job. If I was, I wouldn’t be feeling this way. I have been in the same job for almost 20 years. It would be easy to place all of the blame for my problems on my job and frustrations with being stuck in the same place, but I know that is not the case. The problem is the change in who I am away from work.
When the kids were younger, I would leave work and spend my evenings with the kids either watching them ride their bikes or play on the swing set. Other parents would be out at the same time and I would spend time chatting with them. As the kids got older, I would leave work and spend a lot of time as coach. I would coach baseball in the spring and fall and basketball in the winter. Eventually, I started also spending time at the dance studio waiting for Jessica’s classes to end. When I wasn’t acting as dad or coach, I was spending time as Mr Alan, youth group volunteer.
Now that the kids are older, I don’t spend time chatting with other parents as we watch our kids play. I’m not spending time coaching youth sports. The way the schedule worked out this year I’m not even at the dance studio. My son is usually at work or his girlfriend’s house when I get home from work, not waiting in the driveway to play basketball. Add to this the fact that I am at a different church and no longer working with a church youth group and I have lost all of my non-work activities that identified me. I am still dad, but in a different way than before. I spend a lot more time alone than I am used to. I am Alan Simpson, librarian and then I am Alan Simpson, guy who watches TV while his kids do their own thing.
Considering I’ve never really identified with Alan Simpson, librarian and I only have a little while left before I am Alan Simpson, retired librarian and only 4 years left before both kids are out of high school I guess I need to find the new me.