A post came up in my memories today where I talked about how to define myself now that my role as a dad has changed. I wrote that post when my son was heading to college and my daughter was starting high school. A lot has happened over those four years.
My son has now graduated from college and is starting his first real job this week.
My daughter leaves for her second year of college on Friday.
I accepted a new position at my place of work and moved to a new branch.
My mom died(and thus my role as son has ended)
That’s a lot in four years. The job and mom thing were just a month or so apart.
I still struggle with the thought of what defines me. I’m still dad, but I go weeks without seeing my kids. I go to work, I go home, I read or watch TV and then I start all over again. I still don’t want to be a person who is defined by my job, especially since I’m not sure anyone respects my job or my ability to do it. Also, I will no longer be doing this job in six years or so. I don’t want to be that person who struggles with retirement because my life has been defined by the work I do. So, the question is where do I go from here?
I’m not sure I can answer that. After all, the original post is from four years ago. I’ve had four years to consider this and I’ve done nothing. Maybe the “defining” thing is the problem. Do I really need to worry about that? Maybe it’s time t just think about doing more fun things after work. I already plan to see a movie on my Fridays off at least once a month for the next couple of months. I need to go ahead and buy that ticket to the concert in DC next month even though my wife won’t go with me. I need to get out and go to DC, Baltimore, and Annapolis. I need to take day trips to other places further away. There’s no reason to wait for retirement to start doing these things.
I guess it’s time to stop worrying about how present me is defined and start working on becoming the future, man of leisure, me.
If you have followed this blog(or my personal Facebook page) you will know that I have long contemplated my future career-wise. I have applied for promotions where I currently work. I have been turned down for promotions where I currently work. I think we are close to 20 times now that I have been turned down for a new job with my current employer. I have applied for multiple jobs at other organizations. I have been offered one job. You can read here about my decision to turn down the job offer. In that post, I talked about upcoming opportunities for change. Those opportunities did not pan out and now I am back to where I was before, contemplating my future.
There is a job opening right now that seems to be a good fit for me. It is a change, but not a major change. I would be doing a job similar to what I’m doing now. The commute would be manageable. It would not mess up my long term plans(I don’t think). It would rest my vacation, but I could deal with that. I’m still hesitating, though, before completing the application. Why? Various reasons. Various questions. Is 50 too old to make a major change like this? Do I really want to start all over at a new place? Do I want to give up the vacation I’ve accrued and start over? And the big one – Am I good enough?
Maybe the reason I’ve been turned down for so many jobs where I work is that they know me and know that I’m not good enough. Maybe I’ve been fooling myself all these years and I’m not actually good at what I do. Maybe they see all of my faults and they all add up to someone who would not succeed at these jobs. Maybe I’m better off staying where I am. What if I go somewhere else and they realize all of this and then I end up with no job? Maybe I should have stayed in my old position where I was basically invisible and it was less likely people would realize all of this. Maybe it’s time to admit to myself that it’s not them, it’s me and I should stop wasting my time.
I should approach the job thing like high school me approached dating. You can avoid all the inevitable rejection by not trying at all.
The lyrics below are some of my favorites from a song from one of my favorite bands, Patent Pending. I’ve also included a video of the song if you want to listen. I love the lyrics and I wish I could live them a little more. I feel like life would be a lot easier if I could care a little less. If I could stop worrying about what others think and just be the me I want to be. Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent so much time trying to be who others want me to be that I’ve forgotten who I am. As the band says – what’s the point of stressing out about what everyone thinks? All this stressing out and caring about how others see me has not really done anything for me. Why do I keep doing it? Why do I care if people don’t like me? It’s their loss, not mine. It’s time to stop worrying, stop trying to be who others want me to be and just be Tater. If that isn’t good enough for someone then I don’t need them in my life. So, enough melodrama – click on the video and enjoy the song.
I still remember when I cared what people thought about me
They mocked my music and my hair like I was some kind of freak
I was awkward, paranoid, so scared that I’d barely speak
Until I said “Fuck it, they can suck it! It’s more fun being me!”
Yeah, I know who I am
I do what I want ’cause I know that I can
So what’s the point of stressing out about what everyone thinks?
It doesn’t matter at all ’cause they’ve got nothing on me
They sit at home and bitch and moan ’cause they’re all too scared to live
They can throw their sticks and their stones but I ain’t got no fucks left to give