Where am I now?

As you can see, this blog hasn't gotten any love in many years... But you can now find me on my site jessicatravels.com.

26 October 2005

My Squiggly Line

This past Sunday I spent a few hours at my alma mater for a department alumni event. They started holding these things several years ago, but I didn't go until last year. They're quite clever, actually, as the current crop of seniors comes and mingles with the alumni to discuss "life after college." I wish they'd held events like that when I was a senior.

I mean, back then I still had my whole life ahead of me. I hadn't made any job mistakes at that point - I still thought I might have something one might call a "career." Today, however...

But I digress. This year, the faculty had the brilliant idea of having the alumni create a timeline of what they've done since leaving college. Most of the alums were recent graduates, so they had a whopping year (or, in some cases, five months) in that so-called "real world." Unlike last year, however, I wasn't the oldest alum there - there were two gals who graduated five years before me.

Still, the post-college timeline felt like an exercise in torture.

I wrote out all the years since I graduated down one side of the butcher paper, and then just stared at a giant blank sheet upon which I was supposed to chart the past decade. I mean, how do you do that? The instructions said that if there were any years during which one was "drifting" to indicate that with a squiggly line. So what was my first move? A giant squiggly line from graduation day until the present - and beyond.

Sure, I've kept busy since graduation, but my life hasn't exactly been on any kind of track. I used to think I should want more, that I should want to do more. When I was in high school, everyone took typing classes and my mother specifically said, "No daughter of mine is going to be a secretary!" so I didn't have to take the class. And what have I done since graduating? Administrative work. For many years I was almost ashamed of that, again thinking that I should want more for myself - hell, my mother always did.

More recently, I had come to think that it doesn't matter what I do for a living - I'm happy. I like my job, I like my hobbies, I like my life. So why was that butcher paper so depressing? Because I'm looking at a job hunt coming down the pike in the next few months, and that brings up the question that apparently hasn't ever really gone away - what am I going to do with my life?

Still no answer.


Stephanie said...

Awww, sweetie, we're still young. Seriously! In terms of "doing something" with our lives, we have lots of time. There are people who don't figure out what they really want to do until their 50's or 60's, and then, when they do - watch out! They're amazing. Just don't read that damn parachute book. It made me cry.

Jessica said...

I'm with you on the parachute book. I got about halfway through it five years ago and felt worse than before I'd picked the damned thing up... And I know I've got time, I just feel like I keep wasting it... Pretty soon I won't have that time anymore.