Here I am again, feeling like life has thrown a fork in the road, like someone is trying desperately to send me a sign. This has become a very familiar spot, yet I’ve always been too scared to go down the path less traveled. So I forge ahead with the familiar, a sense of dread engulfing me like a giant wave.
For the past few weeks I’ve been on medical leave from my job as I recover from my tissue expander surgery. I haven’t done anything particularly productive or exciting. Far from it. I’ve enjoyed a kind of peaceful solitude, spending hours in the comfort of my home, no children, no television, no stress. I’ve played in the dirt in my garden and spent long, self-indulgent afternoons having lunch or coffee with friends.
So why the sense of dread? At the end of the month, I return to my job, which I have honestly been trying to find a way out of for the past six years. At times like these, where I’ve gained the clarity only distance can bring, I swear that this is it. I will finally turn in my notice and set myself free. But I always go back and get sucked into the vortex, going through the motions, living for long weekends.
I know why this happens. I remind myself that I’m not independently wealthy…it would be too hard to cut back…I’m afraid we couldn’t make it without my income…and boy do I love those Disney trips! I am a prisoner of the lifestyle we’ve built. And a slave to an employer’s job market.
I wrote a lot early on in my breast cancer adventure about how I believe emotions can make us sick. Especially those of us who tend to bite our lip and suck it up. The anger that gets turned inward, the resentment that builds over years, the longing to find our authentic selves, all of that energy has the power to destroy us if it is never given a voice, if we never have the courage to face our fears.
I know I sound somewhat like a spoiled child complaining about having a well-paying job when so many are struggling, but I feel that a life without meaningful work can never be truly fulfilling. I want to find a calling, a passion, a career that stimulates me and feeds my mind. I just wish I knew what that was. I so envy my blogging friends who talk about their work with glowing enthusiasm.
One day I may find my niche, but for now, I think I just need a break to assimilate all that has happened, to “reboot” my system. I need space to play in the sunshine, to plant roses, to wander with my thoughts and find new adventures. I just need to be alive.
As my son would say, “First-world problems, Mom”.