There are times, sitting here in the home office, when I wonder what I am doing. I am sure this is still due to my fairly recent career transition, but it can be a bit disconcerting. The “what I do” has changed quite a bit over the last year. Instead of computer consulting, visiting clients, solving technology problems, I am writing, sharing, recording and trying to assemble a new career from a bunch of disparate parts. There are common themes holding it all together, of course as I wrote about back on January 15, 2014. Education is the overriding goal and focus, but the methods used to do this and the avenues used to share it are all over the place.
Still, this new me feels a lot more like the “real” me than any other I have experienced. I fell into computer support she I discovered I had an affinity for both technology and teaching 32 years when I had regular access to the Apple II’s in the college computer labs. I had no idea about these abilities because I didn’t have my own computer or even regular access to one. Even though I studied theater in college, once we moved to Los Angeles, technology jobs provided a much more lucrative career than any opportunities I had in the entertainment industry. Technology was certainly “good enough”, but there was always something in the back of my mind that waned something different. I wrote poetry, played music, volunteered for the National Forest Service and a host of other, non-technology-rekated things during my time as an IT person and computer consultant.
Leaving a lucrative career can be very, very difficult, though, The money, position, even if modest by Hollywood standards was certainly comfortable, even if the day-to-day aspects were causing me health problems. Still, it can take a long time — and usually a major life change — to finally cause you to make the change you want and need. This was the case with me, of course. Life caught up with me and finally pushed me hard enough to make the change I needed.
Life is still challenging, of course. Work, of some sort, is now a constant in my life. Vacations are a bit more difficult, but I still have a decent amount of flexibility in my schedule that allows me time for my wife and son — probably much more than other Dads and Husbands get, so like everything in life, there are pros and cons. I am having to spend more time “selling” myself — as a writer, a speaker, a new media/podcast and career consultant, but I feel like it is more in line with what I want to do, rather than what I need to do. Every action I take has a direct effect on my life and career and I enjoy that. It is so rare to get that feeling in regular jobs, so that needs to be taken as an advantage in itself.
Another, more difficult role for me, is asking for the help I need more often. I have been a bit of a lone wolf over the last 3 decades, of often the tech geek of last resort for intractable problems, but I didn’t always enjoy that role. I am warming to my vulnerability, my openness and feeling a bit more comfortable in my skin. Unfortunately for some, this means I am a little less tolerant and a little less patient than I might have been in the past. After years of “sucking it up” when things got tough or went wrong, I am more likely to say what I feel, even if it might not be that popular with those that hear it. I still try desperately not to be rude or obnoxious, but sometimes I feel I have been way too accommodating throughout my life, over-worrying about offending others so much I often shortchanged myself, my wants and my needs. I feeling that I need to stand up for myself a bit more and let others clearly know when they have overstepped their bounds in our relationships.
Those who know I will turn 50 in a few weeks probably think this is just my version of a mid-life crisis, and I would be lying to say that time isn’t weighing on my mind a bit. Time gone by means there is less time ahead. There is no escaping that fact of life. I don’t expect to pop-off tomorrow, but my sense of time is certainly more focused than when I was in my 20’s. There is so much I want to do, to accomplish and to share in the next few decades, so it is imperative I work to make them happen and remove as many obstacles as possible to allow them to happen.
It is a new me — much like the old me, but perhaps a bit older, a bit wiser, a bit more circumspect about how I spend my time and energy. That said, I still feel I am at my best when I am helping others and I believe that will always be a constant in my life, no matter what. It is touchstone I often call upon during each day, especially when things get a bit difficult. So I would guess you will my work and life directed in that area no matter what methods, events, writing, podcasts, whatever I use to accomplish it.
Previously on End of the Day:
- Haunting the sales racks — End of the Day for January 20, 2014
- Sometimes you have to just keep swimming – End of the Day for January 19, 2014
- Anxiety – End of the Day for January 18, 2014
- Changes in the office – End of the Day for January 17, 2014
- Old and new in my world – End of the Day for January 16, 2014
- It’s an education thing – End of the Day for January 15, 2014
- The subcultures of Los Angeles — End of the Day for January 14, 2014
- What is this outdoors of which you speak? — End of the Day for January 13, 2014
- Ups and downs – End of the Day for January 12, 2014
- Lack of motivation and new food in the New Year – End of the Day for January 11, 2014
- Changes you must simply accept – End of the Day for January 10, 2014
- Speaking, Cooking and Teaching — End of the Day for January 9, 2014
- The Kids are Alright – End of the day for January 8, 2014
- Technology, high-tech, high-touch and balance – End of the Day for January 7, 2014
- An afternoon in Middle Earth and diving back into the school and work year — End of the Day for January 6, 2014
- In the neighborhood — End of the Day for January 5, 2014
- Having friends over for dinner – End of the Day for January 4, 2014`
- The theater is about more than just theater — End of the Day for January 3, 2014
- Trying everything and anything – End of the Day for January 2, 2014
- End of the Day for January 1, 2014