I’m still struggling with that the hell to do with my life, in terms of my job and my return to work. I’ve now taken 9 working days off of work (about two weeks), and that means I basically have one month left, minimum, before I need to make my next move. Or non-move.

Originally, Boyfriend would not let me think about work until “Wednesday”. I was too emotional, and broke down in a panic whenever I thought about it. Literally, of course. My thoughts were so scrambled, and everything was a mess in my head. I couldn’t form a cohesive thought process in that state, let alone make any decisions about anything.

I mean, I cried because I spilled a cup of juice.

I’d randomly bring up one aspect of one issue I had, without giving him (or even myself) any context, and proceed to stress out and have a panic attack. He’d hold me while I cried, and after I calmed down, I would try to explain what I was getting at. He stopped me every time, and told me it was too early to try and make decisions. He told me that I wasn’t allowed to think about things yet, but, “you can start thinking about work on Wednesday.”

Well, that Wednesday was Wednesday of last week. So … Nine days ago.

I have thought a little bit about work, come up with some very minimalist plans (so trendy), but I haven’t really decided what, ultimately, I want to do. What I should do.

I’m trying really hard to make sure I am striking a healthy balance between my wants and needs. It is difficult.

What do I want? Well, I would love to travel, sleep in, go for massages, talk to my therapist every day, read. Have some wine.

Balance is key.

Dammit. I also need to make money.

Can this blog please take off, morph into a travel blog, and make me an above-average wage, please?

I like my job. I do. But has taking a 6-week stress leave destroyed any chance of discretional advancement? Will my employers never trust me again with anything important, or will they assume I am a flight risk? Will they assume I can’t handle things? Will I prove them right, and panic and panic and panic? Or can I re-frame my thinking? Will it even work?

And if I can reshape the way I think and react….. Do they deserve me? Do I want to work there? After what I’ve endured, the way I feel that my values are not aligned with theirs, and the fact that I am not particularly passionate about the industry I actually work in….  Should I move on? Should I treat my feelings of rejection as a good reason for redirection?

As a result, I have a few choices, which I’ve been mulling over for the past week or so:

  1. I could return to my current position, and try to move forward in a healthy way. No guarantees.
  2. I could quit, and take a lesser position elsewhere. Easily. But be paid far less and be far less engaged. That will also hurt my pride.
  3. I could return, but continue to job-hunt, and when something amazing lands on my lap, I could reevaluate things then.

When I couldn’t immediately decide, I briefly considered a career change. Maybe I could go back to school? Do something I am passionate about, start from scratch. My mom did it at around my age; she went back to school and cultivated a career. I took an online test to see what jobs might be best suited for me. One of those personality/career evaluations – don’t worry, it wasn’t on BuzzFeed. I am strongly Introvert, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging (which I am not surprised by in the least). I also think it’s important to note that Mother Theresa was also ISFJ (but let’s not focus on the fact that Kanye West is, as well…).  Anyway. The job I currently have was already a suggested career. I the test took at least 15 minutes, which I realized was all of the time I felt like investing in new avenues.

Because you know what? I’m good at my job. I’m really good at it. I enjoy it, aside from all that political bullshit. And I’ve carved my position out where I am, now, which is hard to do in my profession. I cannot find something that is exactly equal to what I am doing right now. There are clear plateaus in my field, generally speaking, and I’ve already experienced hitting one. I don’t want to go back to that. The place I’m at is, as much as I hate to admit it, a good one.

And so far, the truth is, I have looked into other positions out there, but there isn’t much to choose from. My outlook, as it stands, is bleak. I could become employed easily, but I would take a pay cut (a sizeable one). I’ve applied for one great job that I am technically under-qualified for, but I have an ‘in’ and could be a contender. But I really can’t bank on it. And if they do offer me the position (by some stroke of pure magic), I still do not know whether or not I should accept it.

If I give up my job right now, I could be turning my back on a lot of things. A great career. Promotions. Bonuses. Pride in what I do. I’d be giving up the feeling of helping people (which is a big thing for me. I do help change people’s lives in a pretty big way). No, the industry isn’t my thing, but there are aspects of it that I play a big role in that are important. I can’t be sure that I can duplicate the good things I have going.

And the big kicker is that they already know me, which can be a good thing. I do have a major support system there. People I call family. Best friends, even.

I just don’t know what to do. Maybe this is all an indication that I am not ready to figure things out, and that I should continue to use my time to figure myself out a little more.

Maybe I will think about it next Wednesday.

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