A couple weeks ago, I posted about my plans to make some changes in my life this year. It's a given that change is hard, but I was a little surprised to discover that the biggest obstacle in my way is... me. (For some people, this might be a big "duh," but I'm learning here, give me a break!)
I've been frustrated professionally in almost every job I've had for the same reasons: no matter how good I am at it, I just don't get anywhere. I get stuck in the same box, without opportunity to move up or move around or be challenged. Never has this been more true than now. I've lost track of how many times I've sat at work and wanted to write a resignation letter right now. Thankfully, the pragmatic half of my brain, the half that pays the bills and is saving for a house down payment, has kicked in and short-circuited this urge!
So now I'm thinking not just of changing jobs but really of changing fields, and this I find scary. Very scary. Did you see it? The light next to the words "Fear of Failure" just lit up. When I look back at some of the decisions I've made in my life, I recognize that some of them were made out of fear of failure rather than desire for something better. Ok, so that probably wasn't wise. I am finding that I need to work on building faith in myself so I can be prepared to step out in that faith into something new and better. This quote is often attributed to Robert Schuller, and I find myself asking it often these days: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
Another obstacle was the fact that I was angry with myself over the current situation. Very angry. As in, I should have somehow known this job was going to be crummy and not ever taken it. I should have had more faith last spring and held out for a better offer. I should have . . . fill in the blank with one of a million other different choices I could have made since I was 14 years old that would have put me in a different place today. I'm struggling to forgive myself and focus on what is possible for me to do now so the future will be different.
Mixed in with all this is a tension with the idea that, as a Christian, I've been taught to be content in all situations. But what is contentment? Does that mean that I must passively accept whatever life hands me, even if I don't like it? Is creating change for myself a sin because it is the opposite of contentment? How do I balance the fact that when I took this job, I was sure it was the right thing with the fact that it didn't take very long before it was apparent that this job is absolutely not for me? Can contentment and change co-exist?
The questions are hard and the answers do not come easy. At the same time, I have a feeling of expectancy; I’m not exactly sure what is going to come next, or exactly how I’m going to get there, but somehow I feel better knowing that there is a “next” and that to some degree, I can influence what that will be. Mostly, this feeling leads me to a question, "God, what do you have planned for me? Oh, and it would be OK if you chose to fill me in sooner rather than later. I'm getting worn out trying to figure it out on my own."