As I mentioned before, things are in flux. Today is my last day at my present job and, although I didn't think it would be this way, it's bittersweet. Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly excited for the new job. I get a lot of freedom, a new perspective, huge responsibility, and, actually, a whole new city to explore. All those are things are very sweet.
But at the same time, there's a bit of bitterness. I'm going to miss a lot of my coworkers and even my bosses. When I announced I was leaving, I received emails from coworkers in other offices with phrases such as, "Say it ain't so!" or "I'm happy for you, but I'm still so sad." And there were people in my office that just showed up at my office door with sad looks on their faces and say, "I thought you were going to be here forever" or "I'm happy for you, but I'm very sad to see you go." And then there's the people I worked for who I not only look up to, but genuinely enjoyed working with, the people who's experience I know I will benefit from and carry with me for the rest of my career. That's the bitter.
But all of it makes me think about a story about my father. Strange, but true. There's one thing I have to qualify about my father. He is perhaps the most giving person that I know (I know I've said that someone else is an incredible giver, but as much as she is, my father tops her out...but not by much). My father's made his entire life about giving. He gives everything he has to his family, he constantly helps people in need, and he even picked a job that is about giving and encouraging others to give to the less fortunate. Simply, I'm lucky enough to say in all honesty that my father has a heart of gold. Yeah, he's a pretty cool guy.
One day, when I was thirteen or so, he was driving me somewhere and I asked him, "Dad, why did you decide to do the job you do?" He said, "Well, because there are a lot of people in need and it makes me feel good to know that I'm helping them." I said, "Well, yeah...but if you worked somewhere where you were paid more, you could help people by donating your own money. So I don't get it, why did you decide to do the job you do?" He said, "When you get older, you're going to have a lot of opportunities [I don't know that this is true, but hey, it is my dad], and some of them will pay you financially and some won't. But what you should do if find something you love, something that you genuinely enjoy, something that gives you more good days than bad. Find something that you would be willing to do for free and then find some schmuck who's willing to pay you to do it. That's what I did. I found something that I'd do even if I weren't getting paid and someone pays me to do it. It may not be much, but it takes care of you, your siblings, and your mother and I. And I like how it makes me feel about me."
And that, in a nutshell, is the problem. I don't have that feeling. Simply, I'm not happy where I am. Certainly, work is not the only arena from which I should judge my happiness. There's spending time with family, great friends, that incredible significant other (all I need to do is get Natalie Portman to start taking my calls...). So I don't expect work to be the be-all-end-all (I mean, they call it "work" for a reason), but when you can't explore the other things because of the lack of balance with something that isn't making you happy, well, that's when it's time to do some serious internal and external exploration.
So I've explored...and I've made a change. I don't know that it will be the answer...but it could be. I don't know if it will be where I spend the rest of my career...but it could be. So I'm going to try it, and, at bare minimum, I'll continue to develop in my chosen profession. And, I'll give you an idea about how it goes.
In the meantime, if you've got Natalie's cell phone number...