I have felt very displaced since graduation. More so, since I've taken a job at the university. I'm here, where I spent so much time over the past 3+ years, but I'm not in school - so there are times I feel very out-of-sync with my norm. That was one thing those final professional-preparation courses actually did not prepare me for. We had to write papers ad-nauseum (most times, the same papers but for differing classes). Never once did anyone address how displaced you'd feel after college is over. Maybe because professors go on and further their education after undergrad, so they didn't have that same feeling? They were always immersed in the academic atmosphere. I'm sure some of this feeling I'm currently feeling is due to the discourse at work. And I'm also sure some of it is due to having to settle back into a job I am good at, but one my heart isn't in to it (and maybe that's because of all the turmoil and drama at work - I've had my fill and don't want to deal with that side of life anymore).
I have a lot of "I don't knows" in my life. No one ever prepared me for that feeling either. We've been doing brainstorming at work of "in a perfect world...what do you want...", specifically in relation to problem-solving for current situation. My heart always screams..."out somewhere in nature, in front of a canvas!" But then reality-check hits, and I have to regroup my brain into thinking of office situation. It's become exhausting to pretend and be someone who is trying hard to fit in, but inside I kind of feel like I'm dying a little. This is what I struggled so hard, and sacrificed so much for? I'm told I'm not allowed to think independently or just do something on my own without consulting someone else; I must get approval for every little minutia of the work day; am an assistant only. I pretend and attempt to keep my mouth shut and really try... But six-ish weeks in....and I'm finding it exhausting.
Why am I doing it? I have $47K in student loans. That's equivalent of two decent cars, brand new. That's a third of a shitty house here in Tucson (or a really cool mini house which I secretly want badly). That's like a grand for every year of my life except for the baby ones. Plus...if I can last the next ten years, I will have something to retire on, because it's a state job with state benefits and state retirement. These are all valid reasons. Very valid. But the part of me that has done what everyone one else has wanted for my entire life, with the exception of school, this is killing me. Especially with the level of stress and drama and turmoil that is ongoing. I never wanted to settle. I never wanted to feel trapped or stuck in a job or a situation. I liked the thought of being a nomad. Only as life went on, and I developed a fear of my surroundings and life in general, my anxieties took over and I became trapped in my head. School freed me of that......... But here I am again.
My biggest "I don't know" right now is, I don't know how to get beyond all this and lead the life I want. Those goals I set for myself post school got pushed aside in a hurry as money became a problem once I transferred to UA. And now...doing without has created a fear in my head that I need to overcompensate constantly. So here I am. Trying to do the right things, but I haven't defined those things myself for myself. That scares the shit out of me. I'm back to living my life for someone or something else. Unfortunately, I have no solutions today. Only the self-awareness of what's going on and the feeling I need to do some self-care here soon. I'm forcing myself to ride my bike to work right now. Well, it's an easy force since there's an issue with my truck. But I'm hoping that by riding again, it will become habit and I will start feeling better physically again. Because I know what's going on physically affects what's going on mentally and emotionally. Besides, no one looks good being a slug. Me most of all.
Anyhow...enough real talk for today. No solutions but recognition of internal and external dialogues. Baby steps are still steps toward solutions.