Challenging Myself and Other Symptoms of Aging

So I’m almost two months into my new job and it’s time for some reflection. This job is important in that it’s really the first time I’ve challenged myself with a job, nay a career, instead of settling for another admin job I’m overqualified for from day one. The only other time I really challenged myself was taking my first newspaper job back in 2003 and that ended as a miserable failure for all involved. So far, this job seems to be shaping up better for the future though I can’t say there hasn’t been at least two different times since I accepted the offer that I regretted it and wished I would have stayed with my old job.

This job, nay career, is also important in that it’s the first time I’ve ever accepted a position that would make writing more difficult instead of easier. Previously I’ve stuck with admin work because I’m good at it, jobs are plentiful and pay well, but most importantly require little of me mentally. I don’t want to give the impression that I was lazy, because I hate being bored at work and laziness=boredom, but I never went out of my way to really challenge myself. I would occasionally accept new responsibilities that sounded interesting but they were generally things I felt extremely qualified for and wouldn’t add an undue burden to my workload.  I made sure to keep myself in positions I could excel at with little effort telling myself that would leave me more energy to write.

And for a while it did. But eventually what happened is that the less energy I expended at work, the less energy I expended elsewhere in my life as well. As I grew bored at my day job I grew bored with my writing as well and my early year streak of productivity died a horrible death. I also realized that I had no real interest in writing mass commercial fiction which means I’ll most likely need to keep a career for a while to come and it should be one I’m happy in. So I started looking for a way out and found it in my previous department. I don’t want to go into any real details about the job, but it’s in the medical field, specifically cancer research, and requires a strong science and math background. I majored in English and Theater.

This is the first time I was hired for my potential for success instead of my track record of success. People took a risk hiring me and I’ve not been in the situation before and it freaks me out some times. But the work is great and now that I’m into it I find my writing and communications skills are as vital as they were in my other jobs and help compensate for my lack of science knowledge.  I haven’t seen a marked improvement in my writing production but it’s getting there. This is just one stage of a multi-tiered plan I need to enact to combat the near-debilitating lethargy in my life that also includes exercising more and eating less crap.

As it stands now, even if I never publish another thing in my life I’ll be contributing more to society and to my family now than I was a year ago and that’s all you can really ask. The rest is just sweet, sweet gravy. Actually sweet gravy sounds disgusting. Mmmmm gravy…