I went out with work friends last night to celebrate their success on something, and ended up getting home later than I intended. Terrific T. was less than enthusiastic. But it got me thinking, do other women go out with work friends without their spouses? I know that it happens a lot in my line of work, but is this how it is for other people? Let me know, because I'll be pondering this for days. I think most of Terrific T's friend's wives do not do this, and it annoys him that I do (particularly on the heels of the Big Project, when I was gone so much). On the other hand, Terrific T's friend's wives are mostly "retired," shall we say.
I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do next (other than become a parent). There are a lot of things that I could do; deciding what I want to do is an entirely different story. I can't be bored. I need to love my job. I need it to be something I can be passionate about. The difficulty is that I am totally that Type A personality that gets utterly consumed by whatever I am passionate about, and that can be very damaging to my relationships. Terrific T. has been patient enough over the next year. He'd like me to find a job where I work a lot less.
I don't know how to make a decision. I know what my skills are; I know what I'm good at; I know what I'm interested in. Those things are not leading me to any readily identifiable options. Should I leave my field entirely? Should I do something slightly different? I'm thinking about doing some grant-writing and coming up with my own nonprofit. It would be a ton of work and absolutely no money, but I like the idea of creating something. I like the idea of being in charge, and of not answering to many people other than myself. I could make my own hours. I don't know why I'm so optimistic about being able to secure funds in this crappy economy, but I feel pretty positive about my ability to make it happen. But, I'm not entirely sure that is what I want, either.
I just don't know. The list of things that I am sure I don't want to do is much longer than the list of things that I think I might want to do. But even that is subject to change, since I am so very fickle. And frankly, I still love my job. Even knowing how much is has cost me, even knowing how much complete and utter horridness has transpired of late, even knowing how truly awful I have been treated by some, I still value the work that I do, and I still love the job. Not necessarily some of the people or the institution, but the job. How do you leave something that you love? How do you walk away from something knowing that you may never love anything else as much? I look at my friends who have left, and none of them seem to love what they are doing now as much as they loved doing what I do. I don't want to look back on my life decades from now and think that my best job happened in my 30's. Ideally, I'd like this job to be a springboard into another job that I also treasure. Ugh. It's so hard. I talked to one of my work friends last night about leaving, and he was like, "stay for one more project." He thinks I'm good at my job, and doesn't want to see me go. It only makes it that much harder. I know I'm good at it. I really am good at it. If only it didn't cost so much.