We love those stories, don’t we? We watch them on award shows, amazed that the risk they took to follow their dreams paid off… we read about them in magazines and see them interviewed, those individuals who put aside security for passion, and who made it work. I wondered, the other day, about the stories we don’t hear. We don’t like them, because we want stories of hope instead of discouragement. And yet the number of those who can dream and pursue it is probably staggeringly small – logically, confined to those nations or regions in which such things are possible. If you live in a place that is not safe, where your daily needs are met with great risk to yourself or others, your aspects at education few, then the advice to follow your dream is rather moot. You are in survival mode.
Now, how does that relate to myself? I feel like I’m in survival mode. I’m in a job which depresses me more than it makes me happy – not uncommon, I’m sure. I live in a safe, free country, but I have responsibilities which lock me into place. I cannot leave my job – my family would suffer. So as much as I am unhappy, I am making the best of it (difficult to do on a hard day like today turned out to be…), and hoping that the future will get better. Sometimes I take stock of what I am, what I can do, and wonder what a change in career could mean. I start to understand the panic that people feel who have been downsized after a decade or more in the same job.
I would like, one day, to do my master’s and then my phd. To do some meaningful research, work at a university or a college, teaching people who really want to be learning. I teach young people who want to learn, but more often I have students who seem to just be killing time, and that’s what brings me down. I have to try not to let it happen, but I digress. I had once thought of trying to get into radio, or advertising. After all, teaching is selling, to a large degree. Museums also interest me. But these jobs are sparse, it’s not a good time to change things up; I have seniority, pension, benefits. I am fortunate, I know it. I just get tired of feeling unhappy. I should be satisfied – I am grateful. But how long can one go on feeling unhappy? Trapped? When you’re an adolescent, you still see all these doors open, possibilities… when you’re an adult, some of them seem to close, and then that’s it. I know someone might say that’s not true.
Maybe I just need to boost my serotonin levels. New medication has an increase coming on Sunday.