Mid-Year Update

Disclaimer: The following post contains brutal, unabashed honesty. This is not a fun post. I make no apology if it bums you out.

So it's like this. 2012 kinda sucks so far. I've been trying to make the best of it, but it's proving to be rather difficult.

For starters, it's now June and Vancouver has barely had any warm weather. By this time last year I'd been to the beach at least 3 times and it was nice enough to bike to work a few times every week. This year all it ever seems to do is rain. I hate the rain. It seems like a small potatoes complaint, but it's come to my attention that I probably suffer from S.A.D. So all the rain and the dark are not good for me.

There have also been troubles at work. The publisher hasn't been doing so hot money-wise. Projects have been cut, lots of staff have been laid off. And I'm stuck doing a job I'm sick of on a project I have little to no interest in.

Job dissatisfaction coupled with non-stop rain makes for a pretty good case of mild depression.

But wait! There's more!

See, it turns out that trying to change all the things you don't like about your life may be a little more difficult than it would initially seem.
I started thinking about where I would like to be in 5 years. You know that 5 year plan people talk about? I didn't have one. Still don't, really.
So I had to ask myself: What do I want out of life? Where do I want to be in 5 years? What's missing from my life right now? What's really important to me?

The answers to those questions are - for the most part - all the same things they've been before. I won't bother repeating them here and now. I've been in a rut. A hole. A really deep one. For a really long time. And despite all thing the good things that happened in 2011 and all the amazing things I did for myself - and continue to do in some cases - the really important things still haven't changed. I'm still in that same hole, asking those same questions, coming up with the same non-answers, and making the same lame excuses.

I'm having to face some hard truths about myself. It's all in the name of positive change, but it's extremely difficult and often discouraging.

Suffice to say that in the last 6 months I've gotten to thinking about maybe changing jobs, maybe changing careers entirely. Maybe going back to school. Maybe leaving Vancouver. I haven't come up with any answers yet, and it's frustrating. It's easy to make yourself happy on the short term. But finding happiness for the long term? That's harder. I'm envious of those who have found it, and wish I could find it as simple for me to do the same.

There was a brief stint where I was seriously entertaining the idea of taking a programming degree. I've decided against it - at least for now. I'd like to pick up the skill, but I'm not totally sold on the idea of doing it full time as a career choice. And I'd hate to invest 4 years of my life into training for something I won't enjoy.
(I've got two different college diplomas to tell me that the next one better be the last one.)

So now I'm seeing a counsellor. Initially my goal was to try and get some career direction advice. I simply wanted to try and talk to somebody to explore some interest areas for jobs and careers that maybe I hadn't explored before. But the counsellor, being as painfully astute as they're trained to be, picked up on the fact that my career issues aren't necessarily the biggest source of my stress. And so the focus of those sessions has shifted slightly to working on some other things that are probably more important to me in the long run.

I'm not sure how I feel about all of this. On the one hand, I'm optimistic about certain things and I'm finding it helpful. On the other hand, I'm afraid that I'll come out the other side of this experience and still be unhappy about things.

I may still dislike my job. I may still hate the rain. I may still have not lost any weight, and may still lack the willpower to make that happen. (Curse my blasted sweet-tooth!)

Thankfully, there's another "still":

I've still got amazing friends and family who care about me. Despite my sometimes venomous negativity, they've all been very supportive and stuck by me. I'm both amazed and grateful at how understanding they all are while I go throw what for me is a rather difficult time.

So for those of you who stumble across this:
I don't expect you to understand, because you can't and you won't. You're not me.
I'm just asking for some empathy, and that you bear with me through this.
When my turn comes, I promise to return to the favour.

In the meantime, if anybody has a crystal ball or a time machine they can loan me, I'd appreciate it.

(...oh, one last thing. I peeked back at that super gung-ho post I wrote in Mar. 2011 about taking ownership of my life. You know that bit I wrote about how "this time it will be different?" I know this looks like the same old pattern, but it's not. The issues are the same, but this time IS different. This time I'm actually taking action instead of just talking about it. This journey I'm on is still the same journey I started last year. This is just the other side of the same coin - it's a valley before I hit another peak. Despite my moodiness, I've made a lot of positive changes in my life and the way I look at things. But a lot of them are shifts in mindset and attitude, and aren't changes that are visible to the naked eye.

Enough said.)

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