I envy those who have known since they were kids just what they wanted to do when they grew up. Back then, we didn’t distinguish between “doing” and “being,” although the question was commonly interchangeable: “What do you want to be/do when you grow up?” Doris Day’s answer in her song, Que Sera Sera was “whatever will be, will be.” I am dissatisfied with that answer still. I feel like I am spinning my wheels trying to figure it out before it’s too late for me to do (be) something great.
In my analysis of the possible options, I have listed all of the jobs I have held since I was a kid, from babysitting to volunteering at the library, detassling corn, cashiering, legal secretary, analyst, administrator, and sometimes consultant and presenter. I’ve looked for themes, for peak times, for common threads, for some light to shine on the path and show me what’s ahead Nada. Zip. Zero. I can’t see the forest for the trees, apparently.
I’ve also reviewed older and more recent journals I kept. I have looked at the titles of the books I’ve collected. I considered how my musical tastes have changed. My favorite places. The most fun pasttimes. Movies I watch and watch again and again. Who I like to spend time with. How I spend my money. While that trip down Memory Lane has been an interesting one, so far there has been no revelation.
Except one: I like happy endings, which are almost always the result of some productive change along the way. And I always seem to find one, whether it’s at the end of a book, a project, a j ob, or a move. So I trust that there is another happy ending in store for me.
That kind of trust is hard to come by sometimes. It’s a knowing, a sense of fait accompli, a foregone conclusion. I just have to be patient. I can’t just wait around, and I also can’t force the reveal. I have to make myself ready for that eventuality. Which is what this sabbatical is about. I keep reading, keep learning, keep observing, keep resting, keep reflecting, keep meeting people, opening myself (preparing myself) a little more each day. As William Bridges said in his book, Transitions, first there is the ending, then the wandering in the neutral zone, when there is a letting go of something, and finally a new beginning. I’m wandering toward that new whatever-it-is, but remember, all who wander are not lost!
BTW, I’m reading an interesting book, Wander Woman, by Marcia Reynolds. It’s about How High Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction. Unfortunately, no easy answers. I guess I will have to still do my own wandering, and accept Doris’ answer: Que sera, sera!