Spring Renewal, of Sorts

It actually is starting to look and feel like Spring in the southeastern part of PA; combine that feel with Easter to get those thoughts about new life and life in general.

That life that I've been working on getting.

Last week, I finally admitted to a friend in reference to my work: "This isn't it."

Inspired by the big crazy matrix that Amy Webb drew up to score her potential matches in online dating to determine how much of match they actually were, I drew up not quite a matrix but a nice big table with respect to my current profession--i.e., the two jobs that I do in the library field.  I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do with this table, but if my resources were unlimited--not to mention magical--I'd find a way to feed it into a special machine that would cross-index it all over the place and spit out a card with the actual job that is perfect for me.

Here's what I enjoy in my day-to-day (and weekend, I guess) work:

  • Teaching and guiding people to accomplish things/find information/find something good to read. Hunting down things people need and want.  Sometimes I’m just a sympathetic ear and that’s O.K. too. 
  • Reading and “talking books.” Discovering new and interesting titles and authors and sharing/discussing them with others.
  • Writing—be it correspondence, articles, guides, descriptions, reviews
  • Working with technology, learning new things to do
  • Library community--so many cool, smart, warm, helpful people (it’s practically Introvert Central when you come down to it). And sometimes I encounter different points of view.
  • For nearly as much prejudice as there is (see "do not enjoy" section), there’s also respect present.
  • Working with young people.  I don’t think I could go a day of work without interacting with young people.  It would feel weird.
And here's what I do not enjoy in my day-to-day (and weekend) work:

  • Constraints that have little to no relevance on what I do and in fact hinder what I am trying to do/want people to be able to access or do 
  • Pressure and mental exhaustion (I understand there are always “job stress” moments, but they should pass.)
  • Office/Field Politics (this may be unavoidable anywhere I go)
  • The uncertainty of job’s/field’s future--and the seeming threat of “evolve before you will made to evolve into an amalgam not of your own choosing”
  • Prejudice (librarians read all day and shush people. Give the work to the library--they have nothing to do, the library doesn’t need funding)
  • Low pay (at least at present)/no funding
  • Grading, the pressure to make teaching and lesson plans conform to non-library standards
My next step after having taken this inventory, as it were?

I'm not sure.  I do know I have to lay out where I really want to be, what I really want to do.  Also, I am thinking about the people to whom I would present all this information to get some guidance.

I figure I need to do something, even if it's just a little something, to work on this, every day--because I think once the "This isn't it" comes out of one's mouth, there's really no going back.  Not that I'm being brave or anything: I just know that right now, my best self isn't happening.  Isn't possible.  And I don't think I can go on being less than my best self for much longer, having been told I have so much promise, so much to offer, and just feeling incredibly exhausted and sad (and probably guilty) most of the time. 

I can't go on being this unattractive to anything or anyone positive because I feel this bad.

So I guess it's onward from here.    



ccr in MA said…
I think that just making these lists is a huge step in helping you take those next steps, even if you don't see where they are yet. Hang in there, keep working, and good things will happen.

But I hope that your mythical job-finding machine is better than the actual test I took in high school, that said I should be a beautician or a police officer. Really?? What do those two have in common, other than that I would be awful at both?
Kate P said…
Florist, CCR. We all got "florist."
Including my BROTHER.

Thank you for the encouraging words. :)
Angela Noelle said…
Have you ever thought of becoming a teacher? I mean, I know that in essence, you are a teacher in your school librarian job--actually not in essence, in actuality. But just reading the list of your wants, all I could think was what an amazing English teacher you would be! Not that there's a WHOLE lot more funding in the school world than the library world... :P
Kate P said…
I appreciate the compliment, Angela! The thing is, all through high school I was told I should be a teacher. I just don't. . . "feel" it. I never pictured myself in front of a classroom. And I hate grading. (I am in grading HELL right now.) So if there was something that was LIKE teaching but without all that agony, and I could live on the salary--I'd sign on in a heartbeat.

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