By Erin Allen
While attempting this human experiment, I find that I have my good days and my bad days. The newfound freedom of flexibility is, in its own way, both a blessing and a curse. Recently, I've found myself getting somewhat depressed come Sunday evenings. Is it because Mondays still have that "start of the workweek" connotation that we all deplore? Is it because I feel like I'm not doing enough to get my life together, and the start of a new week is a reminder of few accomplishments? Is it because I think my sense of purpose is rather aimless?
I'm committed to only exploring and applying for opportunities that I truly feel excited about and could see myself happily doing for a time — not just because it would be gainful employment in my field. However, when those opportunities are few and far between, it makes not only the rejections sting just a bit worse but also makes me feel not as productive — lackadaisical even — because I'm not sending out dozens and dozens of resumes on any given week. I've been enjoying my more flexible lifestyle; however, there comes with that a sense of guilt that I'm not being more constructive with my time, that I'm spending money I shouldn't, that I'm avoiding "adulting."
I've also been wondering if I'm at a crossroads. I sometimes get this feeling that I simply don't know what I want to do. Perhaps I'm not applying for more jobs or pounding the proverbial pavement because I don't completely know what direction I want to go in. Later this summer, I may have the opportunity to work at a tasting room of a local winery or be a beverage cart girl for a big golf course in town, and I find that I'm actually excited about doing something that is simply fun and that takes me away from being so focused on my professional field and trajectory. (See also my blog post on All the Odd Jobs.)
Conversely, there is also a sense of peace in knowing that I'm only doing what I want to do, that I'm only exploring opportunities I truly feel passionate about and that I feel completely empowered to stop doing something I don't like and start over again. Contradictory sentiments from my earlier thoughts, I know ... Perhaps this is part of that crossroads too — my newfound freedom at odds with those aforementioned mental roadblocks and deciding which path to take. Ideally, I allow myself to be alright and resolute in doing, well, anything and nothing. However, I also need to be okay with the time it may take to break some of those chains holding me to what I should be doing with my time and future.