I need a plan.
September 17, 2010 § 1 Comment
I told myself 6 years ago (or maybe it was 7, it’s been so long I’ve lost count), that if I wasn’t able to fulfill my procreative purpose, then I really was gonna do something else. Like, I was really gonna make a change, or find some ultimate purpose, go back to school, go to work for a nonprofit, really do something big. And first I had to exhaust all my options, medical technology-wise. That took a couple years. Then I had to except fate. That took a couple years. Then I had to not think about it for a while in order to chill and turn my brain off and put my psyche in a regen tank so it could heal. And that took a couple years. So here I am now about to turn 39, and I’ve gone through all the stages of grief – now I think I’m supposed to do that big thing, whatever it is. I’m ready, I want to, but I’m TERRIFIED. I have no idea how to begin. And I can’t even decide what I want to do. And whatever I end up wanting, it’s probably going to be too expensive, take up too much space, or be way too time-consuming. Most likely a combination of all three. So I’m dead in the water before I’ve even gotten out of the starting gate, which is a mixed metaphor involving, I think, both horse racing and boating (or perhaps some water sport? one of you enterprising young people go google it and let me know the derivation – what am I, a librarian or something? I’m writing here, I’m busy.)
But pretending for a second that I’m optimistic, I’ve narrowed it down to some life-changing options:
1. Go back to school. I could, like, apply to FIT.
Pros: I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew and design clothes. I’m not fashionable myself, but I have ideas. Plus, I’m not saying I’d set the fashion world on fire or anything, but I do have a burning desire to learn how to sew and draw and create stuff. I’m also interested in learning about textiles and the history of fashion, so just filling my brain with new knowledge would be very satisfying. Worst case scenario, I’d occupy myself for a while. I’ve got another 60 or so years to fill up, so might as well learn about something I’m interested in. And I could learn how to hem my own pants, which could save me an average of $20-40 per year! Whoo hoo! I could also maybe even parlay that education into a new more fulfilling career. I love being a librarian, but working at a law firm is stressful, and rarely involves being creative. If I went to FIT, I could learn about costume design, which I love.
Cons: I can’t draw. Or, let me revise, I draw pretty badly, and I find it difficult to practice, because it requires so much concentration that it’s practically like math. I can only really do it early in the morning when I’m fresh. After a long day of staring at spreadsheets, it’s hard to go home and do something that feels to my brain sort of like math. So, I’m scared to apply because I don’t really have a portfolio, all I have is my sketch book, some of which is embarassingly bad, and the rest is the work of an absolute beginner, which is what I barely am. Also, I can’t sew. I took a sewing class when I was 10, but I’ve forgotten how to operate the machine. Also, I don’t have a machine. Also, I don’t have a place to put a machine, except for my desk, which I have found physically and mentally impossible to clean off, despite my best efforts. Also, I don’t know how I will make time for the school work, since my job can get fairly intense at times. Also, my better half will be understandably concerned that I will neglect both my household chores and our social life, and that I will get stressed out, and make our lives unpleasant. See, these are all reasons why it would not be a good idea.
Idea #2: Become a second-hand dealer, another long-time goal of mine. As I think I’ve mentioned, I’d love to be a junk dealer or own a vintage clothing and costume shop, or just sell old used stuff somehow. I love old stuff, and I love to sell it. I love old clothes. I love costumes made out of old clothes. I love to buy and sell old costumes and accessories. I love it I love it I love it!
Pros: I love it.
Cons: The original 3, no space no money no time. I don’t have room in my apartment for inventory. I don’t have any capital to buy inventory. And my job exhausts me by 4pm every afternoon, so I don’t know how I’d go home and try to run a business. I looked into commercial real estate in NYC and it’s expensive, plus I could barely figure out the jargon in the classified ads. I couldn’t run anything out of my apt because I have no room for my current stuff. And I’m pretty disorganized and when my brain gets tired I start to cut corners or give up, and that’s no way to run a business. And before you say, why don’t you quit your job and run said business fulltime, well, I don’t think I can do that because I have financial obligations to the love of my life to share expenses. Plus, I don’t know how to write a business plan. And I don’t actually know very much about what’s valuable and what’s not, or how to buy stuff from estate sales, or how to drive a car to get to estate sales. Although those obstacles seem minor, because I could learn that stuff. The other obstacles seem, well, really hard.
3. Go to work for a non profit.
Pro: Make the world a better place.
Con: I can’t afford to work at a nonprofit.
So, there you have it, I don’t know what to do with myself. The situation is not dire. I can continue on floating in this perfectly fine stream of just fine for at least another 30 years or so until I can retire. I have a happy marriage, a good roof over my head, friends, I’m well fed, I have a decent job with a good boss. I have many moments of incredible love and beauty which I cherish. I am nourished constantly the love and support I get from my husband. I could conceivably exist such as I am until I’m too old to remember my own name. But my heart clamors sometimes, because it knows I promised it something big in lieu of children.