I’ve been thinking a lot about my future lately. Perhaps turning 50 next year brought awareness to my goals, hopes, ambitions and perceived limitations. Maybe watching someone I love, admire and trust pursue a new challenge is filling me with that familiar restlessness I spent the last few years trying to ignore. I’m not completely sure how I got here…but, I am here – looking at the future.
As I look down the road, I reflect on my long term professional goal – to retire from my full-time job when I am 62 and go back to working part time for a non-profit. I worked for a non-profit before I sold out for security and a pension. When I retire, I want to work for a charity in human services or homelessness. I want to make a difference and impact lives. I want to serve the greater good and know I am making a meaningful contribution to an organization.
I guess when I started thinking about this, I worked backwards. To retire at 62 as a single woman comfortably and only work part time, I need to make sure the next 12 years I am making as much money as possible without killing myself. I also want to be sure I am making a meaningful contribution where I spend the next 12 years. Well, I guess I am wondering if I can do that where I am. In my current job, I don’t see a path for career progression. Even if I got a raise today, what about tomorrow, next year or two years from now? What’s the plan? If I get a grade level promotion, what’s the plan for the next grade level promotion? How do I prevent me being the dumping ground for work no one else wants to do? How do I challenge my intellect and skills to benefit myself and the Organization? I have a Degree in Management and strong Business background but I current work in an Engineering Shop. I am an anomaly. My Supervisors don’t seem to know what to do with me or how to utilize my strengthens.
Maybe, just maybe it’s getting too hard to forge a path. Maybe I am trying to hard and stressing myself out. Perhaps, it’s time to consider I can’t get to where I want to go where I am. This is why I’ve been sad and conflicted. I like where I am. So far, I’ve voiced my concerns to folks but everyone says “I can’t make you any promises.” I’m now starting to say, “yeah, right back at ya!” There’s now only one person I trust enough to open up to and he’s gone:-)
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to let go and find another position with a clear path and a promotion to help ensure my long term plan instead of stressing myself trying to fix something by myself.
I am also ready for a deeper relationship with a man I love but given his current status and geographical location that doesn’t seem possible anymore. As loyal as I am to him and as much as I love and care for him, maybe we have to accept we can’t be together and let go. Maybe love isn’t enough…
I am wresting with the question, Am I holding on, when I should be letting go?
(C) 2016 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
Life Is Best When Lived Passionately