Have you ever been meandering through life, minding your own business and just trying to get by when something slams you in the face and makes you question everything you’re doing? No? Well, you’re lucky, and we’re different.

If you’ve followed this blog at all, you know that I’ve been having a career-oriented struggle lately. I’ve been trying to come to terms with my failure to find something I really wanted to do full time in a number of ways: bad economy, burnt out from other jobs, weird corporate culture, not enough experience, too much experience. Maybe any number of these things is true, but none is what matters.

I moved to Chicago about a year and a half ago to escape a life I had fallen into in Denver. I was working a job that I never sought, hating it, and I was generally resentful of living in Denver, a place I had only seen as a temporary stopover. So here comes boyfriend, in Chicago–the big city–and I think, “Why not?” I’ve always prided myself on my impulsivity. Hindsight tells me this may not be the best quality to be proud of.

So I plan to move. I obviously can’t move across the country just for a boy, so I apply to grad school. I apply to one school, one program and get in. It seems like destiny; also, it saves me the trouble of a job search. “I will become a writer,” I decide. This is a decision I come to after a lifetime of possessing technical writing skill and a naturally conversational voice. Never mind that the drive is lacking. That’s what school’s for!

Hated grad school. Cried everyday (almost literally); wondered what the point was. LOVED doing peer editing in my classes. Graduated. Get freelance job reading books. LOVE reading books and writing about them. Hate the job search. Hate that every job I find to apply for reminds me of the one I so desperately wanted to leave behind in Colorado. Cannot figure out why I can’t find something that gets me excited about attaching my resume to another witty and informative cover letter.

Following are a series of events I’d like to refer to as: RAD. Not because they were rad, per se, but because I’m a sucker for acronyms. RAD refers to retail, apathy, despondence. RAD was followed by sad. Not an acronym; just an emotion. This is where the aforementioned slam in the face comes into play. SLAM! And here I am, wondering why in the world I’m trying to pursue a career path that I dread. It makes absolutely no sense. Just because I am moderately skilled at and trained in commercial (read: business) writing does not mean that is what I should pursue.

What then, should it be? I came up with a list of things that make me really happy. They are, in no particular order: books, clothes, decorating, people. Then a list of things I’m good at: organizing, editing, leading others. Also, I’ve been told I have great taste. My thoughts about these lists are embryonic, and I’m barely beginning to make connections and translate those connections into jobs I could love, but it comes as kind of a relief to be able to admit that what I’ve been trying just isn’t working.

Stop sign, U-turn, Yield, Green light. I guess I’m at yield right now; hopefully merging will be successful.