A few posts ago I had mentioned that the recent atmosphere at my place of work was making me want to to make some changes in my life. And I've been making a sincere effort on that front. And oddly enough my new job search has made me left with a bad taste in my mouth. I actually feel guilty. All the sneaking and lying to my bosses, oh lordy, it gives me ulcers just thinking about it. Not exactly the reaction you were expecting, huh? Nope, me either.
I guess my guilty feelings are leaking out from my recent glory. Ever since I got back from our big exhibition in Aspen I have been getting a lot of compliments on my work ethic. But while being appreciated is always a perk, I can't hide from the fact that I have horrible health benefits (no dental, i mean seriously??), I don't get paid enough, and I work myself to the bone. My new roommate Natalie had suggested talking the problems out with The Boss. I agree, something needs to be said for things to get better. And I have no doubt in my mind that if I told The Boss that I was thinking about quitting that she would offer me more money and maybe a promotion. But is that really what I want?
This has been my problem of late. What do I really want? Well, if we go back to the basics (bare bone basics if you will), I know I want to be happy. And I know that right now I am not happy. What will make me happier? This question poses more problems and many pros and cons lists. For a while now I have been trying to determine what will make me happy. I thought for a while moving into New York City would solve my problems. Or a new job - any job really. And when WG1 and I were shacking up in our shithole of an apartment, I thought the cure to my bad mood was a clean apartment with beautiful amenities.
I guess my recent unhappiness is really a combination of a few of these things. I truly hated my old apartment, I don't like a lot of things about my job (but do have to admit not all of it is so horrible), and maybe, just maybe I would feel better if I moved to New York City.
But I think deep down the root of my problem is loneliness. I miss the passion I used to have. I miss having a purpose in life. I miss having something to dream of. I feel like somehow I have lost all of that and it all makes me feel lonely. My last solution of applying to graduate school was more of a non-solution. I found out recently that I got wait-listed at my number one choice. And when I didn't get in, sure I was disappointed. But I think what I found I was most disappointed about was the fact that I wouldn't be able to move back to Chicago. For the first time in a long time, I am homesick.
I miss my dad, my sister, my friends from high school, and I miss the city of Chicago. Most of all, I miss the person I used to be when I lived there. Sure, I was wide-eyed and had my head in the clouds. But I feel like that is what I need right now - back to that feeling and to be surrounded by my family who love and can take care of me. It's just what I need right now. I need to get back to my roots - quite literally.
So my new goal is to make myself happy. Part one of that goal is to find a new job and not just any job. In my new job search in the Windy City I have only applied to jobs that seem like they interest me and challenge me - jobs that involve more writing. Even if these jobs might mainly be in marketing, I'm trying to apply for ones that seem more writing based. Making the jump from marketing to editorial isn't the easiest thing in the world so I'm not expecting miracles.
Part two is to move back to Chicago (and get myself a studio apartment). It's hard to believe that I haven't lived at home since I was 18 years old. And it's not like I make frequent visits back to the motherland often. Truly, I maybe get home for two holidays a year. And it hit me that I don't really have that close of a relationship with my dad and sister. Because a phone relationship just isn't cutting it. Family used to be so important to me and I miss being near that unconditional love and support. And that studio apartment. Let's just say I think it's time for some serious "me" time.
Speaking of "me" time, I'm thinking I should get back on the creative writing bandwagon which is going to be part three. Maybe take some classes at night and make an effort to get back to the WG2 that had passion. I used to have passion. And I used to have family. I want those back and this is my big decision in an effort to make myself the happy person I used to be.
Of course all of this lies with the hope that I will be able to find a job in Chicago. I think it would be silly to leave my paying job right now to just pick up and move home with no prospects. I don't want to end up in a new city with no job living with my father. It would be a small nightmare.
I have begun my job search and even went on a very, very last minute trip to Chicago this past weekend for an interview. It went terribly. The company was a joke and the position itself was not something I would be interested in. But the trip itself wasn't a bust. Without a doubt, I realized that I was making the right decision. Being back made me feel different - more light-hearted I suppose. It was also great to be back with my dad and my friends from home. We had a great time catching up (and getting drunk and watching pianists duel).
But for some reason even though this is what I know I want to do (finally after many months of confusion), I still feel guilty lying to The Boss. She thought I was in Chicago to look at more grad schools so I felt even more guilty when she asked me about my search this morning. Even though I don't love my job and my company isn't the best in the world, if I do end up leaving (because really you never know what will happen - I could be here for many more months) I will miss all the friends that I have made.
And yes, I will probably miss The Boss even if she is off her rocker.