The mental exercise of looking for a job has left me with some interesting running thoughts as I waited on Friday for a call that never came through - as I have at least two other times this year, the "sure things" that were going to move to the next level.
One of the interesting thoughts is finances. How much money is enough to justify uprooting my family to relocate in the middle of a school year? As much as I make now? More? If more, how much more?
Another of the interesting thoughts is career. How badly do I want to relocate for a career that is okay but not my heart's desire? What position would make it worthwhile: Associate Director? Director? And why do I want that position anyway: for power, for money, for the title after my own on a business card?
The reality may be that I am being reactive to events rather than being proactive towards them.
And by being reactive I mean that I may be making choices based on my interpretation of others about my life than my own.
If I think about the directions of my life in the past, what I tend to find is that they are either other's interpretations of what success would mean that I adopted or a subtle intrusion of my thoughts into that this is what I needed to do to succeed as demonstrated by others. I want to be fair though - I can't blame this process on anyone else but myself. I've made plenty of really poor decisions on my own, squandered numerous opportunities to move closer towards what I truly wanted by thinking only of today and not of tomorrow.
But as the saying goes, that was then and this is now. I am currently in a position where we are somewhat isolated from friends and family with a life that in many ways is going very well indeed. In an interesting way, this period of time is being used by God to clear away a great deal of the mistaken actions and detritus of our former lives. It's hard to be sure, but is definitely creating some space in and around us for better things.
However, in order to work towards those better things, I need to make sure that I don't recreate my former mistakes: that I am proactive rather than reactive. In other words, that I make choices that are reflective of the decisions that I have come to, not the decisions that I think others want me to come to or that I adapt to my life in the mistaken belief that they will do for me what they've done for others.
At 43 years old, can I finally become comfortable in my own skin? Can I finally make decisions and run my life as an individual rather than as compilation of the thoughts, dreams and intentions I think others have about me or adapting the dreams and goals of others to myself?
Can I individuate in a thoughtful path that does not seeing my casting my life off the cliff one more time yet allows me to begin to seek my own way?