What am I doing here?

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I had that same question when I was in the early stages of labor with Nick. I was at work, 9 days over my estimated due date, sitting in a restroom stall at work. “What am I doing here? I need to be at home.”

Once again, I’m asking myself, “What am I doing here? I need and want to be at home.” I had the opportunity to visit my friends in Puyallup, Washington (a suburb of Tacoma and Seattle) this past weekend. I brought my youngest with me and had an enjoyable trip there. I enjoyed a great time hanging out with my friends from high school, cooking food, drinking beer and crafting items for a party and my oldest son. I was relaxed there. My youngest, Nick, was really well behaved and I felt like I got to pay him the attention that I haven’t been able to give him his entire life. I had no idea how relaxed I was there until I got back home. The tension running through my body is great. I have a huge knot in my left shoulder and feel tension radiating throughout my back. I realize every once in awhile that I haven’t taken a deep breath. I’m frustrated and really do not feel motivated to do my day job at no fault of my employers. Once again it is just me.

I was on the phone with my husband at lunch time and he asked what was wrong. I said, “The same thing that is always wrong!” He didn’t know what I meant. “I’m unhappy in cubicle world.” He never seems to get that I’m unhappy. I sometimes resent him and his inability to get that I do not want to be here. He probably resents that fact that I can’t just suck it up and put my thirty years in at this company so that we can live a supposedly secure and comfy life.

Fortunately and unfortunately I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. My reading list includes:

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau (Chattanooga Library)

The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss (Chattanooga Library)

48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller (Thanks for the recommendation Summer)

I’m currently reading:

Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields (Chattanooga Library)

and

Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim

All of this reading has turned my world upside down. I knew inside that this isn’t where I want to be and I’m happy to see that a few people have felt the same way as me. Chris Guillebeau and Tim Ferriss haven’t really worked in typical corporate culture for long, but it looks like Pamela Slim has and knows what it is all about.

Seriously, Dilbert and Office Space are all real!!!!

I have a ton of fears about leaving the supposed security of a corporate job. That being said, I called my mom just yesterday and she told me that her boss was let go with no warning. There is not security in the corporate environment. I also worry about what people will think of me if I just quit, but I secretly imagine that if I did quit, then I would have a secret set of envious followers wanting to do the very same thing.

I rarely encounter anyone who is truly happy in this white collar environment. Then you start to wonder if things are even green at all on the outside. I have friends that live paycheck to paycheck and worry about health insurance and mortgage payments. I don’t have those worries right now, with the exception of when you make more money you tend to spend more money. I’m scared that I couldn’t hack it as a stay-at-home mom. I wonder if my kids would only hear me yelling, but then I wonder if I had more time with them, would I yell as much as I do (probably).

Sometimes, I feel like I just want to travel and then other times, I just want to be at home crafting. Most of these books are directed at people that want to go off on their own and make a bunch of money, but there don’t seem to be any books about the female being the breadwinner and wanting to give it all up and having her husband be the one to bring in the money. Maybe there is a book in that, but I’m not a very good writer (another fear?)

I know that I would want to bring in some money as well. I have the childbirth classes, but it is nominal. I might have a desire to do some type of craft business, or teach something. Most of the above books are directed at people that want to go into business for themselves. I’m not sure I’m at that point yet.

At lunch I realized that I’ve been having the “What am I doing here?” thoughts for about five years. “FIVE YEARS!” shouts through my head. What the heck is wrong with me? Why have I let this go on for this long? Sure there are periods that are tolerable and sometimes even enjoyable, but for the most part, the stress just comes back. The unhappiness comes back. I can’t let this go on. I feel like I need to set a deadline in my brain of when I will make a definite change instead of just talking about it. The hardest part is convincing my husband. How do you tell your spouse that you don’t want to work anymore? He is convinced that he can never make as much money as me. It makes me hate my career choice even more. Another deep breath…… sigh. There is so much more in the world to worry about, why is this so hard?

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