It's always best to take a personal inventory now and then, to see what you've done up to the present, what you need to do in the immediate future, and what you want to do for the rest of your life.
I last did this, on a serious level, in 2009. I decided to focus entirely on my job, to drop my general studies classes in college for the time being, with the plan of picking up in a degree program in a few years. I was burnt out on a mental level, having spent way too much energy in my senior year of high school just to choose to go to a community college. In hindsight, I think I was really afraid of venturing out into the world, finding comfort in what I knew best: the school district I had grown up in and, now, was working for.
Now, six years later, I think it's become pretty obvious just how frustrated I've become with how things are going. Don't get me wrong, the job's great; I really do enjoy keeping the district running on a technical level, preparing the next generation for the world. But, I've spent the last eight years of my life working in the same buildings that I'd spent the previous twelve years learning in. All good things must come to an end.
No, I haven't decided to leave, nor have I decided when I'm going to decide. That's still to come. First, I really should decide what I want to do next.
That's a tough decision in itself. First, there's the elephant in the room -- rather, it's 46 miles west. The restaurant that my mother opened nearly eighteen months ago is still going strong, doing quite well. And, while it's never been something I've ever thought of doing, helping to keep the trains running in a fifty-seat restaurant does sound oddly appealing.
It would, however, require me to spend a majority of my week an hour away from the home I bought (and still haven't finished!), not to mention from Kat (leaving her job is most likely out of the cards). I doubt I'd want to make a daily commute out of it.
Mom's always said that she didn't want to run the kitchen herself forever, as the stress is quite daunting. Eventually, she wants to take care of the front end of the restaurant, the public side. And Jay, well, she's never wanted to stay in small-town America. She has her sights on the big city, forging her own path. Whether these two things make the restaurant more or less appealing depends on things beyond me.
My other choice is questionable, crazy, and possibly quite silly.
Production and editing has always been one of those things I've wanted to do, but I've held back primarily because I'm never sure if my perfectionist streak would cause more harm than good in such a situation. I didn't take Advanced Speech in high school, which would have let me try out my editing chops, nor did I participate in theater. In school, I really didn't want to deviate from the academics; I took as few fine arts courses as I could manage. (Foreign Language, especially Latin, in my view, is an academic course.)
But, I've always really, really enjoyed working on layouts. For documents, for websites, it's one of those things that I'll spend hours pouring over and over the same minute details, working endlessly until I've got it looking exactly how I want it. (It's something Kat has brought up many, many times.)
For now, I'm going to tackle this as a hobby, as something I do in my free time with whatever content I can get my hands on. (I should also work on actually producing quality content myself, as getting quality content from others is not only time-consuming, it's often also futile.) Maybe this can work, maybe not.
But, I do have to say: editing is some of the most fun I've had sitting for long periods in front of my computer in a long, long time.