The situation of my waning interest in work life became a real dilemma for me. I didn’t know what to do with myself! This was strange position for me to be in. I had always felt reasonably self-assured and I was such a boundless optimist that I was often able to convince myself and others that I had a proper handle on things.I had always loved my career so what alternatives were there if I no longer felt an interest in continuing with it? I was apprehensive as I really had no clue what to do with myself now that I realized I was fast losing enthusiasm for my occupation. I wasn’t one of these super whizz or highly accomplished people who could do this, that and the other once they put their minds to it. In fact, I’m the opposite and quite unimaginative in that respect. I felt that I now had to find a new passion and didn’t even know where to start. At this point I felt quite silly. Who got to this stage in life and suddenly decided they no longer liked doing what they had loved doing for so long; and worse still, didn’t even have a clue what they wanted to do next? It seemed to me to be a rather ill-conceived position to be in and I felt guilty about feeling this way as I reckoned I was either ungrateful, not serious or both. In fact I felt irresponsible for even feeling this way when I should have known long before now what I really wanted to do in life rather than to allow my oversight to become part of a budding mid-life crisis. Now, those sort of gloomy thoughts were fodder for depression! The thought of starting afresh on a new path didn’t seem practical or sensible, so what then was the practical and sensible thing to do? Was it to continue with the pretense of loving work as I knew it at the time? In keeping true to my nature that was anathema to me as it was virtually impossible for me to pretend at anything or to stick with anything that I felt was a sham. So, I definitely knew that something would have to give with regard to resolving my growing disenchantment with work life.
I began to cringe mentally at the prospect of continuing to work just for the sake of not having anything else that I wanted to or could do. Surely this could not be all that life or I had to offer myself however financially rewarding my present occupation was. I didn’t want to appear ungrateful for the amazing opportunity and exposure I had gained over the years but I realized that long hours, crazy deadlines, burying my life and head in mounds of work priorities and all the cumulative stress this created just no longer floated my boat (as they say). Neither could this be all that I had to offer life or that life could offer me – not that life owed me anything other than what life was usually all about which was – stress, distraction and temptation! I had tried but couldn’t shake off my inner discontent and no, it wasn’t that I needed Jesus! This was different. For me, it was like being in a kind of suffocating mental trap. I began to see work as getting paid for miserable drudgery which for my kind of temperament was like a death knell. As a person, I am one hundred percent heart-driven and passion-infused! I hate to feel hemmed in by anything. I embrace things, people and ideas with passion or not at all. I do everything (good or bad) with heart or not at all. Those who know me would often point to this one quality or flaw as one of my most defining traits. I guess it all depends on the perspective from which I am regarded, which in turn determines the like or dislike of my person.
Once these rather unsavory feelings about work routine had set in, I became even more resentful of the demands that this routine imposed upon me. It all began to seem rather pointless to me that I was forced by the need to earn my keep to have to wake up in the early chilly hours of the morning, endure the stressful commute to work which for months at a time could be anywhere in the country or beyond.As if that wasn’t bad enough, I’d then have to pretentiously blend into the sterile corporate environment, filled with the typical breed of stuffy, impersonal and superficial people, like me I guess (excluding all the wonderful work friends and colleagues I got to know along the way). To some extent, I was playing a role and part that didn’t reflect who I genuinely was or even wanted ever to be. I had allowed myself to be sucked into the corporate vortex of superficiality and dog-eat-dog so-called rat race; often masqueraded as the human race and which had served me well for so long.However something within me had begun to silently rebel.
Despite the inner turmoil, I continued with business-as-usual. With the nature of my work being extremely demanding, I had to continue giving my full focus to handling complex work demands coupled with all the client engagement and analysis activities that fell within the remit of my role. In these scenarios, I fully immersed myself in my work commitments even though I remained inwardly disengaged from the whole process. I think most situations in life and the way we function as human-beings thrive on the ability to evolve (and no, I don’t mean in the Darwinist sense). Often we get to a stage in life where change of some sort must happen in order to embrace novelty or new beginnings and so on and so forth. Sometimes we are conscious of this and sometimes not, but as rational and often emotionally conscious beings we often go through this process of mental molting and of necessity, shedding the old as we embrace the new, in order to forge ahead on some new path or other. For so long, my career had ticked all the boxes with regards to what I considered important in a profession and in life, which was to have a good job, earn well and to use this as the stepping stone towards achieving other goals. Now, it seemed this was no longer the case. This had taken me unawares and I was unprepared for how destabilized I felt. The more I tried to suppress my discontent the more I wanted ‘out’ without knowing what ‘out’ meant for me and that unsettled me a whole lot. (Read my continuation in – ‘Tough Decisions’)