Song Lyric of the Day:
I’ve / Become so numb / I can’t feel you there / Become so tired / So much more aware / I’m becoming this / All I want to do / Is be more like me / And be less like you
Linkin Park / “Numb”
Last month I celebrated a milestone birthday. The epiphany that has been gestating for a few months crystallized. I am no longer satisfied just working for a living. I want a career that challenges me, fulfills me, and interests me. For almost a year I had that as a Technical Writer at my company’s corporate office in Virginia Beach. I was given the opportunity to learn different graphics programs, including Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, and ClearEdge. I not only enjoyed learning these programs, I enjoyed using what I learned to finalize technical manuals for delivery to our client. Not only did I have a fun job that I loved, I worked closely with three great people with whom I am still good friends.
Now I work in our Hampton office. I am still a Technical Writer, but I do not actually get to write anything. Or edit anything, for that matter. I certainly don’t work with any graphics programs. Transferring to this office was not something I wanted to do, but had to do. In government contracting, there are no guarantees. You go where the contracts take you. In my case, that’s a 52-mile round trip drive every day.
If I could go back in time, I’d find my college advisor and beat the sh!t out of him for encouraging me to pursue my English degree in Technical Writing. If I could have seen into the future and known this kind of professional malaise and ennui was what my degree would get me, I would have studied something else.
Granted, I am not living in an area known as a hotbed of magazine or book publishing. Moving to New York City or Chicago to pursue that is out of the question at this time. So I make do with this.
What would I go back and study instead of Technical Writing?
Forensics, maybe. I’ve been interested in forensics since high school, long before The New Detectives and CSI became a part of our pop culture.
Drama, maybe. In the past year I have acted in a couple of locally filmed TV shows filmed at New Dominion Pictures in Suffolk. Turns out that pretending to be a Medical Examiner’s Clerk and a Bad Guy’s Girlfriend is infinitely more interesting than being in a cube all day.
Maybe I’d just do what I’d wanted to do in the first place and major in Creative Writing. Again, a pox on my advisor for advising me to switch to Technical Writing. “No one will hire you if they see ‘B.A. in Creative Writing’ listed on your resume,” he said. Sigh.
Some people feel a calling to help others and become teachers, cops, nurses, doctors. Others want to serve our judicial system and become lawyers or judges. Still others find work to suit their mechanical skills and abilities.
Me, I can tell you who directed, wrote, starred in, and produced a movie or TV show. More often than not, I can even tell you what year it was released or aired.
What am I supposed to do with that? Other than play lots of trivia games and visit IMDB.com a lot.
That is my big dilemma: what to be when I grow up.
Hopefully, I’ll figure that out soon enough.
Fear not. I will not use this blog solely to whine about my lot in my professional life.
I have plenty of other stuff to talk about. Really.