Same ol’ story. New ending?

Redundancy. Restructuring. Reorganization. When it happens, it seems pointless for HR departments to bother finding diplomatic terms  for ” lay-offs.” At the end of the day, the boot is the boot.

Maybe I’m saying this because I’ve been in this position before. It happens when you choose a life not lived as a civil servant. As a former government employee, I know the difference between unions and corporations intimately. Government jobs are  certainly cushy, but they also come with ineffective (& unquestioned) bureaucratic protocols, (seemingly inevitable) drab office décor, and (slow-as-molasses) water-cooler dinosaurs. Corporate environments are fresh, exciting, invigorating, and unfortunately unstable.

A couple of days ago, my daily routine was “restructured”…The new structure involves not having to work every day. I’m not panicking. The news is always a bit of a relief when it arrives. Not because you’re happy to lose the job, but because for a moment, it means you can take a breather. You’ll soon have the opportunity to start fresh, and that’s interesting. Plus, Employment Insurance, while not a solution, is a nice temporary safety net. And honestly, there are worse things than being laid off during spring.

The only problem is that every time it happens (the second time in the last 12 months), I inevitably question my career path. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed being a writer, either as a journalist or a copywriter. It’s more that I’ve always wanted to work in cinema, and each time I just carry on writing because I have student loans to pay off. It’s easier, and the positions are just more readily available. It’s not an impractical move. And really, as I’ve said before, Plan B is the only thing that’s really worked out. Also, I love writing. I always want writing to be part of whatever I do.

But then something hit me a couple of weeks ago. Am I too old to start over? I’m in my early 30s, which is far from aged. But is it wise to take a risk at this point, either by going back to school, or by starting at the bottom and working my way up in a new career path?

Meanwhile, the student loans don’t cease to exist. Whether in the background or the forefront, I can’t ignore them. Not for a long time.

So what gives? The idea of not even trying to do something I’d really like to do seems like a wasted opportunity. Namely, the one I could be giving myself. But then, I’m getting tired of living like a nomad, chasing the next job. I’d kind of like to start thinking about having a home anchor, saving some money, travelling to interesting places and staying in hotels rather than hostels. That’s what getting older does to you. It’s not a bad thing, it just is.

And that’s where I am. In between. A lot like this fella.

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5 thoughts on “Same ol’ story. New ending?

  1. Hey O,

    I disagree that you are too old to start over. I think you should take this opportunity to follow your dreams. If you don’t, you will never know if it could have worked out. If you do, at the very least you will be able to hold your head high and say “I tried something “. I say go for it. This columnist wrote a response to a similar query, and I think his advice is dead on for you. Plus, I remember a conversation we had about a friend who works in theatre, and I recall you saying “that person has a great life”. You should follow your own advice.

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/col/tenn/2009/03/12/working_too_hard/index.html

  2. As someone who is a few years older than you, I definitely disagree with “too old for starting over”. I’m just starting a top-to-bottom life renovation and it will take a few years to complete. I’m convinced that this change will be necessary to fulfill the evolving goals of my particular life path.

    It won’t be easy, but it’s necessary.

    What’s really holding you back?

  3. Odd that I hadn’t asked myself that question, when I’m always dishing it out to friends facing a similar dilemma. Innit funny?

    To answer the question: student loans, and fear.

    And there’s the rub.

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