I have felt fairly lost since finishing up my graduate degree about 4 years ago. I haven’t really been able to turn the degree into a better career. Part of that is probably my fault for not pursing a change aggressively enough and part of it is the economy tanking which makes a lateral move more difficult. Since graduation I have been treading water waiting for the right thing to come along. It hasn’t and I don’t feel like I have made much progress in acquiring new skills during the intervening years. I have this feeling of not knowing how to move forward and knowing I can’t move backward that has translated into just being lost in the world.
I realize now, or at least have begun to admit to myself, that I made some major mistakes in my life as a younger person. I made bad choices based on reasoning that was seriously flawed which resulted in me going down paths I never wanted to travel. Now, at 36 years of age, I have some fairly large regrets about how I handled my education but I also accept that it happened and I can’t change it. The question I face today and that I have been facing for some time is where to go next?
I still feel like mentally I have the ability to learn. That’s about the only part of me that still seems to work properly. I want to learn something new but I am struggling to figure out what that might be. There is no more university education in my future. I can’t afford it for one and starting over would be too much of a drain on my family. I have to accept that the time to chase some interests is just long past. I still have a very strong interest in technology but my attempts at learning things like programming never seem to get off the ground. I also have come to see over the years that my real passion for technology comes from consumer devices and not the enterprise technology on which my career today is based. I don’t know if I have ever felt passionately about anything in my life which makes me an adult without the focus that so many others seem to have.
I can’t seem to shake the idea that my productive life is over and that I am becoming a guy who works hard and does a great job doing things I just doesn’t care about. Maybe most people are in the same boat. Maybe not. For me I need something else. Something to be truly proud of. I just wish I knew what that might be.