Decisions, Decisions


Decision making is sometimes a various tedious task.  I have to make many decisions every day in my personal and professional life.  Not all of these decisions are tedious but some are worse than others.   Two recent examples made me think this might be a good topic.  Because I do wonder how it looks to someone on the outside (of my brain).

Last week at work a co-worker had a medical issue.  She hadn’t been at her desk for a few days but I really didn’t think much of it.  She doesn’t report to me and I don’t monitor her hours.  She is only at her desk a couple times a week anyways but she normally tells me when she is going to be off site for a while.  I didn’t remember her saying anything but a lot of times I let that type of information go in some far back part of the brain until someone asks.  I just don’t think about that stuff.  When her assistant told me where she was I felt awful.  I told my assistant I would go buy the card.  When I got to the store I remembered why my assistant normally does this.

I had to pick up every single get well card.  I had to read all of them.  Think through what emotions the words would bring up and if they were appropriate.  Hugs and kisses cards not appropriate for a co-worker.  Also I knew she is a very stoic person.  So I didn’t want to buy a really emotional card anyways.  So I decided on a humorous card.  But what kind of humor?  I again had to picture what she would think of each card.  Offensive? funny? callous?  AURGH  I did finally settle on a card.  It was a card that referenced drinking because she always talked about how we needed to go out for drinks.  Finally settled!  I told  my assistant it was very painful and what was I thinking going to buy the card??? (my co-worker loved the card, btw)

I recently made a major life decision.  I have said, thought and even mentioned on here (maybe?) somewhere that I wanted to figure out a way to work with autistics in my full time job.  I have a varied background and a couple of degrees so there were multiple paths that I could take.  However which path would be the best.

If I am happy in my job I am very passionate and am very efficient.  If I am not happy in my job I am miserable and make others miserable I am sure.  I have not been happy in my job for various reasons.  But I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do “when I grow up” so I continued going to work every day.  I honestly never picked my current career.  I just fell into it when another career decision did not work out so well.  I happened to be good at it and it is interesting and uses both of my degrees.  I have been very lucky actually but just wasn’t what I had ever planned to do.

I am just here trying my best to do a good job even though my head and heart were not 100% into it.  Luckily for me my 80% is still better than most people’s 100%.  Sure I have issues in the work place but I have always been efficient.  And some people are just dead weight.  The more dead weight the more miserable I become.  Anyways I knew it wasn’t just about where I worked.

A few friends have talked to me about leaving and have even tried to help me find a job.  I haven’t applied for any jobs because none of them feel right.  And really it isn’t that I have a bad job.  There are certainly worse jobs and I also clearly know that I am lucky to have a job.  There have been so many layoffs the last few years.  I was a statistic right in the beginning of people losing their jobs and it sucked.  I try to remember that every day.  To be thankful that I have a job.   And I need a job so I keep going and I keep trying to like it and do my best.  But I get aggravated a lot.  Although this could be related to sleep deprivation too!  (2 nights now he has not woken me up- yay!)

But I also know this feeling of wanting to do something else has been an underlying thought for years, even before I took my current job.  I just didn’t know what I wanted to do.   Of course I know also know a lot of my underlying “this isn’t right” feelings are also related to being different from everyone else.  That underlying feeling will always be there.

But I know that I would like to help others.  I technically help others right now but it is not the same.  So anyways I had to first decide what exactly I wanted to do.

For example – I had been involved with some groups prior to homeschooling and it was suggested that I become a parent mentor or parent advocate.  I thought about it but it did not feel like the right fit.  When thinking of what I want to be when I grow up I think of every aspect of it.  What training or education would I need?  Is that feasible?  How long would it take to get that training?  How much would it cost? What jobs could I get afterwards?  How much would I make?  (as the primary support of the household that has to be considered, as much as I don’t want it to be a consideration!  I tried to win the lotto :))  What would I do in the job?  I visualize every part of the job- what I would wear, who I would have to interact with, what my daily job would be like, what else I could do with that job, how would it help people.  I analyze, I visualize, I analyze some more.

I know I had friends saying that I didn’t seem happy and that I needed to make a change.  Yes but it is a big change and I don’t want to just go get another job while trying to decide.  That would mean another change and I had to focus on what I wanted to do for a living.  I couldn’t change jobs too.   So I probably seemed stuck but I was really analyzing and visualizing all of my options trying to find the right one.  I went through this for years, specifically the last year I had a vague idea of the direction I wanted to go but needed to figure out exact details.  And then figure out the exact, best way to get there.

My application for my next degree is going into the mail today.  I don’t want to say much more at the moment but I made the decision.  I hope I get in.   I can’t wait to be out of school and on my next career.  I know I need to take the steps to get there.  Which is hard, because I just want to be there now that I know what there is.  But I am relieved to  finally know what I want to do and to be moving in the right direction.  But also scared, what if it isn’t the right direction.  So many what-ifs but I am trying not to think about those.

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Comments

  1. I want to comment on so many things! I found myself saying, “Yes, yes” a lot as I read your post. I can’t gather all my thoughts. You got me thinking about so many things.

    I still have not figured out what I am going to be when I grow up, for the time being I think that I am supposed to stay home with the kids and focus on them.

    I am all over the place though with what I want to do. One day it’s a computer programmer, the next day a teacher, the next day helping with adults/or children on the spectrum, the next day a ballerina, (which doesn’t look promising since I am 39. :-)) the next day an Apple engineer…ok, some of mine are a little unrealistic.

    I was relieved to read that I am not the only one who has not “found” their way. However, I am not sure if I will ever be settled. That can be a good thing…sometimes…sometimes.

    “I had to pick up every single get well card. I had to read all of them. Think through what emotions the words would bring up and if they were appropriate.”
    Oh, my goodness and this is why I do not get cards!! It takes me hours to pick them out. 🙂

    • Oh! And congratulations on your “choosing” and new adventure! I hope it all goes well! I am excited for you! (I totally thought of that in the beginning of my comment and then forgot. :-/)

    • Thank you 🙂 glad I am not the only one but also wish you didn’t have same issues!

      I hate picking out cards because how hard it is. I usually only buy one if it jumps out at me as being perfect. Like husbands valentines day card had pic of dog that looked exactly like our previous dog. Of course that backfired because made him sad! I don’t like buying cards at all!

  2. Aha! So I am not the only one who has to look at every card and consider every contingency before making that $4 purchase. I could fret and read for an afternoon.

    I wish I had some clever words for you concerning a career path. I am so lost myself, I don’t know what to do. Like you, I give my all to what I love. In the past it has been so all-consuming for me that I eventually crash and burn. I have found some moderation in pursuing art, since it is a isolated pursuit and won’t wither if I need to take a two week mental health break.

    You seem to have many skills, I am certain that you could pursue any passion and help people immensely. Passion is what makes an excellent advocate.

  3. I’ve been through a very similar process, which my asperger’s diagnosis accelerated into a new degree-application last summer! I started studying in January and, while it is hard to get into the new habit, I am loving it. I hope you do too :o)

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