Square peg. Round hole. I use a mallet to make it fit, pounding it until the corners are wedged into the space. The peg has adapted to the opening. Or has it?
I have been working in IT for the past 7 years. Before that I worked for another company for 10 years in different positions requiring me to troubleshoot issues, define processes and otherwise solve problems. I’m good at it, but I’m just a square peg. If I can do something well does that mean I’m happy or satisfied doing it? Have I adapted?
I am unhappy at my job and I’m finding it hard to hide it anymore. My coworkers advise me to stop trying so hard, stop caring about things I cannot change. Do what I’m asked to do, and no more. But this isn’t who I want to be.
Recently I’ve been putting serious thought into what I want to do for the rest of my life. The changes in my thinking these past couple of years have opened my eyes to the possibilities and so I’m exploring options I never would have considered before. I want to contribute, make things better in a way that only I can. I want to collaborate with others, not compete. I want to use my creativity and imagination to build something not yet conceived by others.
In college I got degrees in Spanish and Linguistics. I was going to be a teacher, but honestly there were so many reasons I didn’t choose this path. I was afraid. I couldn’t imagine being in front of a class, the center of attention. An extra year of college would add to my growing student loans, a bill I was carrying without help from my parents. The government has crippled teachers’ ability to truly educate their students, insisting each follow a standard, requiring each to conform to the lowest common denominator. Leaving no child behind has resulted in all children being left behind.
So education is more of a rectangular hole, instead of the square one I am seeking.
Other options I’d consider would require additional formal education and as much as I truly enjoy learning, the idea of pursuing a master’s degree sounds dreadful, and that is not in line with how I want to spend the next couple of years. I may decide later to follow that path, but now is not the time.
And this is why I took another stab at writing. I don’t know that it will ever replace the income I receive through my day job, but I also don’t know that it won’t. There are many paths available and I’m exploring several. The book I’m publishing just a week from today is one path. Many years ago I taught writing to children through the recreation center where I lived in NH. That is another path I’m considering. Doors are opening, revealing more possibilities, more holes in which my peg may fit.
Truthfully, there are ways I could quit my job today and live the next couple of years without a full time job. It’s an option I’m considering but it’s hard to give up the security from the job I have. There is also a certain amount of freedom afforded when you have steady income, and I am not yet ready to let that go. But the thought is there, in the back of my mind.
So tell me, have you found your square hole? Have you decided to become a round peg instead? I’d love to hear your stories!
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Mallet