Sometimes I forget who I am. It sounds silly, but the older I get the easier it is to do. It’s not like being stricken with amnesia where everything goes away all at once. It’s more like a gradual ebbing of pieces of my self-awareness. When I finally realize it’s happened, I can generally pinpoint what part of me has faded. Then I start to wonder if it’s worth reviving.
Waiting for the results of a credential recertification application is a special kind of purgatory. On the one hand, you know you worked hard enough to earn the credential in the first place, but on the other hand, you start to question whether the past few years were actually good enough to pass muster the second time around.
In my storied office worker past, I have held many roles, mostly administrative in nature and all involving helping others. In interviews, my favorite question is usually “What do you like least about your job” or “What do you not like to do?” My answer has held steady for over 15 years with “file.” It’s simple, relatable and though growing increasingly outdated, relevant. I haven’t met anyone who heard me say that and didn’t at least chortle. Honestly, who enjoys filing?
I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I have absolutely no life plan. I did at one time, or at least I thought I did. Then life happened, as it turns out, it often does. The resulting spiral of self-doubt, panic and analysis paralysis has lasted almost half my life now. It’s time to figure it out, right? So why can’t I?
It’s been four years since I sat in a conference room with two other adults crying my eyes out. It was the first time I heard the terms “severance,” “COBRA,” and “position elimination.” Well, maybe not Cobra, but that sure did not turn out to be what I was familiar with. What I did know was that it meant the job I moved to another state for and spent three years doing didn’t exist anymore. My job had just broken up with me.
Yesterday my boss traveled back in time to 1940. It’s the only explanation for why what went down in the office yesterday could possibly happen. I’m all for time travel and I often daydream about what era I should have been born in. Hint: not the one with no indoor plumbing or hairdryers. So I really should have been giddy as all hell when I found myself face to face with a time traveler. Sadly, my reaction was anything but giddy. You see friends, this time traveler wanted coffee and he wanted me to get it.