At the edge of the horizon

At the edge of the horizon
At the edge of Japan

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Finding a way...Finding my way

I'm just going to re-post something I wrote suddenly on my Facebook wall because I feel that it needs more context. I'm not certain if what I am feeling is entirely reverse culture shock or if it is a combination of being in transition, going through reverse culture shock, being unemployed, feeling very uncertain again about my life and the decisions I've made so far, fearing that I'm going to end up falling back into that familiar hometown rut, feeling as if everyone else around has their shit together and is much further along in their lives than I am, etc. etc. among other fears. Sorry this post isn't more cheerful.  Yesterday was a wonderful day with a million positive ideas coming to me.  Today seems to be less productive. Everyday throws something different at me and I deal with it either positively or negatively, though nothing exciting really is happening in my life currently (and maybe that's the real problem).  It seems though that I usually feel this way whenever I have to apply to jobs and I look around at the jobs available in my hometown and how limiting they seem to be.  To be honest, I'm considering going back to graduate school again. Not because it's a way to avoid working (I really do enjoy having a job and an income), but because I keep feeling that it may be the only way forward career wise.  Maybe I'm not thinking creatively enough though. Maybe I'm just afraid of change and afraid of rejection and full of all the fears that hold everyone back.  I feel that I need to start working harder at something so that I can be devoted to that while I'm trying to figure out the rest of my life. 

Periodically throughout the day, almost everyday, though some days are better than others, I feel this sudden sense of bewilderment creep over me. The question "what am I doing here?" rises to my lips, though I don't mouth it aloud. When I first arrived 3 weeks ago, it was as if I could still see Japan's shoreline as I slowly drifted away. I felt sure of myself. I didn't mind things then as I felt sure in some sense that I had made the correct decision. Now, 3 weeks have gone by, and the shoreline has started to disappear entirely and I'm left out at sea with only this vague sense of movement pushing me further away from where I was into a vast unknown, with nothing in sight to guide me to the next place that I belong. Then the waves of pressure overtake me. My internal critic comes alive shouting "you should know what you are doing by now", "you should have a career", "you should be more established," "you're floundering" "you're failing," etc. I feel overwhelmed when this happens and start to worry that I've made all the wrong decisions, that I went in the wrong direction, that I spent too much time away from my own culture, that I didn't work hard enough or meet the right people especially in my 20s when I was trying hard to establish myself as an artist/performer/writer, that my graduate education has been wasted, that the doors just never opened, that I am in essence alone out on this ship out in the middle of the ocean without a compass or a map.


  1. Nice post, Autumn. Admire you for articulating and sharing these fears/concerns that so many of us can relate to (even ones who supposedly have their shit together). I think most people are not comfortable admitting they don't know what the hell they're doing. But the reality, I believe, is that we all are a bit lost and trying to find our way all the time.

  2. Hi Holly! Thanks for commenting. You're definitely someone I would consider having their life in order. You look very professional on your LinkedIn account.

    Right now, my biggest fear is falling into destitution and thanks to my incredible debt load for a degree that has so far proved to be meaningless when applying to jobs, it's very possible. It's becoming very clear to me that I need to get a PhD or go back to school for a "practical" MA that will open up job opportunities for me. Either that or get certified to teach in the public schools (which isn't really what I want to do...)

    Any suggestions?