should v. could – or an old dog’s new tricks

I should be working on a few things right now. Namely, the daunting task of figuring out how best to present myself to the world, be it through my resume and tooling it for a few different potential jobs or through figuring out exactly what of the last 12 years of my life I deem “portfolio worthy”.

In reality I’m sitting here with a bit of a headache most likely brought on by the paralyzing fear I get each time I try to figure out how to present myself to the world. It’s so much easier to just duck under the covers and find a few things here and there to keep yourself busy and away from the glaring light of day.

There are a few simple conclusions that I’ve come to in the past 14 days or so. One is that I really don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I mean, I know I really don’t want to work in an environment where I’m the only creative staff. Been there, done that, it’s soul crushing. But aside from that I really don’t know what I want to do. I don’t feel that what I’ve been doing with my life, career wise, is at all indicative of what I’m capable of doing. It’s insanely depressing when you stop and think about the fact that you’ve been doing one thing, or working for one company for your entire adult life and you have little to nothing to show for it, other than a few grey hairs and an aversion to salespeople.

I should be bettering myself through some simple training exercises that are engaging and might help me become a bit more current in my field. And I am, daily, using lynda.com and the webinars on there to assist my somewhat old dog brain in learning new tricks or figuring out where to go from here.

In reality by lunchtime I’m all learned out and my brain returns to the same vicious, dark, downward spirals that suck me in and make my head hurt and my stomach churn. Again with the paralyzing, overwhelming, way too big-ness of “what next” and “how”.

One would think at 34 I might have a clue. What I’ve come to realize is that so many other aspects of my life have changed since I started working for this company 12.5 years ago, things that make me shift my priorities away from being the best at what I do and cause me to just show up and do the job (I can do it in my sleep at this point). Starting over is so daunting. Creating a portfolio when I haven’t shown one to anyone in nearly 13 years is insane. Do I even want to design anymore? What kind of design do I want to do? This job hasn’t inspired me to be creative in years. Is there something out there that might actually spark some? Can this old-ish dog learn new tricks or am I too far behind the curve to be relevant at this point?

Furthermore can I get out of my own head long enough to make any of this happen? (ah, see, there’s the real question)

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