Mid-life Crisis

Another one of those troublesome sleepless nights. Excuse me while I think out loud. I think I’m having a mid-life crisis. I’ll be 35 next month. I’m entitled.

I don’t like my life right now. Not one bit. It’s boring, I feel really stressed, and I’m not accomplishing much of anything. I’m living in an apartment I can’t really afford in a city which increasingly annoys me. I have no social life to speak of, which wouldn’t bother me if I were using my time alone productively, but I’m not. I have a part-time job and I do some freelance work (neither of which I really envision ever completely paying the bills). And I’m smoking way too much.

This is not a whine, nor a plea for comforting pats on the back. It’s just a statement of fact. I need to be doing something radically different. It’s very possible that I also need to be living someplace radically different.

Give me a little leeway. I’m trying to work out a life plan here.

First and foremost, it’s time to consider the unthinkable: the fact that I should get a real, normal full-time job. It’s been two and a half years since I’ve had one, and I’ve finally realized that all this spare time is a large part of what’s keeping me from getting anything done.

Again, please hold the “you do a great web site which entertains many people” email. This kind of ego boost is alwys welcome, of course, but it’s not really what I need right now. Tonight is more of a “swift kick in the butt” kind of evening. Specific job offers, of course, would be quite appropriate at this point. Even if I don’t accept them, they might offer an idea what I should be doing next.

At this point, I’ll also request there be no email of the “you should be a writer” or “you should be a web designer” sort. I KNOW I should be one or the other (or maybe even something else completely unrelated). What I’m looking for here is specifics rather than general advice. But thanks all the same.

I’m still thinking out loud. I’m not really even looking for feedback necessarily, although there has to be a headhunter or a career counselor somewhere out there.

I know a little about a lot of subjects, but I fear I don’t know enough about any one single subject to be particularly marketable. Take web design: I’m good at it, I make fast, great-looking pages, and I can organize large amounts of information really well. But I’m not really a programmer. I have absolutely no interest in ever becoming more of a programmer than I am. And that’s becoming a big weakness. I’m also not cut out to let freelance and contract work be my only source of income.

I like to write. I’m even fairly good at it, some have said. I might even be able to edit, if pushed. But how do I go about doing these things? The problem is, of course, that I’m in a bit of a hurry. Anyone out there starting a magazine about urban culture and history and looking for someone who can write a column and create your web site? Hell…I’ll even make the damned coffee…

I have lots of interests and a well of knowledge on a number of subjects, none of which really translate into any sort of job that I can identify. I manage people well, I’m pretty good at organizing projects, and I love doing research. There’s got to be a job in there somewhere, but I’m damned if I know what it is.

I’ll stop for now, but I reserve the right to continue tomorrow on the subjects of San Francisco, my social life, and the fact that I haven’t had actual sex in an actual bed in a really long time. Or maybe I’ll just skip it…