Posted by: jt | July 13, 2009

just because i’m losing doesn’t mean i’m lost, doesn’t mean i’ll stop

After a truly decadent weekend of road-tripping to Portland with a friend, luxury accommodations (for next to nothing) at a swank hotel, FRONT ROW SEATS at a kickass Coldplay concert (which were completely unexpected), a meandering drive home (including detours to raspberry farms and Mount St. Helens, simply because they were there), and a Sunday of sleep, sleep, and more sleep…coming into the office this morning was not pleasant.

I have a cool job – this is universally accepted. It’s rarely boring, it’s frequently challenging, I’m always learning new things, and I get to meet super-cool people like the First Turkish!First Muslim!First Immigrant!Austrian!Green Party!Member of Parliament. I Heart Effi.

And yet, this morning I had to give myself a five minute pep talk about the fact that I do like my job. I do. Really.

I get that this is totally normal but it doesn’t change the fact that, frankly, I’m kind of bored.  I’m not here to be the Deputy Director of the program I work on, I’m here to be the Director. That was very clear to all parties. It could be more imminent than I think but, at present, there are no signs. (Yes, yes, there is a frank conversation in my future.)

I’m also wondering if I’ve run my course in this program. It’s been five years and I love it – I really do – but loving something doesn’t mean I have to work on it. I’ve had a positive impact on this network – some of it in tangible ways that are very cool to contemplate. That said, I’m tired of the politics. I’m tired of the game when we’re all on the same team.

My restless nature was exacerbated both by hanging out with my friend this weekend (who does what I do and is her own boss) and by reading this interview in Die Presse today. For those who can’t read German (try a Google translation for a very rough version), the aforementioned Austrian MP kicks some serious Freedom Party ass. He’s on message, articulate, and meeting his far-right opponent’s opinions with facts. Yes. This.

Me, restless?

Me, drawn to campaigns?

Me, looking for any excuse to go back to Austria?

All of this led to a GChat this evening with my former boss, who is now “just” an effortless amalgam of mentor/friend/colleague/mom/partner in crime. As ever, she hits the nail on the head and minces no words:

Me: *sigh* I really do like my job, right?

Me: I’m not just killing time before I run off to Austria to work on a campaign?

Her: Um. I think you are killing time…but I don’t know if it’s because you are destined to work on an Austrian campaign…

Me: Wow

Me: So what should I be doing instead of killing time?

Her: Not “instead of;” “in addition to” —

That is the question, isn’t it? “In addition to…”

I’m in the odd position…the uncomfortable and unfamiliar position…the unique position in my life where I am making plans. I don’t plan my life. I go with it and I let things happen. It’s worked remarkably well for me thus far.

For the first time, I’m contemplating a plan. A goal. An objective. A long-term, multi-step process in which, if I’m wrong, I will have wasted time, energy, money, and confidence.

It’s more than a little bit terrifying.

But isn’t that what life’s about?


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