Saturday, October 18, 2008

saturday morning scatter brainedness

i really do love my life right now. i am blessed to share each day with my very best friend, i live in a beautiful little spot near the ocean and i work at one of the best university's in the nation, if not the entire world.

so i feel guilty and ungrateful when I say that I still feel like there is something missing. When I look back and try to reflect on my life, I realize that this feeling seems to have began the year after I graduated from college.

I went straight to grad. school, just a month or two after I graduated to get my Master's in Teaching. I entered with high hopes of finding my calling and I dreamed of inspiring students to make the most of their educations and their own unique talents. As they year carried on however, I began to see just how difficult teaching and reaching out and connecting with students could be. And for one of the first times in my life, I felt defeated without a clear cut idea of how to overcome this sense of defeat.

In the past in school or on the basketball court, I had always just worked harder in order to get past any short comings or obstacles that temporarily blocked my way. And for the most part, I had had success. But teaching for me was a whole different beast.

By the end of the year I was a bit discouraged and burned out and found that I just really didn't love teaching. While my classmates were busy interviewing for jobs, I was planning a move back to San Diego to recover and then a big backpacking trip to Europe with several good friends. And so began my more or less vagabond lifestyle.

I spent about 6 months substitute teaching and coaching basketball in San Diego and then skipped the country for 3months of absolute freedom backpacking through Europe. When I returned I got a temp job and worked another 6 months at a construction company in San Diego before taking off for Japan to teach English. After the company I went to teach with went bankrupt, I headed back to the states and moved up to the bay area to be close to my boyfriend who I love very much and who I had been dating for 10 months long distance and could not stand to be so far away from any longer.

And that pretty much brings me to where I am now, living in the bay area, working at a small Book/Journal Publisher at Stanford. It sounds kind of glamorous, doesn't it? Working in the publishing industry at a prestigious place like Stanford. I guess it is some days in some ways, but the truth of it for me lately, is that I have an administrative job and I am just plain tired of having an admin. job. I spend most of my days working on our Subscription Database, and Book Database. I process different bills incurred by printing books, editorial services, marketing services. I receive subscription requests for our two quarterly journals and process those. I import subscriptions we receive via email onto our subscription database. I am in constant communication with different finance departments on campus to insure that all of our expenses and revenues are processed properly. I prepare deposit reports for checks that we receive for books, subscriptions, advertisements, permissions etc. I track and report our monthly credit card revenue. I pay our 4 book distributors their monthly commissions and prepare various reports showing their monthly sales. I prepare updated mailing lists that I send to our mailing houses before the publication and shipment of each new issue. I prepare a Subscription Statistic Report that tracks where our subscriptions are coming from so we can figure out how to better market our journals. I work closely with the Office of Development to ensure that all of our donors are correctly comped for our publications. I calculate and process royalties for our authors. I communicate with Accounts Payable departments at various Bookstores like Borders, Barnes and Noble, Amazon etc to ensure correct payments for the many invoices that we create and send out.

My days are generally full and on my lunch break I usually head over to the Stanford Gym to lift weights. However, I know in my heart that this is not the kind of work that I want to do. Lately, I have been wishing that I had gone to school for something else or not jumped into grad school so quickly. Lately, I have been feeling a bit discouraged because although I know it is not too late to try something new, I don't know where to start.

I have so many self imposed barriers lurking in my mind right now. Right now, I don't feel as though I have any skill to really offer the world. I am envious of the people who have a skill or talent or knowledge to offer the world and although I know I am young, I feel tired of feeling as though I don't have a skill to offer the world.

I feel stuck between harsh realities and dreams. I follow all these wonderful bloggers who seem to be doing things that they are passionate about, photography, writing etc and I want to do what these people do, yet I feel limited and unable, either financially or because I manage to convince myself that I am not talented enough.

I am tired of feeling this way in my life. I am tired of feeling unsure and timid and as though I am holding back for fear of other's opinion and approval. I am tired of feeling like the young and unexperienced one.

Has anyone else ever felt the way that I do? Does it get better as you get older? Do you ever become more sure?

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