- I've disliked my job from the very first day I set foot in the office more than 3 years ago -- the atmosphere as well as the subject matter. I've stayed because (i) I agreed to stay for at least 2 years, and I wanted to prove I could do it no matter how tough it was, (ii) I'm paid well for what I do, and I the health benefits are generous, (iii) the economy, and (iv) I can't think of anything I would actually like to do instead;
- I am relatively isolated. The only person I see outside of work is my fiance, and the only other people I regularly keep in contact with are my parents (I don't have any siblings). I've never been very sociable, and I find that making (and keeping) friends is sort of exhausting and difficult. However, now that I work in a tiny office, and I'm not in school, I find myself missing a little bit of companionship. And sadly, I find it especially difficult to make friends and identify with other women.
- I have no solid interests. This is either the cause or the result of my tendency toward consumption-based addictions (see: FOOD and SHOPPING), I haven't decided. I don't really do many things that could be considered "hobbies". I've tried things like knitting, but it feels pointless. I read sometimes. I tried a silver-smithing class. I've signed up for a sewing class. Nothing really sticks, and I spend most of my time doing what amounts to nothing, which produces more anxiety. It also makes things like "interest inventories" difficult, since I can see myself enjoying each option equally, which makes picking a direction that much harder.
- I haven't worked out a purpose. Now, I don't mean some big Come to Jesus moment where I attain spiritual enlightenment. I'm talking about something that I can get passionate about. It doesn't have to be something I do for a living right now; it doesn't have to be philanthropic or IMPORTANT; it just need something fulfilling that excites me -- something that I can nurture and develop that makes my heart pound -- something I want to stay up all night working on until I can't keep my eyes open. Items 3 and 4 are subtly different. 3 can serve as fodder for some light conversation. 4 gets me out of bed in the morning. Ideally (eventually), a career could be derived from or based on 4, but should at least be related tangentially to 3. 3 is broad, 4 is deep. I don't think I need to say it, but knitting doesn't fall into this category either. I painted for a while in college, and that was the closest I ever felt to feeling "flow" (except for maybe my philosophy course), but its such a big, tortured process, and I don't think it was THE THING for me.
I'm aware that these are all big elements of life, and a lot of people would argue that, outside of the things I've included in this list, there's not much else to it. These are really basic things that make up a personality -- likes, dislikes, friends -- that make up a person, and as such, they're things that I shouldn't even have to consciously address, which makes their absence even more perplexing.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone who finds him or herself in similar circumstances, or someone who has successfully fixed what needed fixin'.