Who Am I Supposed To Be?

I’ve been staring at a blank screen for half an hour trying to think of the words that I want to say. They’re all in my head, but none of them are reaching my fingertips. So, this is my makeshift introductory paragraph and hopefully the rest of my thoughts come out. If not, it looks like an early bedtime tonight.

I always thought that after I graduated from University, my life would be mapped out ahead of me. I would be really passionate about something and find a job with ease.

I could not be more wrong.

I look around and everyone seems to know what they want to do. Everyone is passionate about something. Everyone knows what job they want and are well on their way to achieving that goal. Some have the next ten years all planned out; even marriage. Me, I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow. Or maybe, everyone is not like this. Maybe, everyone is a good actor and they’re all equally lost and confused. Failing that theory, I was probably absent the day they taught us in school how to plan our future. Great. So much for a “buddy” getting me work that I missed.

This isn’t a case of sour grapes – I’m glad people know what their future holds and have things planned out. I just wish I could say the same thing.

It’s frustrating. I graduated with a Sport Management degree. I have always loved sports, but do I really want to work in sports? Or is it more of a pastime for me? I got a glimpse of the sports industry from the inside, and although I learned a lot, I left not knowing if it was the right place for me.

I think it’s ridiculous that people have to choose a career path in Grade 12 and apply to post-secondary school with that career in mind. Aren’t we a bit young to be deciding stuff that important? That’s why I’ve never questioned anyone who switches out of their program, for something else, in University. I get it.

By the way, those online surveys they make you take in high school, that spit out an occupation at the end – I’ve never thought something was so pointless in my life. I never, ever, ever, ever, ever, took th…not done, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER, took the result seriously. A computer can’t tell me what I’m supposed to do with my life, sorry. And don’t try to tell me it can help point me in the right direction, either. It didn’t.

I’ve always liked to write and entertain others through my work. Perhaps I can be a sports writer? But, I wouldn’t want to be a reporter that comments on each individual game or gives the same analysis as 40 other reporters. I don’t want to interview athletes. Athletes never say anything interesting. I would want to write opinion pieces about topics that are of interest to me. I’ve never been one to copy what others are doing and I certainly don’t want to start now. And if sports writing fails, maybe just writing in general…about stuff…I guess?

I don’t have a journalism or writing degree, though. Should I return to school? I wouldn’t even know what to take. Yes, I miss the experience and the setting, but I don’t miss the work that comes with it. Out of all the assignments I ever completed, only a few stick out as being “enjoyable.” The rest were interesting, but were more of a hinderance, or bothersome to complete.

Maybe it was all the research papers. I never enjoyed research. I never liked digging for quotes that kinda, sorta, fit what I wanted to say. This is why I love blogging. The handcuffs are off. I am free to write whatever I want and not worry about possibly plagiarizing something that I don’t even know exists. My voice can come through my writing, rather than a robotic tone that refers to a “Peer-Reviewed Journal Article” every other sentence.

Or maybe it was all the group work that put a foul taste in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind working with people. But, almost every assignment I did was with a group. There was rarely an opportunity for me to do something on my own, where I could either sink, or swim. Everything was a team effort. I never really knew how good I was working on my own, except for exams. So is my confidence in my abilities lacking right now? Yeah, a bit.

Now that I’m out of school, I still don’t understand the purpose of group work. We were told that in the real world, you have to know how to work with people. That’s fair. But don’t split us into groups of 5, and give us a 10-page paper, and tell us to each write 2 pages. Sure, less work for all of us. But, when you put it together, it is abundantly clear that 5 different people wrote the document. Everyone has their own writing style. Imagine if this blog post were written by 5 different people. I’ll bet you anything, you could tell when one person stopped writing, and another person started. Ridiculous. Besides, I’d rather receive a bad mark for something I did by myself, than a good mark I got with a group. Honestly. And that’s not me trying to make a point. I want to know how I did and how I, personally, can improve. I don’t enter the real world with my group members by my side. I enter on my own.

I’m lost. If someone gave me the power to choose any job in the world right now…I wouldn’t have an answer.

Every job I’ve ever had in my life came about by pure luck. They were opportunities that presented themselves out of nowhere, and I knew they were a perfect fit the second I saw them. I live with the mindset that when the right thing comes along, I’ll know. The only problem with this mindset is – I don’t know what I’m looking for.

I hate waking up every day, looking at job postings, and not liking what I see. I’ve gone through hundreds of postings in my “field”, but I can only picture myself in a handful of them. What’s wrong with me? Why is this so hard?

I’ve never really had a dream job. Growing up, I wanted to be a baseball player. That dream was dashed when I was about 10. Then, I wanted to be a General Manager of a sports franchise. Once I realized how few of those jobs actually exist, and hearing that to get in the door, “you need to know someone”, I gave up on that, too. I don’t know anyone with connections. Heck, I’ve never even met a “famous” person before.

I’ve always been the person that people go to when they want to tell someone about something. In a sense, I feel like Dr. Phil. I also feel like CNN – just a huge network of information. I guess I give better advice to other people than I give myself. After all, they’re not the one’s struggling with what they want to do with their life; I am.

People like my pep talks…maybe I can be a motivational speaker? A life coach? A speech writer? A comedy writer? I’m lost, I tell ya.

Friends that I would see every day, and could talk to, I no longer see. They are away at school. I’m on my own, awaiting their text messages, which come less frequently than they used to. I’m not in the loop like I once was. That’s ok, but it’s a sad reminder that I’m no longer a student and am now in the real world.

I believe that everyone is placed in this world to play a role. Unfortunately, I don’t know what mine is right now. I’m like a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit anywhere until all the other pieces have been put together. I knew I always hated puzzles.

So, until a light bulb goes off, or a job posting jumps out at me, I don’t know what to do with myself. Maybe I’ll send a sample of my blog posts to some newspapers or media companies and hope someone takes a chance on me.

I really don’t know. I’m tired of putting on an optimistic face and telling people that I don’t have a job and I don’t know what I want to pursue.

I’m ready for this year to be over. Yeah, I graduated, but as a whole, it’s been one to forget. When everything seems to be going against you, the only thing you can do is watch the calendar and hope time fixes everything.

If there is anyone out there in the same position as me, I understand how you feel. My glimmer of hope is this: I don’t think we’ll go the next 40-50 years without a job. Eventually, something will happen. Hopefully, sooner, rather than later. Right? Right? I feel like I just planted a horrifying thought in some people’s subconscious that will appear in a nightmare of theirs in the near future. Sorry.

Unlike school, there is no answer key to life. If there was, I would know exactly who I am supposed to be.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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8 Responses to Who Am I Supposed To Be?

  1. Alexzandra Goode says:

    I think this is something that rings true for a lot of us at the moment. We haven’t even graduated from university yet, but we’re already being encouraged to find work experience or start applying for graduate jobs, without a degree! I don’t know how much you know about the English school system, but we have to know what we want to do from Grade 9. We choose a set of subjects to study, then narrow it down to four, then three subjects (A Levels at Grade 12) but they have to be alongside what we want to study at university. For example, if I don’t take a science when I’m 15, I then can’t take a science when I’m 17 and therefore don’t have the qualifications to do it at university. It means a lot of people end up stuck, and having to choose a degree around the subjects they’ve chosen, even if those subjects were a mistake.
    It sounds to me like you might want to do some post-grad studies in journalism, or even creative writing. I do English & Creative Writing now, and here it’s one of the most diverse and popular degrees in the country. Most people return to study in Creative Writing after their degree, people who do law, psychology, sport, catering because it gives you the most options to express yourself. Lots of publishers do part time writing courses too, if you don’t want to register to study again. Good luck!

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Yeah, for me in high school, English was mandatory all 4 years. Science was mandatory for only grade 9 & 10. Math was mandatory for 9-11. So I guess it’s the same as you, we had to take classes as prerequisites for classes we would take in Grade 11 and 12. I’m not really thrilled about the prospective of returning to school, but maybe I’ll give it a look. Thanks!

      Like

  2. I’m pretty much in the same boat as you. I graduated last December and for the longest time I thought that I would be going to Grad School right after, but I was exhausted by the end and I wanted a break. A couple of things happened in life that My family or I ever thought would happen, but they did. So I was kind of stuck in limbo. It’s hard to find out what you’re passionate about sometimes. I love watching Football (Soccer) but I don’t see myself being a sports journalist, I studied history in University but I never studied it in the hopes that I’d get a job, I just took courses in history because they interested me. That’s the twisted logic that I can never understand- the fact that you go to University in the hopes that you’re going to get a job if you do.I mean that argument at the moment is quite invalid considering that even a Masters isn’t enough anymore. I’m always wondering if I could find a career that could fit all my interests.Publishing could be one, but I always wonder if I’m thick skinned enough to work in cut-throat environments. When I really think about it, I enjoyed working at University for our Centre for New Students. It was an incredibly rewarding job and I loved working with students. But I wonder if it is something that I could love long term. I’m sure you’ll figure out what you want in the end :). It’ll probably come when you least expect it :). Great post!

    Oh by the way- What are your thoughts on the brawl that happened during that Leafs game with the Sabers? I had to ask a friend of mine about it, but it was all over facebook- at least on the pages of my Leafs fans :P.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Yeah I was burnt out by the end of school too and needed a break. There are some things that I enjoy doing and think I would like, but nothing really stands out a a “career”. That’s the scary part. Thanks for the kind words. Hoping everything works out!

      As for the brawl…I thought it was hilarious. Kessel looked like he was chopping down a tree. I can’t blame him for doing that, he had a giant coming after him. He got suspended for the rest of the pre-season, that’s fine with me. Pre-season means nothing anyways. It’s unfortunate that Clarkson left the bench to fight and got a 10 game suspension. He’s gotta be smarter than that. Overall, I hate how the Sabres employ a 6’8 player who is only there to fight and can’t play hockey. Good for him for having a job, I guess!

      Like

  3. aqilaqamar says:

    Reblogged this on Iconography ♠ Incomplete.

    Like

  4. I wonder where you are now since you wrote this post… Glad to be back here. I’ve always loved reading your posts. They make one think.

    Liked by 1 person

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