I seem to be in a never ending quest to figure out 'what's next.' Make a plan, I keep telling myself. Think about it, figure out what to do next and then once you do that, just go out and do it. Five more years until loan forgiveness*, you can do this. It'll be worth it.
Problem is, that leaves me sitting on my ass and thinking about things instead of rolling up my sleeves and getting out there and actually doing things. Maybe that's been what I've been doing wrong all this time. I've always told myself that I hate people that expect 'the thing' just to knock on the door one day and introduce itself- you've got to actual be a little proactive about going out and finding 'the thing' whatever it is. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that and ended up breaking my own rule and became one of those people just expecting 'the thing' just to knock on the door one day and introduce itself.
Along the way, over the years, I've had push away from the job a bit and force myself to unplug. I got bad at that earlier in the year again and between the stress of moving, the stress of a staffing situation at work that is only now starting to ease ever so slightly, I sort of lost perspective and lost myself a little bit.**
I don't know what it is... could be the warmer weather. Could be the mountain of stress that was moving receding rapidly in the rearview mirror. But for the first time in a long time, I feel like myself again and I feel like I'm ready to embrace these words of wisdom from the late, great David Bowie:
I'm pretty sure I've said variations of something like this before. Along with the inevitable, 'but this time it'll be different, I swear' that usually follows in it's wake- but it's worth watching this video over and over again because it's so, so right: You have to work for yourself. You have to remember that no job is worth losing yourself or should ever be more important than your family.
The thing is, if I really put my mind to something, I'm sort of surprised as what I can accomplish. Before I got back on with the department, I spent 6 months working at a call center out in Coralville doing the most ethically compromised job I think I'll ever do: financial aid counseling for an online University. Month 6 was when you got your first raise and after about Month 2, I decided that I would be damned if I was going to be here long enough to get that raise- and it took a dollop of good luck, but I never actually worked their long enough to get that raise.
If I put my shoulder against the mountain, I can do a lot. (One of many things I seem to have forgotten over the years.) So, as summer rolls around, here's what I know:
1. This is my last stop in the Law Enforcement business.
2. I'm going to spend a couple of years taking a hard look at going to law school.
3. But since that costs money, I'm also going to work on actually using my degree. (Either through breaking into teaching somehow or getting off my ass and getting involved in politics to some degree, somehow. Still working on the how part of this.)
4. I'm going to keep writing. (There's at least two more books rattling around in my brain and the loose beginnings of a third.)
5. I'm going to launch a Podcast. (Hopefully by fall.)
6. I'm going to start brewing my own booze. (Either mead or beer or probably both.)
I'll be damned. After years of cogitating and pondering, I do believe that looks like a pretty solid plan. Now it's just time to roll up the sleeves and get to it- and more importantly, to see where it takes me and where I end up.
Let's get to work.
*Assuming, of course Our New Overlord In Chief President Trump doesn't scrap the program entirely.
**The Missus was quite helpful in pointing out that I had my head up my ass. Reason #1,432,094 that I love and adore her.