It was very apparent to me how widely I've diverged from the standard path when one of them said, "And what are you doing ... now?"
That was when it hit me: they'd all picked a career and stayed with it (or become stay at home moms who were going to return to their previous careers) and, I had ...
I don't have a career path. I have a career maze.
What I'm doing now kind of depends on what day it is.
I've become that friend. The flaky one. The one who is like Phoebe on Friends but without the guitar skills. The one you rely on for crazy-assed stories about her latest job adventures.
This isn't who I intended to be, in case you were wondering. Originally? I wanted to get my doctorate in medieval literature.
Yeah, I know. That makes me laugh too.
And then I wanted to be a teacher. I did that for a while. I never felt like I was good enough and then I got the double whammy of a) a principal who hated me and b) and actual fist to the noggin and thought, this might not be it.
I haven't found "it" -- I've found a lot of "Nope. Not this." I think that one of the biggest blessings of some terrible personal relationships has -- for me anyway -- been this: I suck at settling. I am not willing to be unhappy for someone else's benefit. I just won't.
So I keep searching, like a ridiculous bird that is trying to find that one perch. The Goldilocks bird, searching for the branch that is juuuuust right.
Someday I might find it. That would be great.
Until then, I won't be afraid to say, "Nope."