So, it’s the New Year and like most people, I am reflecting on what happened last year and what my hopes and dreams are for the coming one.
Last year was in some ways a difficult one on the career front. In late 2017 I gave up what I had hoped would be my dream career in the Conservation world. My job at The National Archives was going to be my “until I retire” second career. I had big plans when I received a scholarship and internship there in 2012. I had completed a degree in my late thirties and now I was going to be a conservator. I was incredibly proud of myself. I had stepped way outside my comfort zone to achieve this. But when the Archives started to shift their focus away from paper conservation to digital work my hopes of ever attaining a permanent position as a conservator faded. I became frustrated, not just with the Archives but with myself. I didn’t have the confidence to seek another conservation job but knew I couldn’t stay where I was. When I left I mourned the loss of who I had thought I was going to become. I was embittered and disappointed with myself.
I have been doing administrative work for my husband’s company and on the side, building this business; trying to decide what The Blue Stocking Society is going to look like and how it will serve both my own dreams but also support others. Organising the Collected and Created Market has been part of that, giving both myself and others a platform to show their creativity. I have also started a Masters in Antiques and already finding this as the intellectual challenge I was missing.
I listen to a popular Australian podcast, Mamamia Outloud. At the beginning of each new year they pick one word they want to focus on, rather than a resolution. They also encourage listeners to do the same. My word for this year is DO. I am a planner, a dreamer and if I am being honest, a procrastinator, a perfectionist who doesn’t want to get anything wrong. I always think that if I could just learn enough, study enough, prepare through endless mental interrogation, that THEN I will be ready to take a risk, put myself out there and DO it. I know from the last few years that there is nothing as satisfying as going ahead and carrying out what I have been planning. But having given up my position at the Archives I felt that I had retreated into my safety zone again, and it disappointed me and I felt ashamed. So its time to act again, to DO what I want rather than sitting, stuck with a fear of failure, I have to keep moving forward.
What are you planning this year? What would be your word?