Slowly but surely I am beginning to get a picture of my future. But staring me in the face is the big unknown of how and when to jump. And annoying me considerably is the sheer amount of people who seem to enjoy discouraging me from the abyss.
Of course it's their abyss, not mine. I see ahead of me a life not restricted by the days of the week or the need to go to work to fit a predetermined routine of hours within a day. I see a life where I can pursue creative pursuits, read a book all day should I choose, and follow my dreams of experiencing different cultures and scenery throughout this wonderful world.
I have considered cutting the naysayers out of my life altogether, their negativity annoys me so much. "You won't know what to do with yourself!" BULLSHIT!! Don't they understand how trapped I feel at present? Their security is my prison.
I work in Aboriginal Health, a sector of health care which is under resourced. The sheer enormity of health problems, made worse by social, educational, employment and racial discrimination, mean that what is spent only skims the surface. There is a huge lack of health professionals, be they nurses, doctors, allied health or aboriginal health workers, willing to work in this field, and those that do are overworked and overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Many see their work as a vocation, and feel violated when a colleague expresses their work as "just a job". It used to be a vocation, I now understand I'm over it and it's time to move on.
There is no sense of loss. I think I've understood for a while that I have been stagnating. I have reached a point where I realise I cannot encourage my colleagues to take on ownership and responsibility for moving forward whilst I remain nominally the senior colleague. I am, however, optimistic, that with my registrar having been forced by family circumstances to stay, that his enthusiasm and the knowledge and experience of another colleague returning to work in town will see the gains made in clinical outcomes in the last few years continue to improve.
So is it time to jump? Psychologically, yes, but practically, not yet. I need to build enough passive income to keep my head above water, the debts paid and some left over to live on. I have no doubt that another 12 months of employed income should be enough to see me over the financial summit I see so near, but my mental state is not up to the journey. I need this upcoming six month break to rest and refresh, trial pushing the financial envelope a little, and then hunker down for the final dash to the finish line.
I hope to see a change in the direction of my work in the next 12 - 18 months, which will see me getting some of my passion back, even if only in the short term. I know my limits, I've been to a bad place and survived, and am grateful to be in a job that allows me to take the mental breaks when I need them. I will retire when I have enough money, and when the badly needed home improvements are done, then I will pursue my dreams.
I just have to survive till then. And accept that not everyone has the imagination to see my future as one full of new challenges and opportunities.