Sunday, 21 November 2010

Things Weighing on my Mind...

Apart from figuring out how to get my gay life on the go there are some other things that are weighing on my mind at the moment. And unfortunately they seem to be getting in the way as well. 

Having recently graduated from university and returned home from my post-university celebratory travels, I'm now trying to get my career up and running. Unfortunately I'm not one of those people who has always known exactly what they want to do with their lives. Instead I think I'm more confused than ever! I studied business and specialised in marketing and I feel like I want to go in that sort of direction but there are so many variables out there that are confusing the hell out of me.

For example, do I go the corporate route or try out a more entrepreneurial/small business alternative? The corporates offer money, benefits and opportunities for fast career progression but the thought of being just another cog in the big corporate machine is a bit depressing. A small business on the other hand could provide the opportunity of being involved in something a bit more original - granted, that is, you actually manage to get involved in something truly innovative. If not, you risk being a part of something that's just a big waste of time and then you don't have the comfort of the corporate benefits to fall back on. Ultimately I would love to start my own business one day but I feel like I need some more experience before I do so (not to mention an idea!) But which route would be best to take to get that experience? And then there's the whole challenge of actually getting the experience. The job market is still not good out there and I'm finding it pretty difficult as a graduate to get that all important foot in the door.

I think my greatest fear when it comes to my career is that I will spend the rest of my life being a nobody. Now I don't necessarily mean I want to become a celebrity or anything (although I probably wouldn't say no to that, as long as I was famous for the right reasons of course!) What I mean is that I'm worried that I'll end up doing something that will have no significance for the world whatsoever. I want to do something that will personally challenge me and force me to be the best I can possibly be but I also want to be a part of something that will add some meaningful value to the world. I don't necessarily want to cure cancer or anything (I'm not that idealistic) but I do want to do something that brings some sort meaning or benefit into the world. So many of the job descriptions I read seem so random and pointless that they leave me wondering if the world would be any different if they didn't exist? And I don't want to be a part of anything like that.

In a way I face the age old dilemma of money vs passion. I obviously want to earn lots of money and have the best life possible but I also want to do what I absolutely love doing. At the moment it doesn't seem possible to have both but I hope that one day I'll figure out a way to achieve it. My biggest problem at the moment though is that I'm just not that sure what it is I actually want to do! What am I passionate about that I can turn into a viable long-term career?! All I know is that I want to go far but that's not enough - you need to figure out how you're going to get there.

I know it's difficult for anyone else but me to help me on this and so I'm sorry to have put you through my ramblings but sometimes it does help to just write things down and see them in front of you. It sort of puts your thoughts in order a bit. 

I think I will be facing these challenges for a while to come, which is annoying because it's taking up a lot of my time and energy, which I need to be putting towards my personal life. I know I should probably work on both at the same time but they're both such huge and fundamental parts of my life that I kind of want to just take them one at a time. I feel that once I've got my professional life on track then I can properly concentrate on getting my personal life up to scratch as well.

There are a few things on the gay front that have been worrying me a bit lately too. For starters, I'm still finding it difficult to actually tell people that I'm gay. I mentioned earlier that I recently told my closest friends via email, which was very difficult at the time but in hindsight was the best possible way I could have done it. I realised this when I had lunch with a friend the other day. She's not one of my best friends but we have known each other for quite a few years and spent a lot of time together in the past. I've seen her a few times in the last few months but only at social gatherings where the opportunity to tell her never presented itself. Now that I was having lunch with her on her own though I was determined to tell her and just get it out of the way. But I couldn't!  Sometimes I find it so easy to tell people and I know she wouldn't have a problem with it but sometimes the way people are/act/talk doesn't put me at my ease, which makes it difficult to open up about such personal things. It's frustrating because I just want everybody I encounter to KNOW.

It's definitely one of the biggest challenges I find of being a masculine gay guy. You don't fit the stereotype that people have of gay people and so they don't automatically know you're gay when you meet them making every time you come out a bit awkward. And then even once you're out I find things don't necessarily get easy, as I think people still have some sort of preconceived idea of how gay people should act or what they should talk about. Today I was having lunch with another friend of mine although she has always known that I was gay. When the conversation turned to more "gay friendly" topics like her latest crush or her problems with moisturising I found that I didn't feel totally comfortable. I don't have a problem talking about such things, it's just that I couldn't help but feel like I should be making excessive hand movements or something while I was talking because without them I feel like a bit of a fraud. I know this is all ridiculous but I'm still not at that place where I feel genuinely comfortable as a masculine gay guy.

So these things have all been getting me down a bit lately but I'm trying my best to stay positive, as I'm a firm believer that positive energy gets rewarded with positive results. I'm hoping that in the not too distant future I will figure out what it is I want from life and find a career that is both financially and personally rewarding and that results in something of value being brought into the world. And I hope that I will soon start to feel more comfortable being a masculine gay guy so that I can start having a more fulfilling personal life too.

Here's hoping that someone/something out there in the universe is listening to me!

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