Between Professions

The crisis in the middle of life of finding out that you haven’t really found what you were meant to do has a distinct fascination for me. The idea of a person spending their life doing what they are either not good at or don’t want to do or both is, to me, nothing less than living in a gilded cage – the existence fetches money, but there is always that tricky risk of the bird flying away, and getting lost.






Little kites

That fly the earth.

Winds so mischievous,

They fly away my kites.

I release, the sky takes them.

Nothing’s left in my hand, nothing.

‘Haps this coin in my pocket’ll buy me

That one kite to fly with, then rest on ground.

windy window


20 thoughts on “Between Professions”

  1. Well, I know all about this, having had at least 5 different careers in my life. It took me SO VERY LONG to figure it out. And I suspect that I haven’t really figured it out after all. Sometimes, the journey IS the thing – otherwise, you could make yourself quite nutty. Don’t fret about it too much. Sometimes things just come their way without trying – other times, you do have to put effort into it. It’s all a mystery to me.

    1. I’ve changed 4 professions, too. And am quite willing to make a switch again. The happy bit is that none of the jobs I did made me feel like I’d chosen an ill-suited one. I just grew out of them. Writing, my current choice (but not my profession), seems like a choice I might stick to, if all goes well. But then, who knows?!

      It’s fun not being too tied to something this superficial. Passion? Well, that’s something else altogether!

  2. It is all a mystery 😉

    Yesterday while walking in the woods near our home my husband tried to remind me why I wanted and needed to quit my job. I felt like Don Quixote half-conscious at the end of his stay in prison, Dulcenea, doing all she could to remind him of his quest – the impossible dream. It’s so easy to forget our possibilities, to feel their discreet presence one day and to bullishly walk right through them the next. But the right dreams keep coming back to you, they do haunt…until we listen.

    I’m a little careful about saying don’t worry or don’t make a fuss, because I’m thinking a large portion of your concern is useful in that without it you might not be sufficiently aroused to take action. Perhaps your discomfort (as my own) comes in realizing you have the luxury (as any of us writing on these screens do) to consider yourself one who can follow after dreams. Perhaps those who can follow should. Someone has to fashion the course, why not you?

    1. My concern is not for me, Patrice. It is for those, who fail to see something that might nourish and fulfill them, and choose the trend instead. Or the safe bet. I choose what I know will not seem like work. When it begins to, I quit. Gosh! Will that be called disloyalty?
      Or fashioning the course? I like that interpretation, and yes, why not me? Why don’t I be the one to follow my dreams and set an example? And why not you?

  3. This topic is a difficult one for me to even think about as ill health has always closed off a lot of avenues for me that are open to ‘the average’ person. I’ve pretty much shunned work – of the kind that pays easily, anyway. Art doesn’t pay, not well, not unless one is very lucky, so for a few years now I’ve just plodded along through my life enjoying what I can and trying not to think too much about what I ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t be doing or what is ‘right’ or ‘not right’ for me. It’s a more spontaneous life. But you – you’ve got this tiny extra responsibility now, so I can imagine that she’s affecting your thinking more than usual. Hugs if you need them.

    1. I’ve chosen to take the free route, too. Although more for selfish reasons than anything else. All of the professions I chose were convenient and attractive to me at the time.
      The tiny little responsibility makes me stick to my old profession until I can safely move on to my heart’s (current) calling. Fun, eh?

  4. I don’t know that there’s a specific thing any of us were meant to do, because it seems to suggest that someone or some thing has planned it all out. I do think everyone has a unique set of talents and strengths, and usually they find happiness in pursuing activities related to those gifts. Usually, but not always. My only advice would be to work at whatever doesn’t feel like work. The kite doesn’t force itself to fly; it just flies.

    Happy New Year, Sweet P — to you, B, and Bela.

    1. “Meant to do” was in italics because I knew it wasn’t the phrase I wanted to use, Charles. I suppose I wanted to say “really, really wanted to do”. To do something that doesn’t feel like work, yes. An ether in which the kite just flies.
      As for someone or some thing planning it out, didn’t you know? It is out there.

  5. I agree with both Charles and SDS. I often think that too much is made of finding what we are meant to do. I think of life 200 years ago and I wonder how many people even considered what they were meant to do. I suspect most of them did what they had to do and the lucky/smart ones enjoyed the little gifts each day brings if we are open to them.

    1. I disagree, Linda. Life 200 years ago was limited to those who followed their spirit. The rest either just lived, or simply enjoyed life because they chose simplicity and a simple rationale to a ‘safer’ engagement. Today, most choose to ‘rebel’ in their own small ways, which is why we have patents and books and movies and whatnot churning out of people’s minds and hearts — most of them rubbish, but joy-giving (to the creator) nevertheless.
      There weren’t many Da Vinci’s back then because there weren’t many volunteers. Today, almost every one breaks thresholds. Including you and me. Cheers to us, buddy!

  6. i am happy to have changed professions every 7 odd years:))i don’t believe there is something specific i need to do..cause i have enjoyed doing all the things i have done this far…looking forward to more such profession changes…the unknown is exciting..

  7. Yes, we do what we do, often for the ‘wrong’ reasons – economic need, often in a crush with an unexpected pregnancy, a family emergency, a longed-for if spur-of-the-moment vacation – perceived needs overtaking the yearnings of the heart. Life has its twists and turns, and the wise among us discover clarity, often at mid-life when things settle down a bit and time seems to be running out. Good post, Priya, to ponder.

    1. What prompted this post was something ‘deeper’, Bela. It was the thought of people doing what they do not for the ‘wrong’ reasons as dictated by circumstances, but because either
      a. they do not know better, and simply drudge along
      b. they are forced by people (often parents)
      There’s a c. category, too, I think. Of people, who know, are not forced, and yet carry on just because they are afraid to leave their comfort zones.

      Comfort zone — I dislike the term, but there isn’t a better one in my mind. Yet!

  8. Great thought-provoking post Priya and a perfect topic for new year’s. I don’t think its unusual to change professions – Mr F and I have both done it many times. I am so ready to fly off in a new direction – but not in a kite – I see birds flying above me all the time it sometimes makes the hairs rise on my arms so I know I’ll be flying soon…

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