As of writing, it is February 3rd.
Yesterday, I had a realization – I am in a new timeline. And I’m not sure how I feel about that.
The reference comes from an episode of Community where the characters are playing Dungeons & Dragons and the storyline focuses on six distinct timelines based on the character’s decisions.
At the close of February 1st, 2017, I officially entered a new timeline.
For the last year, my focus had been geared towards preparing to apply to a paramedic program before the deadline closed on Feb. 1st. I took preparatory courses, read books on medicine, talked to teachers and industry people, exercised, and started laying some of the financial groundwork.
When I proposed to my fiancee, I had to re-evaluate my future career path. My plan had assumed that I would be on my own, or at least my career wouldn’t necessarily be influenced by needing to consider anyone else. However, by proposing, I was intertwining my life and career with my fiancee’s. I’ve been at my current job for almost three years now and I enjoy a stable paycheck and good benefits. My fiancee graduated from her program in April and just landed her first major job in her field.
After consideration, I decided to put going into paramedicine on hold indefinitely in order to help support her. She’s only on a short contract, so she doesn’t have stable employment yet. She also commutes about an hour each way, so her ability to manage the house and take care of the dog alone until I finish moving in is challenging. It would put us in a bad spot if I were to stop receiving an income and re-enter school while she is focusing on putting down her own career roots.
Feb. 1st was the deadline for equal consideration applications to college programs, and it has since come and gone. I am no longer preparing to make a career switch. I have entered a new timeline.
It’s a little scary for me. It’s not scary because of the unknown; I actually relish possibilities. No, it’s scary because I no longer have a sense of direction. All last year, I had a target to aim at. I had a matrix to make decisions within. Decisions were always made within the context of a mission and a set of values – does this bring me closer to my goal, or does this hold me back?
Now, I’m adrift again. I don’t know what the next step is, or what I should be working towards. If I learned one thing about myself this last year, it’s that I need purpose. I need a mission. With the close of Feb. 1st, I have neither for my career.
I have entered a new timeline, and it’s time to start getting my bearings.