What’s Next?

Today’s the two-week mark since I’ve quit.

With the exception of really good friends and my husband, who know better, people have been asking me what I plan to do next. Are you going back to computers? Wall Street? Are you really planning to move? Where? Once we open the topic, questions don’t end.

Of all the things I got back in my life in the last two weeks, two matter the most: time with people I love and time to read. I’ve spent several multi-hour conversations with friends in other cities and have had the privilege of spending face-to-face time with friends whom I hadn’t seen since last May. I’ve also been reading incessantly. I read four books since I’ve quit and am in the process of reading three more. Last week, I devoured {the} Hours in a day and remembered why I need reading in my life.

Something I didn’t foresee was how quickly the days would pass even when I don’t have a job to swallow three quarters of my day. It seems I have something to do every single day. Not only that but I keep an overgrowing list of things to-do that I add to more often than I erase from. At this rate, I may not be free until the end of the summer.

My email account, even though I spent several hours cleaning it last week, still has 55 unanswered emails. My computer is full of pictures I have been meaning to post. Book excerpts I mean to write. Phone calls I mean to make.

An novel idea I’ve had for three years has come back to haunt me. I promised a friend that I’d help code his site. I want to learn Python. I’m thinking of installing Linux on my laptop so I can play with it. I want to take more pictures, especially of New York, which I plan to leave real soon. I want to visit all the City’s museums; especially its quirky ones. I want to go to the opera, to see plays. I want to go to see the movies that only New York’s theaters show.

Maybe I’m filling up my time because I don’t know the answer to “What’s Next?” or maybe I’m not ready to think about it because I have so many other things I want to do. I don’t know if it’s the chicken or the egg.

I do know that the question is at the back of my mind. I do know that I don’t want to settle. I know that I was passionate about the cause of TFA, regardless of how it all turned out. I know that I want to feel that passion for the next move I make. That I want to live my life passionately. That I want the kind of job I’d be proud and thrilled to have. I know that it may not be possible. But maybe it is. I’m certainly going to try.

I also know that I’m not ready to answer the question just yet.

3 comments to What’s Next?

  • Here’s an idea for you and Jake… come out west to visit me in Palo Alto!

    And you know what — screw all the people who keep asking you what you are going to do. Sometimes I think people like us are too chicken to just say f’it and are too inclined to play the “I wanna fit in game!”

    Enjoy your time!! Do whatever you feel like doing.

  • I like the idea of you doing “stuff”…When was the last time you did “stuff” without having to answer to a boss. Be a wife…learn to cook…travel…see life without being stressed. Whatever you decide, whenever you decide…makes sense.

  • Bah. Apparently, people don’t realize how exhausting and emotional draining teaching can be.

    Forget what’s next, and what’s coming. Take the time to unwind, to relax, to reestablish a balance, to reflect, to heal. To revel in being married. To enjoy being free.

    When your heart’s ready to answer that question, you’ll know, and the answers will come. But don’t worry about it now; you’ve had too many worries in the last few months; you don’t need any now.

    Enjoy life, Karen. God knows you deserve it.

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