I’m starting to think of myself as on the “ten years more or less” plan. Meaning, I’ll probably retire in ten years (more or less) and so am settling in for at least that long. I suppose I could try for an even higher level position in five years, but that would entail moving again and starting over, and I’ll be close to fifty at that point. And I’ll have moved up the pay scale and accumulated significant vacation hours, so I’ll have even more incentive to stay put.
So here I am. There are several reasons I’ve been struggling. Moving again in my forties– not easy. Taking a high-level post that requires me to be more guarded, political, and circumspect. Spending more time with higher-ups in other fields that generally attract more conventional/conservative personalities (and being the only childless/single one amongst them). Living in a region that is more conventional and less culturally interesting than the places I’ve lived in the last two decades. Working with colleagues who have been living in this region and working for my employer for fifteen years and upwards. And on top of all this, going through a midlife identity crisis.
It’s interesting how “done” I was with L.A. when I left. I was fascinated by the region the first time I moved here and spent tons of time exploring and reading about it. Now I find myself disinterested, although I do some small amount of research on the new area in which I’m living.
I’ve continued to enjoy being a hermit. In all honesty, it’s made my friendships much easier, as I have zero expectations of people. When they call, it’s nice, but I never feel angry when they don’t, as my “retreat time” from socializing has become my greatest solace.
I do have plans almost every week to get out and socialize and a trip planned over Christmas (yes, I’m doing it my way this year) that will put me in close contact with people. So, we’ll see. A decade is certainly a good chunk of time to give things my best and then to move on if nothing sticks.