Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Job as Obstacle

I've spent so many years working in retail, bookstores primarily, that I've allowed that to define not only what I do but who I am. When I first got a job as a bookseller at a Borders, that was a wonderful thing. I could say, "I am a bookseller," and feel proud, like I was contributing something helpful. I was imparting knowledge, sharing the joy of stories. That is no longer the case.

Between as-yet unfounded fears over e-books killing print and trying to compete in too many alternate markets (mostly online), I'm watching a job I loved implode slowly and painfully. That imploding has had a dramatic effect on my own well-being. I've come to realize I put too much of myself into what I do to earn a paycheck. And worse, I've also used that job as an excuse for not accomplishing more. I am so afraid of leaving my safe yet miserable rut.

Will I be able to find another job in this unstable economy? Can I afford another pay cut starting over at a new company? Am I even capable of doing anything other than retail? My mind is so certain that the answer to all of those is no that it overpowers the heart that slowly shrivels and dies, desperate for a risk on something better. Those negative feelings work their way into the rest of my life, especially my magick. We all know it is hard to build energy for proper work when you feel drained or depressed. And when you can obtain the energy, the thoughts going into that work will affect the outcome, for better or worse.

On the up side, I've started a home study course in genealogy. Working on some ancestor magick will help that along and maybe boost my confidence. On the down side, the course can take months to years depending on how much time I can devote to learning proper research (including trips to out-of-state libraries and archives). I need to leave retail before that is done if I intend to keep my sanity intact. And retail schedules don't generally include weekends off or pay sufficient to travel regularly. So, I'll do what I have to do, what I've always done; tackle one hurdle at a time and hope I can survive to see my big plans come to fruition. Right now, that is surviving the worst part of the year at a used bookstore (the summer selling season) or starting over somewhere, anywhere else.