I mostly enjoyed my B.A. and really had fun doing my M.A., and I made some great friends in both. Most importantly, I met my wife and we had our beautiful little Bean and I couldn't imagine life without them. I wouldn't change any of that. Plus, I did like the first few years of my public service career, but then, something changed, either in the public service or in me, and I became miserable.
The work seemed futile:
- toiling away for what seemed like little effect;
- working to meet bureaucratic requirements that served only the bureaucratic machine, not the public;
- internecine turf wars;
- managers for whom every request, every demand were equally urgent (not to say important, very little of the work is that);
- working with, for and against a critical mass of, if you'll forgive the vulgarity, assholes (not -everyone, a lot of fine people in the public service, but there just enough of the former around to make it unpleasant);
- the public thinking all public servants are overpaid and underworked;
- no respect from the politicians we serve;
- a corporate culture that abhors creativity and stamps out personal initiative;
Finally, I returned to a new job in a department I had worked at years before. I thought I was ready having finally overcome my depression a couple of years before. I swore to myself I would never fall victim to depression again. Alas, two and half months in, I sat in my cubicle weeping again, unable to think or do anything. I am still a trembling mess. I still have a hard time with what may be called my "executive functioning". I have hard time organizing my day if I have more than two things to do. Writing this blog has become a bit easier over the months, but I wanted to write about a number of issues, researching and analysing them, but I have a hard time organizing myself to do anything, so I'm stuck writing about trivialities.
All of this is very frustrating. I have always been a moderate to high achiever at school and at work, and now I feel, well, not very high achieving. I know work has been only a part of the problem, but it has been a significant part. And that leaves me wishing that I could keep the good things I have, but have chosen a different field of study - or a different career path.
Stay tuned and I will share what I might choose if I had to do it all over again.