Fig. 1: I’m ready to make a break for it.

So far, 33 ain’t been a crystal stair.

For starters, I found out that my grandfather, Yes Man, had been in the ICU for the past two weeks after a botched stent surgery almost killed him. The nearest major hospital to him is 50 miles away, and both my mother and my grandmother have been making that commute every day so they could visit him for 15 minutes in two hour intervals. My mother told me she would’ve told me earlier, but she didn’t want to ruin my birthday.

I guess it’s the thought that counts, right?

Now he’s doing better (but still in the ICU), and I’ve been feeling pretty down the past few weeks because of it. Even on my birthday, with a small gathering of recently acquired friends (mentioned here), I just felt…blah.

Well, maybe “blah” isn’t the right word, but I certainly haven’t felt 100% present.

It’s not just because of my grandfather though. Around my birthday, I look back over the past year and take stock and see what I need to do to improve for the next year. I really didn’t have a chance to do that around New Years since I was coming off of a hectic work assignment, had three websites to launch in January, and called myself “dating” this Korean guy (mentioned here) which completely went bust. There was more work after that, then I began dating The Sheep (mentioned here) and that also went south. Business has been good, but the spring and summer months are usually my slowest. I’ve also got other projects I’m working on which are taking up a lot of time and just not growing and progressing like I want them to.

Somewhere between my T-Minus posts and my birthday, I had an epiphany. I’ve needed a vacation for some time now — the last one I took was back in December 2012 — but I’m starting to wonder if the thing I need a vacation from isn’t my work, but from my field in general.

In short, it might be time for my exit strategy into a different career path.

I know…this seems like a quantum leap from birthday blues, but it’s not that far of a stretch. I’ve been feeling unfulfilled in my career for a while now. I talked about it a bit in my last T-Minus post; it’s that dull, gnawing ache that grows when you feel like you’re not being recognized for your work. For me, it’s drained my passion to the point where I’m feeling stuck in my business. Moreso, I’m at the point where I have projects I’m not sure I even want to start because I know no one’s going to check for them.

Fig. 2: Accurate.

Is that bad? No. Slightly narcissistic? Probably. (I’m only human, contrary to popular belief.) Hell, even Oprah said as much. People want to be validated.

I mean, I feel like the work I’ve done has been good…but not great, and that’s mainly because of that lack of validation. It’s such a nagging and selfish feeling, really. I can hear my mom’s voice saying “Why isn’t what you have enough?” But “enough” is a subjective measure when it comes to success and happiness. What looks like enough to one person isn’t enough for someone else, and I damn sure don’t feel like what I’ve gotten has been enough.

I’ve heard that people aren’t their happiest until they reach 33, usually because of a combination of personal fulfillment of professional goals, a support system of family and friends, having children, and having more money.

Children? Don’t want ’em.

More money? I’ve got it, but more is always nice. (These student loans won’t pay themselves.)

Support system of family and friends? It comes and goes with friends. I’ve come to terms that my family isn’t gonna be there.

Personal fulfillment of professional goals?

Well I wouldn’t be writing this post if I was getting that, would I?

The tagline for this blog is “the next chapter”, so I’m still writing this shit.

Bear with me, y’all.