Every time I see a new job posting that looks like a good fit for me, I struggle all over again, about what to do with my life. I lost my job 18 months ago; “terminated without cause” is what they called it. There are not a lot of jobs for someone like me; I am highly specialized and jobs that are a good fit are few and far between. And they are all in Toronto, which means I would have to commute 3 to 4 hours a day. So, I have resisted.
I have decided instead, several times over the last 18 months, to be self-employed. This is a scary choice for me. It is not easy to be self-employed in my field; I do not have skills that can be easily sold on the marketplace. I do research, policy analysis, and advocacy work on health issues related to the environment. There are not a lot of organizations looking to hire someone like me so a choice to be self-employed is a choice to create my own work. This requires creativity, experience, and a whole lot of faith in the universe.
I have a lot of the first two; I have been working in my field for 25 years and I have a gift for seeing how a piece of research or a project might further a policy goal. The hard part for me is having faith in the universe. I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to make things move in what I consider the “right direction”. I am pretty good at “making things happen”. But this means that I have spent a lot of my life swimming against the flow. While I have been able to accomplish a lot doing this, it has often cost me dearly.
And so, over the last 18 months, I have been trying a new tack; I have been trying to put the “universe” in charge. But that is a tricky business. How do I know what the universe wants me to do? Clearly, if I sit at home and do nothing, I don’t give the universe much to work with. So, I have been out there working up project ideas, lining up partners, researching funding pools, developing proposals, and trusting the universe to “show me the money”. So far, this has been working well for me. But my current project is coming to an end, and I am perusing the jobs ads once more. And so I keep praying for a sign from the Universe; to know whether it is time to wait, to sit in the void, wait for inspiration, and trust that the money will come; or if it is time to leap for the first job that comes my way.