Graduating my MLIS and quarter life crisis

I just finished my graduate degree last month. While I'm happy about finishing it, there's the dread. The fear of success - now that I have an MLIS, I feel like there's more expected of me. Since there are few librarians in the country, sometimes I feel like having a Master's makes others expect that you are now able to manage a library. I know that I'm not for that, I'd rather work in something specific, like Cataloging. People are not my strength. Though, don't get me wrong, I'm glad about graduating and I worked hard for it but I'm here again, doubting myself.

Of course, I took a graduate degree for obvious reasons - career advancement, job opportunities for higher salaries, and the accomplishment of having the degree. But the real story behind it was I needed to have a reason to quit from my first job in Manila. I worked in a good organization, though the boss and me didn't get along. There came a point that I hated waking up and going to work. The boss wouldn't let me go, and was guilt-tripping me about leaving, and I needed a good enough reason. I did not know anyone in Manila except my older brother. It was a hard city I never got used to. I quit because I realized that there's still so much things ahead for me than staying. That was 2016. I resigned in March, went back to Iloilo City, and enrolled in June 2016.

Fast forward to now, 2019. I realized that I did a lot of stuff since 2016. I worked in my university's library. I taught some LIS subjects though I still have not quite adjusted to teaching (I hate speaking too much!). I had an online job as a writer and I also stared this blog. I managed to travel to Taiwan and Malaysia.

A day exactly after my MLIS graduation last November 10, was also my last day in my last job. My contract ended after a year and I admit I'm a little sad about it though I know that it wasn't meant to be permanent - I took the job to have something else to do while Thesis Writing. It was one of the better jobs I had.

Here I am, in the process of applying for jobs again and thinking of what I want to do in life. I have had periods of not having work before, and it can be really depressing. I even wrote about that in this blog. You feel unmoored, and having a job meant security and an anchor. You used to have a set routine each day. While finding yourself without work can feel like freedom at first, there will be confusion later. I applied for jobs before, and felt frustrated when it took too long and questioning if I even have the capacity or ability to do things.

So for now, while I wait and decide, I try to write. I kind of want to do art. I go to the gym at least five times a week. I lost more than 15 kilograms so far since I started getting serious on weight loss last May (I'll write about that some other time) and I feel like having regular exercise has helped my mental health more than anything.

In two weeks, I will be attending a friend's wedding in Antique. She's one of my batch mates for BLIS, and all these weddings and events makes you think about your own life. I'm 26 years old, and that's still pretty young for most people. At my age my peers are starting families, getting married, have started stable careers. I know I'm not unique in feeling lost and unsure about life. For as long as I can remember, I always felt restless, clueless, wanting something more that I can't seem find. Should I stay here? Should I leave? Should I restart everything?

I know I am free to choose what to do but sometimes there are way too many options and choices that you end up feeling overwhelmed. Instead of doing something you end up with nothing.

Anyway, new year and 2020 is just around the corner. It's the end of the decade. A new year is like a blank slate, a time to ponder and recalibrate. I'm hopeful that I'll have a clearer view and direction of the life I want to live.

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