February 10, 2010

Finding what fits

Alternately titled: Yet more navel-gazing, now with bonus socks!


I was bitching about my job recently, as I do on (ahem) very rare occasions.

Now, I'm a systems analyst for a multi-national consulting company, and I've worked for them for 7 of the last 10 years. Yet somehow, I've never thought of this as The Job I Am Meant to Have. I should be a writer, or a cook, or an activist, or a ninja or, dear god, anything but a systems analyst.

I even got a masters degree in NOT BEING A SYSTEMS ANALYST.

BFF Quinn, the lucky recipient of my complaints, suggested I might want to let go of this sense of what I "should" be. It seemed like I was rejecting my job not because it actually sucked, but because the idea of it sucked. And my aversion to thinking of myself as a systems analyst was clearly getting in the way of enjoying what was actually good about my job.


Frankly, I was stunned. What if I embraced this whole systems analyst thing? What if I just thought of this job as something I was really good at and even - gasp! - could enjoy? What if I can make a decent living and still laugh every time I hear the word 'caulk', still say fuck way too often, and finish the bottle of wine way more than I should? I'd just be a foul-mouthed, tipsy systems analyst with a juvenile sense of humor. So, um, exactly the person I've been for most of the last ten years.

And that doesn't mean I can't still be a writer, and a cook, and all those other interesting things (shut UP, I so could too be a ninja). It just means I'd fully engage with my job and start considering it an actual career. i.e., I hear there's this thing called "networking" that people do. And that people sometimes seek out promotions and such because that's how you advance in your chosen career. Crazy!


The best part is, this is a lesson I should have already learned from knitting. I knit because I enjoy it, and mostly I don't worry about whether there is Knitting I Should Be Doing. Like making something more complicated, or something that isn't a tiny sock, or learning a new skill, or knitting for charity, or whatever. Knitting doesn't have to be anything more than something I like and am (occasionally) pretty good at.

Which brings me to my latest pair of socks. I've knit better, more complicated, and prettier socks. I've actually knit this pattern before, so I'm not even trying anything new. But these socks are the most me of anything I've ever made.


Charade. Knitpicks Superwash Bare Tweed, Koolaid-dyed by me (with a treasure-trove of lime green Koolaid from Double Helix). Size 2 Harmony wooden DPNs. Modifications: 72 stitch cast-on, garter and eye of partridge heel. Fucking fantastic.


Lime green hand-knit tweed socks. It doesn't get any better than that. For me.

And it doesn't need to, either.


Kristy said...

Good luck in your (inward) search. And hey, the knitting and cooking and writing are much more fun when you don't have to do them for your job.

Pretty socks! I remember when you dyed that yarn. I'm glad you made some socks that you love out of it :)

Sarah said...

California has made you all wise...I would have known those were your socks from like a mile away, they are very you. And you could totally be a ninja, a ninja who doesn't fight clowns.

Walden said...

Loved your post! Have been doing a lot of inward searching myself. Hope you find your happiness. Love the socks and flecks of other colors in the green.

Lauren Pettapiece said...

As a fellow sufferer of overly judging everything I do (and attempt to do) and projecting absurdly ambitious goals upon myself (due tomorrow) this was a wise revelation indeed.
Contrary to your post, I am NOT meant to be a Production & Imaging Specialist for much longer. That is a fortold truth written by monks centuries past. BUT I've stopped thinking about what I am not qualified for, rather what I am, and really, the list is surprising.
So just as you said, embrace what you're good at and make it.. er, gooderer.

Also, the socks are like magnificent cacti that you can wear on your feet. And that makes me smile.

Also, I miss you ya big lug.

Jenny said...

Well gefeliciteerd to you! :) You've stumbled upon a successful career and you still get to have all the youness of you! I friggin' heart Charade. Seriously SUCH a good pattern. Easy but interesting, and makes an INCREDIBLE pair of socks.

So, make your way to Seattle anytime between tomorrow and the 7th and we can hang out. Except for the 4th-5th, because I'll be in BC. It's prolly only like a 3 hour drive from SF to Seattle, right? ;)