So the long and short of it is this: I am unemployed again. The new job about which I was so excited turned out to be a spectacular mismatch, and though I have no intention of going into specifics here, I will say that I suffered two very long and very miserable days, topped off by one of the most humiliating and enraging lectures of my life. It was not good. But the upside is that it only took two days to realize it wasn't going to work, so though I am back to the drawing board, I am back to it with relatively little time lost.
The whole experience has me thinking very hard about what it is I really want to do with my life. The career path I have been on for the past several years is one I more or less fell into, realized I could make a very healthy living at, and stuck with for that reason. It hasn't been intentional or even particularly well thought-out. When I began looking for jobs here, I automatically started considering positions that were the "next step" on that path. But maybe the path itself is wrong. Maybe, rather than searching in a panic for the next opportunity for which I can apply, which is likely to look quite a bit like the one from which I just came, I should be thinking about who I really am and where my real professional strengths lie. Just because I know I can do something, whether it to creation of technical documentation or writing and managing grants and proposals or whatever, does that mean I should be doing it? Should I be trying, now, while nobody is really dependent on my income but me and I have a few months of flexibility before things get really dire, to find something that's not just a good enough job, but a job I'll really love? A job where my natural strengths and personality can be seen as assets, rather than as something that needs to be worked against?