|UPDATE: I have found real meaning and purpose in my work|
As some of you may remember, I posted this 6 months ago
I was feeling terribly conflicted, depressed, confused and lost at the time, not knowing where my life and work is going.
Thought I'd give you an update on how things are 6 months on.
I've read a lot on meaning, purpose, personal values etc to find what it is that actually drives me. Whereas I could forsee getting bored fairly quickly with a new hobby website/challenge-for-the-sake-of-being-challenged (and I consider these quite trivial), I realised that my core values would always be crucially important to me. The driving force they instill in me could never wane in intensity because I would always, always strongly believe in them and live my life according to them.
Long story short, I realised that my purpose in life has much to do with women (empowering women to be more precise). It's been a recurring theme in my life. But while there are many ways to help empower women, I needed to find the one way that actually "speaks" to me.
As a result, I started a project on a particular aspect of women's lives that does just that. I started it because there was nothing like it on the web and because I felt I had a responsibility to do it (not that I have a God complex but I felt that there was no one else with the necessary skills, resources and willingness to do it so it was up to me to rise to the challenge).
And with this, I have found purpose and meaning in my other (boring) work. It has to earn enough to fund this other endeavour and as a result, I don't mind it quite so much anymore. I now look forward to getting up in the morning, I no longer dread coming to work and I know that if I get hit by a bus, I will have left behind a (yet small) legacy which will help women for years to come.
I don't know how long this new project will be a part of my life, will give me meaning and purpose, but I do know that whatever follows will also be about empowering women. And that's very reassuring to know :).
In fact, my next step is to inspire teenage girls/young women to pursue a career in IT by teaching them to create a website of their own. Not to criticise all the brilliant men on these boards but we don't have enough women in this industry, whether because they're not confident enough or because it simply hasn't occurred to them that they CAN do it if they want to.
I plan to create a system whereby I take much of the complicated/coding/technical/boring part out and make it fun and creative. I want them to approach it by looking at the bigger picture and I hope that at the end they'll say "I'm so proud of myself, people come to my website and they like it. I did that!". Hopefully, this will give them the confidence and inspiration to pursue a career in IT if that's what they want instead of feeling that it's a boys' world.
Thanks everyone for the comments in the other thread, they've been very helpful.
Awesome, good for you!
You'll probably find that the new project will also renew your energies and inspire you when working on your for profit projects.
I hired my first webmistress in 1997 and never looked back. Would love some regular updates when you have time!