What the hell am I doing, anyway?

Just finished my second IT Certification in a month, and starting up another.  That’s the good news.  Certification has always been something I’ve explained away in job interviews, and I’m looking forward to having them on my side in the next go round. 

This begs, the question, however, what the hell am I doing?  More specifically, what is that I want to be doing?  Babysitting co-workers though mind numbing SharePoint tasks will always be there to pay the bills, but is that really my long term plan?  I don’t think so.  I’m in the final few months of my 40th year on the planet, and I’m acutely aware that I’m not running for President, going Public with my startup or complaining about Paparrazi following me. 

Damn it, I had dreams!  I used to reach for big things.  I applied to the FBI, State Department, started a business and ran for political office.  I tossed everything aside at least 3 times to follow my dreams.  So, what happened?  I failed, a lot.  That’s what happened.  FBI?  Aged out, stuck at stage 2 of 4 stage process.  State Department?  No clue, just a thanks but no thanks at stage 2, again.  Business?  Ok, now that never made me rich, but it did open up a lot of opportunities (partial win there).  Politics?  Oh God, don’t get me started.  Lost a state race to someone whom, tactfully speaking, is (was? Not sure if he’s drowned looking up at a rainstorm yet), a fucking moron. 

So, do I just accept my lot now?  Do I nurse my just scraping into 6 figure salary up into the low mid 6 figures ove r the next 10 years?  Do I toss it all away again to write iPad apps and lobby for park preservation on the City Council?  It’s definitely more complicated now.  I’ve got 2 sons, who live comfortably and will have the opportunity to go to good schools and travel the world.  I’ve got a stay at home wife, who will eventually want to go back to less important things.

The road is pretty clear in the near term.  I collect a few more certifications, dabble in some business ideas and probably start grad school back up.   After that, truthfully, I’m drawing a blank.  Start-up CEO again?  Mid-tier middle manager?  Cookbook author?  I just don’t know.  When I was 20, that felt like limitless opportunities.  At 40, that feels like the sand is slipping between my fingers.