Thoughts on creating a life to love
My grandmother once told me Of course you can’t love your job, you have to work and do things you don’t want. It is the way of the world. If everyone only did things they thought were fun, no one would be a garbage man.’
Now, to a point, I always took it with a grain of salt, as I am fairly sure she said it with not a little bit of ‘old-person frustration’, and she may actually be more bitter about her own life than she lets on. But it did stick. Is that true? Do I have to have a job that is less than fulfilling? Is it impossible to love what you do and have a job you can actually live on?
I cast my mind around to people I know. And some of them certainly seem to bare out my nan’s point of view. My mother for one. I know that she loves her subject. I know that she loves teaching. I know she spent tens of thousands of dollars to get a college degree as a mature student. But being a teacher isn’t about teaching anymore. It’s about everything but teaching. And we have to stand on the sidelines seeing how this supposedly most important job of all is eating her and making her physically sick. As a reference, my granny had a very similar exdperience.
But then I thought a bit more about this. My mothers fiancé certainly loves his job. And makes pretty good money doing it. My uncle does as well. Many of my friends and acquaintances fit this mould as well. And casting around a bit more, I know people who are perhaps not crazy about their job, but the effort to salary ratio is good enough that they do it to get the money and do things they really love. Clearly my grandmother didn’t tell me a universal truth!
My theory is that there are two kinds of people. On the one hand the kind who have to love what they do, or they will be insanely bored and unproductive. And if they don’t realize this, they will spend their life becoming more and more bitter. The other category don’t really care about that aspect at all. As long as the pay is good enough, they will do their duty and then jet of to the riviera, buy a new gaming system or procure rare wines. What ever takes their fancy. If I’m honest, I would not be surprised to find that generally this kind of person is happier as a rule than the more questioning kind. But I also think those who do what they love with passion have the opportunity to be way happier, it just takes a bit more. Especially self-knowledge. And that is a tough school to go through!
Personally, I wish I was the unquestioning kind. It would be so much easier for me, with my quieter ways and inherent shyness. But I am not. During the short time that has so far been 2014 A.D., that is a realization that has hit me quite hard. I need to be engaged and feel what I am doing is worth while. I even want to be passionate about my work! A word I didn’t even realize what it meant a few years ago. Oh I thought I did, but no such luck. Now, I sense how awesome it can be.
The thing is, while I have had a sense of this for a long time, I haven’t fully groked that till now. Which is why I have a degree that isn’t all that useful, and basically an emotional black hole where my 20’s should be. I haven’t really lived, and a huge part is that I have not understood my own need to engage, to be a part of, to reflect in a healthy way. I’m still not fully sure I do now, but I certainly understand my self much better lately.
But as always, you can learn from mistakes. But not only that, you can learn from the other guys as well! I will continue to take jobs that are so so OK (though they will have to meet some standard or I will be in serious trouble!), to go after my dream. My dream of having a job I can be passionated about. I want to find something I can do where I no longer care where the line between me and the job is anymore. A job I don’t mind working long hours for if I have to. Work I’ll be proud of proclaiming my love for. Good work that will help me be a full human. I still don’t know what this would be. I have a sense of what I want the effects of what ever I do to be. I have companies and people I hold up as guides to what I want to go after. But still not anything specific. Jobwise, that is what this year will be avout. Finding that certain something I can love, do and be proud of.
This has made me realize that I need to change even more. It is all well and good getting new routines, making tough decisions about where to live, what to look for etc. But there is one thing I haven’t donew. And that is to learn, actively, new things. Sure, I studied for years in a half-comatose haze of depression and anti-depressants. But there is so much more to learn. Like business. More coding. Better ways to cook. All kinds of things. And while I haven’t decided yet, I am leaning towards a business program with an extremely positive and nurturing slant I’ve found. I’ve basically decided to do it, but haven’t pressed the button yet. It’s exhilarating to stand at the top of a hill, looking down. But I believe breaking out of my shell like that could end up being a big help in remodeling my life into what I want.
I have no idea where this will go, where I’ll end up as it were. But it is alreeady one heck of a ride. Taking your self by the hand, and making choices, even if those choices may be seen as weird, horrifying and nuts to your friends and family, is tough. But trust me, it’s such a rush! Hopefully, it can also be a helpful inspiration to others who like me are unhappy with where they’ve found them selves waking up. It is never too late. We can start making our own life awesome when ever. To me, now seem like a good place to start!