It is an inevitable question; So what is so bad about my job that I have gone through extravagant measures to publicly declare that I plan to change my life?
The answer I’m about to give will not be juicy. One ground rule I set for myself when I created SuddenWriteTurn is that I will not be discussing The Job (the one that currently pays the bills). Sorry, but simply put, this blog is not about The Job.
I will tell you about the other jobs I’ve had throughout my life and how those jobs have made for good lessons. It has been an odyssey for learning “what I don’t want to do”, which is a growing list. This does not make me unique, you’re saying, just because I’ve had a lot of jobs that I have not particularly enjoyed. True. It is a large and unhappy club.
In lieu of the psychoanalyst’s couch, I will periodically peel away those work-world experiences and I expect to find my passion wrapped within, at the raw center.
What makes us decide to set aside what we know at our very core to be the work we are made to do in life? What makes us pursue a job that we will ultimately hate in the end? Why would we choose this heartbreak?
I’ve held jobs in retail, fast food, grocery, non-profit, and professional offices. And at the risk of sounding arrogant, I have been pretty good at most. But I never felt truly successful. Not with raises, not even with praise. Recognition is nice, but I personally have never felt impressed enough by the tasks I accomplished at these jobs to qualify as a success.
Why do we all willingly climb into this machine called “work”?
I could always get jobs, but not the jobs I really wanted. Steady jobs, increasing compensation, great benefits…all good accomplishments. But nothing I could call success. For a long time I believed that success was a label given by others, but I have come to understand that for me it is an approval I want from myself.
Success: Feeling deeply satisfied with an accomplishment.
Very early on the morning of my college graduation day, I stood at the front window of my dorm and looked out over the lawn where I would graduate in a few hours. At that moment a very strong sensation of satisfaction washed over me. Later that day, I “got my paper” and then with Sallie Mae as a compelling co-conspirator, I went on to take my eyes off of what I was passionate about and never found my way back.
To be fair, The Job is not the worst I’ve had. It is just the one that is going to be the last one of its kind as I change my life. The last detour as I get back on the course I set out on when so long ago grown-ups asked me:
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be someone living a life of creativity, community and writing.
What about you?