Hey, friends. Been a while. A long while. I’m sorry for that. Bit of a drought, it seems.
I recently went to Savannah for some friends’ wedding. As getting out of your daily rut/places will do, it brought on some thinking. That and various things at home involving raising teenagers. It’s not a pretty business, people.
Things in my brain have been percolating for a while now, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get them out of my head in any coherent form. So this may not make sense. But at least it won’t be cluttering up my head anymore.
I’ve had the same job since January 1990. You do the math. I work in a small office doing office stuff. Is it my dream job? No. But the people are nice and have been very accommodating as my family has expanded, letting me change my schedule as needed, and it’s certainly not a job I have to take home with me. So that part works.
That doesn’t mean that I’ve never wished for the sort of job that is creative or fulfilling, that I am proud to talk about at parties. Who want to say they work in an office? What’s cool or exciting about that?
In 1995, The Geek and I bought a bar. So since then, his job has been to run that, and I do the books. The funny thing is, he doesn’t think that’s a worthy job, either. Even though more than one person has said how cool they think it is. (I think keeping that place open is important work, but really, that’s a whole different post.)
Most of our friends have “real jobs”. They go to an office and do “real work”. Things they went to school for, things with a career path. Things you need ambition for.
Which is really the gist of it. That whole ambition thing. Do some of us have it and some don’t? Can you learn it, grow it? What if your ambition is just to be happy?
The Girl Child is having some issues in school, mainly having to do with getting work done. It has put her in a precarious position, and may limit her choices going forward. We talk about college, and her answer is always “You went to college. Look where it got you. Such an awesome job.” Which makes me wonder – have I said that to her? Or did she come up with it all on her own?
Another friend has recently been all fired up and encouraging about my writing, thinks I should do something with it. I write things here sometimes, so I suppose one could say I write. And sometimes I think that would be pretty cool. It’s easy for me. I enjoy it. And then doubts creep in. (Not that I am fishing for compliments here.)
Maybe the ambition comes along naturally when you find your passion? The thing you’d do if they didn’t pay you. But what if you never find that thing? It’s a bit of a chicken and the egg – which comes first.
Even though I’m a little scared that ship has sailed, maybe it’s time to see what else is out there. Not a new job necessarily because this one works for various reasons still, but a way to add something that feels a little more passionate. Something to feel proud of.
We all need that. Sometimes in the day-to-day of just getting by, we forget.
I ramble. But as always, thanks for listening.
3 responses to “now what”
Best post you have ever written. It is honest. It is hard. Go with your heart and you can’t go wrong.
You have lots to be proud of. Hope you know that.
I often empathise with The Girl because I was a difficult teen. Full disclaimer – still passed all my exams (in France) and went to university to study Chinese (in the UK) , graduated, spent a year in Mandarin school in Taiwan, spent 4 years working an office job in Australia, spent another couple of years travelling and doing odd jobs (literally odd, unusual and interesting jobs) in Europe and Asia, and then finally found out what I wanted to do — my passion, my ambition, whilst strolling through the Prado in Madrid, at the age of 28. I’m now 30 and 1.5 years into the 4 years of postgrad training required to become an art conservator. Each of the aforementioned steps was only possible because I had completed the previous ones – high school to get into uni, uni to get a scholarship for language school in a beautiful country, speak mandarin to get my office job (and permanent residency in an exciting and wonderful country!), work to save money to travel, get professional experience to qualify for interesting work opportunities (and now to get an extremely well-paid job to pay for postgrad studies), and of course being a graduate so I could do the postgrad degree!
All this is, I hope, a convincing way to show The Girl how whilst it may not make sense right now, and she may feel like she has no idea what she wants to do and whether extra education is worth it… She may find it all opens doors along the way to where she wants to be. It wasn’t always easy and a lot of the time seemed a bit futile but it’s all brought me to a place where I have so much ambition and drive…