Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When I grow up...

After high school, I moved straight away into a dorm 600 miles away from home. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to be after graduation. But I assumed that four years of college would sculpt and define that vision for me.

Boy was I wrong.

Like most students, I did the summer jobs, the internships, and job shadows, always thinking that I would be inspired to become something like the people I was being mentored by. While these experiences were interesting, I can honestly say that I was hardly inspired by the 9-5ers, the corner office holders, or the suit and tie wearers, I can say that what I learned most from these experiences was what I didn't want to be.

It's been two years since I graduated from college, and I don't know any more about what I'm going to be when I grow up than I did two,three, or four  years ago. I've held two "big girl" jobs since graduation, and both have only helped me grow my list of "don't likes".

Finding a career must be like picking a least that's what my current conclusion is. You date all these boys/men making a mental list of the attributes and weird habits that you don't like, before you settle for someone that has non of those. Of course, there is always a few things that might irk you now and then, like setting dirty clothes on the hamper instead of lifting the lid and placing the item inside, but we love them besides those little irks. A career must be the same, right? Nothing in life can be perfect. I can't expect to be best friends with everyone at work, and there's always going to be the office gossiper. But I'll learn to deal with that, just like I deal with the hamper issue. (Love you babe!)

So that brings me to the question: am I being too picky? or am I dating a career that I really can't stand? Just like some relationships drag on and on, even when you both know the relationship isn't marriage material, can a job drag on and on too? Maybe it's the paycheck, or the fact that I can bring my dog to work that makes me want to stay. But let's be honest here:

I'm not happy to be sitting at this desk, I don't have any friends here. And I definitely look forward to leaving everyday. 

When does it get to the point where I've had enough? When do I put my foot down and say NO MORE? It's like you know the break up talk is going to come, you just don't know when. I've read about people who have come to that point in their careers, they've said NO MORE to the office, and have made the leap into something else. I admire the courage those folks have. And many of them have become very successful doing what makes them happy. That's awesome. I want that. But the question that looms before me still is: what DOES make me happy? What am I willing to ditch a steady pay check for? Like I mentioned before, the list of things that I don't like is miles longer than the list of things that I do like. So if I quit my job today, what am I willing to spend my time doing tomorrow? (Obviously by "spend my time" I mean what kind of job/work will make me happy?)

When does being happy out weigh a decent paycheck?

Not that we're planning on having kids anytime soon, but when we do, it would be so amazing to be able to stay at home with them, and work from home. That's a big factor to me, and it's high on the list of things that I do like. But doing what, I don't know.  I can continue to teach my workout classes, but I can't make a living doing that, no one can teach 8 hours a day without dying. But I suppose the big question is: how much longer do I put up with this crappy job before I can start pouring my time into making my life part of my career? (versus having a career be your life...if that makes sense). I've been making baby steps, like opening the Etsy shop, and learning to sew better, those haven't proven to be career worthy steps, but I've got to start somewhere.

What's a job where you can bake cookies, eat, sew, shop, sleep, read, and go on long walks that pays, ohhh 50K??


I'm looking for inspiration here folks, maybe you are in the same boat as me, or maybe you've made that leap into happiness. What are your stories? What do you think I should do? If you made that leap, what was the point where you said NO MORE?

Leave a comment, I could use a little stimulating conversation :)



  1. oh this is soooo easy and soo difficult at the same time.

    For me the trick was to get a gig, ANY gig, doing anything (almost anything) at a company that was doing things I either I thought were cool, could think were cool, or could lead to something cool. Something you can believe in.

    Put another way, a company that could help me tell a story about me better. Always helpful if it is something you can be proud of. Sometimes you have to do a lot of jobs at a lot of companies to find the right fit. (I'm resisting the urge to follow your example on dating but I agree and think it applies - a career is like a relationship/marriage in very many ways)

    The old adage doing something you love/have a passion for holds true...sometimes it is simply a matter of how you apply that theory to your life variables. It's not going to be perfect in the beginning and may never be 100% perfect but if you keep at it....eventually you get it to where you're really happy with it.

    Probably not a bad idea to set loose goals around stuff that matters to you today and stuff that will matter to you in the medium future and the distant future.... etc

    A couple of points of view on happiness depending on the situation:

    I've found being happy in the present is pretty much a choice. Sounds too simple - but it really is that simple. Own it. Choose to be happy and you are.

    If you really want to bend your brain I've also found that being happy is pretty much a choice and that the degree of happiness today and in the future is affected by the culmination/end result of how often you chose to be happy. Choose wisely ;) Happiness feeds on happiness. Alright...this episode of deep thoughts by brent... is now over.

    1. Brent - thank you so, so, so much for your words of encouragement. Right now I'm in the spot where I chose ANY job I could find, thinking....maybe I will grow to be passionate about this, or maybe I'm really good at this and I just don't know it yet... but it's been two years and I don't feel that vibe, I haven't found the passion, and even if I am good at it, I just don't enjoy it.

      But you are 100% right about choosing to be happy, now. In this very instant, I'm happy, maybe not content, but happy. And I'm not going to be close-minded about what life may bring me - I'm always up for something new! Just keep swimming!