“What a way to make a living…”
Before I start I want to say that for many people, their work is their passion. To go to work is less of a chore and more of a choice. And to those people I truly say congratulations, because they have found a purpose and happiness to fill their days.
But for so many more of us, work is exactly that. Work. It’s hard, often underpaid and utterly exhausting either mentally, physically or both. We get up and go because we have bills to pay and rent to find and most importantly, lives we desperately want to carry on living. Recently it’s become so clear to me how much my job is simply a means to an end. I go in five, sometimes six days a week to earn money to fund the things I truly want to be doing at the weekend and annual leave. And this is my life. A long cycle of work followed by a few weeks of escape. Year in, year out.
My job is OK. My job pays enough. My job is “a job” (which in this economic climate is a blessing in itself, when the alternative is a miserable existence on benefits). And I would hazard a guess that it’s the same for lots of people out there. Doing jobs they don’t really love, to make more money to do the things they do really love. When I put it like that, we humans sound insane. A cat doesn’t have to earn its right or pay its way to sit by a warm fire. What a life. Or lack of…
Something in me wishes the modern world was different, that we didn’t rely on our mediocre jobs to fund not only essentials but the things that make us feel truly alive. Those things like travel, experiences, our dream houses. Of course it’s a big dream and I don’t (can’t) live my life with rose tinted glasses but it doesn’t stop me seeing life with a different perspective. When I get stressed at work over something I can’t control, something that’s gone wrong or someone who’s upset the status quo, I now take a step back and remember my priorities in life. And when all is said and done, my job comes low on my list. Providing I have one, and I do my best at it, when I leave that office I leave it all behind. I have my own dreams outside the office walls and I know that’s where my life is. It’s my family, my friends, all the places I travel, all the music I hear. It’s the poems I write and the people I fall in love with. It’s the unknown future and the excitement of exactly that. It’s being compassionate and understanding and finding humour in the everyday mundanities I could just as easily take too seriously.
Life is so much more than a job. A job will always fund a life, in our lifetimes anyway, but with that life we can fill it with so many beautiful things too. Money, power, greed – one day it’ll tear you into so many pieces you’ll no longer be sure what the point of it all is. Work for a living and then for god sake make the most of it.
Whether I find a career I’m passionate about or I forever work to fund my passions, that’s fine by me. To live my life is going to be more than making paper notes and coins, more than having letters after my name, more than ratings and promotion. And if that’s a romantic, unrealistic and completely insane view of the world then maybe that’s fine by me.