hunt for the dream job and self worth

5 April 2013

Having one of those “WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE??!?!!” moments, and I’ve seriously started writing and rewriting this post 3 times already.

The thing is, I’m not really having a life crisis or anything. And I’m not really dissatisfied with my life either. More likely, I’m just impatient.

At this point, I know what my passions are. I know what drives me. And for the most part, I know how to get there. The startup culture is huge for our generation. We’re inundated with messages about following our passions and doing what we love. And even more so by people telling us we can earn money from our passions if we hustle enough (and of course, pay them to teach us how)…

It’s like this hunt for the elusive dream job, and that somehow our self-worth is tied up in it. I keep feeling like I should be doing more with my life.

» I have a decent paying job where I’m appreciated and my coworkers aren’t terrible.

» I have a good foundation to a short story collection, and I’m doing well in my writing program. I even have someone who wants to hook me up with a reading at a library.

» I have a decent apartment within stupidly easy walking distance to the beach, a good landlord, and the best furry roommates one could ask for.

» I get to see my friends perform on a weekly basis (currently), and this summer will be my 4th year of getting to go on tour with them.

» And you know what, I’ve got friends who truly care for me and on many, many occasions have brought tears of overwhelming joy.

I’m not really sure what this more is that I’m looking for. And I don’t know if it’s from all these messages seeing with “do more! be more!” or if it’s actually something within me that’s craving some sort of change.

I think once I get a good writing portfolio under my belt, maybe I’ll feel a bit more satisfied. Or who knows, maybe my dream job still is out there waiting to be discovered. But you know, having a job that you don’t hate but isn’t your dream job, something that pays the bills, is still very good and should still be extremely valued.

I think people should still aspire to follow their passions, and people shouldn’t settle. But there’s nothing wrong with a traditional job or a 40-hour work week. I think as long as people are still pushing themselves to grow in some aspect of their lives, and if they have some happiness in their lives, then in my mind they’re winning.

So to whatever internal or external thing is telling me I’m not enough right now: SCREW YOU.

  • From what I can see, your passion is writing. It’s not your day job, but you’re doing it, and chasing it. There are a lot of reasons I take issue with the mentality of following your passion and living a big life… not that there’s anything wrong with it – heck, I’m pretty jealous of the people that pull that off. But there’s a very pervasive implication that you’re not enough if you’re not following your passion for your paid job. Who cares if your passion earns you a paycheck or not? Maybe your paycheck earns you your passion and the ability to have all those good things in your life when you’re not at work. As you describe, that’s a pretty great life. I think you’ve just internalized that you’re not enough because you’ve heard the implication too many times that YOU MUST BE PAID TO FOLLOW YOUR PASSION, OR ELSE DOOM.

    Anyway, I think the other thing that’s important is a little bit of patience. You are doing all the things to achieve your dreams, but they don’t happen at the snap of your fingers. They take work. You have to strive for them. And you are! Besides, the second you achieve your current dreams, you’ll dream up new ones. And that’s such a great thing, that there’s always more to see and do and be.

  • I’ve been having the same issues lately, battling with my options of either going back to school or sticking with the real world. I keep telling myself if I don’t get a full assistantship to grad school, then I won’t go back because I wouldn’t want to borrow the money—it wouldn’t be “feasible.” But the truth is I really don’t like the real world right now. I crave classrooms and papers and knowledge and writing about books and poems and essays. Part of me feels like, even if I don’t get a full assistantship and, say, only a half one, that I should borrow more loan money to go back. I don’t want to and my mom would not be happy with that at all, but I just don’t feel like I belong in the “real world,” as they call it, the world outside of academia. So right now my dream job would be to go back to school.

    • Erini

      I’m right there with you. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve wished I could go back to being a full-time student. It’s just not financially possible, or the most financially responsible thing for me to do.

      We’ll get this stuff figured out one day!

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