You know how there are some guys who are good on paper. They have a job, they say the right things, they pay for dinner when you go out, they open the door for you when you walk through one, and they do not check out other girl’s bums when you are with me.
They are good on paper, but they are not good for anything else. The better on paper someone is, the less attractive they are to you.
I find that a good job is like that nowadays. They are good on paper. You get a 401k, you have a nice desk, ergonomic chairs, nice potted plants around that are watered by random people who come on the weekend, great company dinners paid for by your boss to boost morale, social events where everyone gets together to play Nintendo WII. You get an okay salary, but you get a great environment to work in, a great culture, flexible, you don’t need to come in at 9am and leave at 5pm, you can come in at 10 or even 11am, leave at 7pm. They treat you like Gods, as long as you do a good job for them. But they will not think twice about kicking you to the curb, if you do not work out satisfactorily.
The job is good on paper, but it isn’t attractive to you anymore, because you are not doing what you are born on this earth to do. I love how An English Major’s Money puts it below:
I’m not sure those things are more important to me than doing interesting things with my life, the kind I may not be able to do from an office. How can people do this their whole lives? How can they sit in offices, which basically means being alone all day, spending the bulk of the day treading water? Am I supposed to just sit in this office and save money every paycheck and wait for the milestones of my life to pass outside the window (no, my office does not have a window)? Am I supposed to sit in my office and wait to get married and have kids and send them to college and retire, go home worrying about the balances of my accounts, watch a movie, fill in the day’s expenses into my budgeting software, go to sleep? For years?
I find this prospect terrifying, depressing, and absolutely untenable. I can’t do that. I cannot do that. And I won’t. I’m not saying I couldn’t do this job for a couple of years until I go back to grad school–but not my whole life long.
I feel like with lots of people, focusing on money gives a sense of movement to a static life. If your goal is to make a million dollars by the age of thirty-five, each day at work is a challenge not because you like the work, but because you’re trying to position yourself to advance. And I guess I can respect that, but it’s not for me. I can’t do a job I don’t love. Not for my whole life.
I want to travel. I want to see beautiful things I’ve never seen before. I want to have lots of friends in lots of places. I want to read lots of wonderful books. I want to use my brain, which is a pretty good brain, all day long. I do not want to use it printing up shipping labels. I come home from work exhausted. I come home from work not wanting to read a book or go to a museum. I haven’t seen my best friend (who’s an unpaid intern at a theater group she loves, and is thinking about starting a company with a couple of her fellow interns–that’s a theater company–and tutors rich high school kids to pay her bills) in more than a week. I want to have silly parties, drink cheap beer and laugh at jokes about Paris Hilton and Ulysses. Maybe I want to go back to Portland, where I have friends who roast pigs over backyard spits and sit on Goodwill couches on the porch, doing the crossword and watching things go by. Maybe I want to stay in New York, where the people-watching and the public transit are unparalleled and you can always find good bread. Maybe I want to study for the GRE, apply to grad school, and pick myself up to move wherever I get in. New people to meet. New books to read. I don’t know.
I don’t know what I want to do. I’m learning, slowly, about what I don’t want to do, but I really haven’t come much closer to figuring out what I do want to do. Whatever it is, I want it to sustain me. I want doing it to be something to look forward to and to enjoy every day (or at least, the vast majority of days).
That is her quote, and I love it. It describes exactly what I feel in its entirety.
In ending, I want to say, Stop trying to control everything and just let go.