For the past year, I’ve seen a slow, but noticeable, downward trend in my attitude toward my career. There are certainly things I like about it, but I don’t get joy out of it like I do with other things. Every day has turned into a struggle to drag myself into the office. Every day, I have to convince myself to go in, that I need the job, the paycheck, the stability. And every day, I feel the happy drain out of me a little bit more.
It’s possible this came about when one of my superiors recently acted like I was the second coming of Albert Einstein because I fixed the margins on a memo.
Because I’m smarter than that, dammit. I’m worth more than marginal shortcuts.
So naturally, I blame creativity.
I grew up with dance. It was never something I thought I could pursue. It was merely a hobby, something to keep me active. It wasn’t until I returned to dance after a seven year hiatus that I realized how much I needed that artistry to keep me going; that churning out a 9-to-5 job, week after week, just wasn’t cutting it for me. Last year, my body finally told me to cool it so I gave up dance to recover. By then, I had been writing here for about a year so I had this community to help me fill the creative void left by quitting dance. But not even that could help me be happy with where I am in my life. Because I still have to spend 40+ hours a week in a place I’m not sure I want to be for the rest of my life.
Perhaps this is my privilege, Generation Y, or some entitled combination of both talking but I feel as if I deserve more; that all of us deserve more than a job we put up with to scrape by each and every week. We all deserve to do what we love, right?
But when I talk to friends and family about my hope of one day finding my happy by doing what I really want to do, I see their eyes glaze over and the glances back and forth as they question my sanity.
Is she serious? their eyes whisper…
Yes. I am. Because I can’t go through this life fixing margins on memos. Well, unless those margins are on the next novel I plan to publish.
So how do the creatives push that doubt away? How do we convince those we care for most that this is serious? This isn’t some phase we’re going through where you just have to wait for us to get bored and move on. This is who we are. This is us finding our happy. Our happy just happens to come through a creative spark. Sure, it’s unconventional and hard as hell to make a reality, but why should that force us to stop searching for it?
Hopefully, the answer is it shouldn’t. So I won’t. I’ll work on my doubt while searching for the elusive happy. Because one day, I’m going to be able to wake up and enjoy what I do each and every day. One day, my happy will be staring me right in the face each morning. Why? Because I deserve it. We all do. And I have to keep believing in that.
Otherwise, what’s the point?