Conversations Over the Work Printer
We assume we need to get this right. Graduate high school, start college, work for someone, get married. Live. Rinse. Repeat. I remember growing up and really valuing job security, even more so than my own happiness. It was the highest pillar that I had to reach. I mean what else can be better in life than a stable job with good medical benefits, and a working Keurig machine? I was born in a poor family; financial security was always firmly praised.
As I moved through life, balancing work and school, I stuck to “safe” majors. I tried my hand in nursing as that’s the benchmark of (financial) stability. I remember school was always the easiest part. The classes weren’t hard for me. I got to my six-month internship, watched the nurses inject, and probe patients while changing, dissecting, and inputting information.
I have the utmost respect for nurses but watching from afar was depressing. I chose oncology, which they warned me not to. Spending six months anywhere you see the bureaucracy seep in slowly. Instead of shadowing nurses, I spent my time talking with the patients. I learned their names, their stories, and we just talked. I didn’t treat them like they were sick or ask what medication they were taking, I just talked to them. Sometimes they told me about their life and we laughed harder than we cried, and sometimes we just cried harder than we could laugh, and other times we just sat quietly. When the internship ended, I thought I could force myself to do it.
I remember moving onto researching nursing schools and attending orientations. I ignored this feeling that burned inside of me to go into psychology. I had a dream to open my own practice, or work in a school, but I shut it off. One night, after several orientations, I woke up in a sweat. I thought I was going to die. I decided to switch my major again to Health Admin. With enough trial and error, enough job offers, I felt like I was going to die once again. The further I got away from what I wanted to do, the worse I felt. I put money over happiness. I watched coworkers around me slowly burn away from being in careers they didn’t like, forced to punch in and out.
During the middle of my undergraduate degree, I woke up again in a cold sweat. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I can’t do this life thing. I can’t sit at a desk for eight hours and make small talk about how the printer doesn’t work. I don’t give a shit. I don’t want to replace the toner or chat about which ink cartridge we need over the fact our break is coming up shortly, living for that fifteen-minute break. I want to change lives, do work that matters. I want to dive deep.
I researched like mad, different careers that pay well in mental health. I turned down and walked away from good paying jobs in Health Admin to pursue my dream. I don’t know what will happen next. I’m not exactly moving to travel the world or hiking to find myself, I’m just switching my major and choosing to follow my heart. It sounds simple, yet somehow extremely complex. I guess everything is simple though when you are younger. We aren’t bound to anything, nothing is written in stone. Some of us take the risk, accept the consequences, burn in the fire, because we know we can’t fathom being stuck in something we don’t love.
The rest of us, sit there, and we slowly watch life pass us by, moment by moment, over meaningless small talk over the printer, waiting to punch out. Bukowski once said, “Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain from you your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness. Let it kill you, and let it devour your remains. For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it's much better to be killed by a lover.”
If you're looking for your love in life, consider our Purpose and Calling Tribe.
This Tribe is for you if...
You feel as if you have no purpose while everyone around you has a clearly defined purpose and goals
You want to discover the passions and values that truly inspire you
You want to explore your strengths and their importance in fulfilling your purpose
You want to develop concrete action steps to implement which will bring you closer to fulfilling your purpose and calling
Tribe dates: October 3 - October 31