I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret: My job is not fulfilling and I wish I could do something else. Shocker, I know. I'm definitely not the only person who feels this way, I know that for sure. I have weekly (and sometimes daily) conversations with my friends where we wrestle with this topic. I've kind of moved past the "mother of GOD I'm grateful to have a job, and health insurance to boot" stage of employment into the "this is not what I want to do with my life" stage. I've been here 7 months. I knew what I was walking in to when I took the job but now it's really starting to get to me.
Now, I know I should be grateful to have a job. Believe me, I am grateful. I am so glad to have health insurance and a steady paycheck. I don't have to work at McDonald's or in retail or any number of other shitty and low-paying jobs. I'm grateful. But, underneath all that gratefulness, the fulfillment issue creeps in. I know this is a first world problem, one that my friends and I have coined the "dirt biscuits" problem. My friend Meredith was telling me that her husband was horrified to learn that people in Haiti eat biscuits made out of dirt. Hell, I'm horrified. I'm absolutely horrified and outraged and pretty damn grateful that's not my situation. So every time I'm grumpily walking home after a long and trying day, I berate myself for not being more grateful that I don't have to eat dirt biscuits. I remind myself of all the things that I have that others would give their right arm for.
But the list gets overwhelming pretty quickly, doesn't it? First of all, I have to be grateful that I have a right arm, and a left one for that matter. Second, I have to be grateful that I can walk, and that there is air to breathe on this walk, and that the air is relatively clean, and that I have shoes and clothes to wear on the walk, and that they are clean shoes and clothes, and I could go on ad infinitum.
And then. I think about my life, and the things that I want and don't want to do for a living, and my little nagging fulfillment feeling creeps back in. What am I doing with my life? Collecting a paycheck is not enough. I want to make a difference, and help people, and get to write about cool things. I want to make enough money to travel a bit and save for retirement. I want to be financially secure enough to own a car or maybe even a house some day. I want a life and a career, not just a paycheck and the feeling that I'm only working for the weekend. Maybe I don't need them right now but I need to think I'm moving towards these things. I know your 20's is when you're supposed to be figuring these things out but y'all, I have nothing figured out. The only thing I know is where I don't want to be. I'm not sure how to get to where I do want to be.
So how do we do it? How do we get past the dirt biscuit problem? How does one reconcile gratefulness with dissatisfaction?