I need to preface this post with a short statement: I wrote this a little while ago, and had it saved in my drafts, unsure of whether or not to post it. I mentioned to you on Friday that I start a new job this week, and it looks like it could be something I'm going to really love - but I wrote this when I was feeling a little disheartened with my job search and my old job. Whilst I love the people there (most of them haha) and the skills it gave me... wasn't challenging me in the way that I wanted from a job. But It was a job, and I know that in this climate, I am extremely lucky to have one! And that is the point of this post, even though my bitterness may come through, that any job that pays you decently enough, you should be grateful for, because a lot of other countries and millions of other people don't have it half as good as us.
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This idea for a blog post sprung out of a recent twitter chat I had with some other bloggers: the idea of loving what you do for a living. Whilst I think this is a lovely idea, it does present it's own set of problems...
I wish for a day when I can do solely what I really enjoy most in life (which is essentially baking, knitting, blogging, and going to the gym) and not worry about money, as do a lot of us, I suppose. But there are very few people I imagine, who can say they they really love every aspect of their job. And if you are one of those people, well done, you have it made!
But for the majority of people, I feel like that isn't the case. When I was at uni, I shared a studio with a relatively nice, middle-aged lady, who decided she didn't care about getting good grades, good feedback, or looking for a job afterwards, because she had done all those things when she was younger. She had a very well off husband, which allowed her to just, sit around and paint all day. There was no need to earn money from it, her children were grown up so she had the time. She had it made, and yeah, I envied that, but it's not a common reality for a lot of people. To me it all felt very... boring.
If I just sat on my arse all day and did what I loved, I'd have no money, my parents wouldn't let me live with them, I'd have no cash, no way of getting a job, either, probably, without references and current employers. I probably wouldn't love that. Also, you can't enjoy the daytime without a night, can you? If I never worked, I probably wouldn't enjoy the sitting around at home, baking and knitting, because it wouldn't feel special! I relish my weekends and days off, because I can fill them with the things I adore, and they feel like little treats to me.
I don't wish to belittle people who are genuinely doing what they love, because deep down, who doesn't want that? But the do what you love mantra is bandied about in a way that borders on derogatory towards people that aren't doing what they're MOST passionate about; it degrades people that work to get by. If you're lucky enough to be doing what you love, that's cool, but I often find those people that are, are quite militant about other people following their dreams. It's good to have dreams and passions and wants in life, and it's good to work towards them, but you've got to be realistic at the end of the day.
I'll be honest that I'm not sure where I'm going with this, maybe I'm just confirming to myself, that it's okay to not do what I'm most passionate about in life, because doing that job that I must do enables me to do all the things I love. It gives me money and stability through which I can then pursue my dreams, etc. I can work for minimum wage because I need to eat, and hopefully one day I'll be able to do what I really and truly want that will put money in the bank and food in the fridge. Until then, there's the job I've got and the job I do love, in a weird way, because it gives me that freedom.
If you're interested in this, here is an article I read recently on Jacobin Mag about the do what you love mantra, which talks about this all in much more depth!