Working in a face paced agency setting, I’ve never actually been happy at my job. What seems to happen most often is that I’ll start a new position, be excited about the money or work perks for about 3-6 months, and then the resentment and jadedness begins to really set in. The dynamic is tricky, because as you get better and better at your job, you start to hate it more and more. Old frustrations dig deeper, office politics shine through, and suddenly that free office happy hour doesn’t seem so enticing anymore.
This repetitive emptiness of spending 8 hours a day sitting at a desk doing mindless work for a company who would just as soon replace you is almost too much to bare. No one wants to be there and no one wants to be doing what they’re doing. Is this living? Is this what we spent our childhoods preparing for?
So why do we do what we do? The short answer is money. We have to do this for 8 hours each day so that we have money, and with that money we need to buy houses and cars and clothes. There are of course the essentials in life like food and shelter. But imagine if you striped your life of all the extra unnecessary material items in your world. Take a second just to look around the room. How many items are necessary? How many items do you absolutely love that add value to your life? Now notice how much extra there is. Look at your “stuff”. You paid for that stuff with hours and hours of your life. Seems like an unfair trade off, doesn’t it?
I know that quitting corporate America is not the answer. Our society wouldn’t function without all the working aspects of the rat race. However, I can’t help but wonder if there are alternative ways to living. I for one would love to become a Yoga instructor, a dance teacher or even own a small local trinket shop. However, these options just don’t support the current lifestyle I live in my own material world.
Knowing that these are the most prime years of my life, I’m challenging myself to live smarter. To waste less, to conserve funds, and use those shifts to take back the time I have to actually live and not just work. I need to constantly remind myself, humans were not meant to stare at computers all day and life is not meant to be lived behind a desk.