I stumbled across this book a couple years ago before my wife and I were married. A friend had left it at her apartment and I started thumbing through it and couldn’t put it down. I left it on the coffee table and went home with the intent of finding it at the library. When her friend left to go home to New Zealand, she left it with Sandi to give it to me. I finished the book within a few days.
I’ve never understood how my dad could plug away at the same job, year after year after decade. He never complained, in fact, he seemed to enjoy it. It’s never been like that for me. I could digress into an entire disposition about my struggles with work. Maybe it’s my depressive nature, my existentialistic core, or maybe I’m just spoiled rotten and don’t know how to buckle down and work. I get bored with jobs. I like new challenges and I like to be doing things that actually feel meaningful. When those things fall into place I dig in with a passion that might be better described as an addiction. But I’m picky as to what “meaningful” means.
I’ve often felt out of place in the modern world, like I just don’t fit. Don’t get me wrong, I have good jobs and I get good reviews from my employers. I just don’t feel happy about it. I feel like I’m wasting time and spending most of my time doing stuff that doesn’t matter at all. I often wonder if I missed my calling in life…my passions are writing and photography but I got a Masters in Accounting and computers. I can make good money doing those things so I don’t bail and pursue what I love. I keep telling myself some day I’ll do it. When take the time to write or take pictures I enjoy myself so much I feel depressed that I can’t do them all day long. That’s me, too often seeing the storm instead of the rainbow.
My struggle has always been whether I have a problem or whether I’m out of sync with who I really am. Am I horribly spoiled or am I just walking down the wrong road? I have a great life and I often think it’s pretty pathetic to even question these things. Who am I to complain when I have so much? Maybe having more than I need combined with a fair amount of free time gives me too much time to think. When I’m in survival mode, I really don’t question whether I’m happy or not…or whether I’m doing something meaningful. Those times are about putting food on the table.
Po’s book is a collection of stories about people that sound a bit like me. Most are about people that left jobs to pursue their dreams…and found happiness. These touched and inspired me to the core. They gave me hope that maybe I’m not flawed inside. Maybe one day I’ll be able to sort this part of myself out. Maybe I just got distracted young in life and pursued a career based on making money rather than on what I was passionate about. Maybe I’m not a lazy ass after all. I dunno…then I wonder if I switched that I’d still be unhappy. That’s where I liked Po’s book. A lot of people did get it sorted out.
At any rate, I continue to plug away at work. I figure once my kids are raised I can take another look at making changes in my career…take less money and do something that I really enjoy. Until then, I write and take pictures when I can. I’m glad I can provide for my family and more than happy to keep walking the treadmill for them. I submit my writing to publishers with the hope that maybe someday it will happen. I hope the end of my story is like the ones I liked in this book.