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I had the best job in the world.
I’d been at the same job for the past 3 years. I left university, did a musical for 2 months, and for the first time in my 22 years, became a full-time employee at a company. I earned good money for half the amount of work/effort my peers (in other companies) were putting in at their jobs. I went to work late, really late. I had an abundance of time – time to do what I want in the mornings before going to work, time to do whatever I feel like on the days I don’t have to work, and time after work to bum around at home. The idea of working overtime and quite often, working hard, was alien to me. Of course, I don’t mean I didn’t have to work, because there was always work to be done – people to call, things to be checked, plans to be made. But the truth is, compared to most of my peers, I had it easy. I took delight in it. I had money to spend on things I wanted, time to spend on activities I enjoyed, freedom to pursue my hobbies.
Yet, I was never satisfied.
I went through phases – sometimes needing something more fulfilling, eventually deciding that I was just being silly. I would always be on the look out for something new, something different. I applied for other jobs, interviewed for some, even got offered positions, and then turned each one down because I wasn’t ready to leave my comfort zone. What am I doing? I should be happy with what I already have! But I never was. Not for long. The depressing cycle would repeat itself whenever it could find a window of opportunity. Maybe it’s just our generation/age. Maybe being young makes us fidgety, being blessed makes us discontent, being fed makes us greedier. And so, convincing myself with that, I made myself stay. Be content. Persevere, earn good money, save, and do the things I’ve always wanted to do.
Things I’ve always wanted to do. I thought I had all the time to do whatever I wanted because I didn’t work 9am-6pm, Monday-Friday. Then it turned out, I didn’t have much I could do because most things cater to those who work 9am-6pm, Monday-Friday. I couldn’t do what most could do because I’d often be working when others aren’t. I thought I’d save what I earn and do what I want to do later. I ended up using the money to buy things to make myself happier because I wasn’t all that happy at work. I justified my expenditure with the money I was earning working at a job that I didn’t truly enjoy. Each thing I bought bought me some happiness. Then, it would lose its effect, and I would go out and get another one. Bags, shoes, stationery, events, holidays. Each purchase I made reminded me that I needed my job. Each purchase I made made the pay essential. How could I afford this if I don’t earn what I do? I’ll do what I want to do later. I planned my future and gave myself pats on the back for being motivated. Then, somehow, I lost sight of those plans. Later was quickly becoming who knows when.
Thankfully, there would always be one nagging thought that wouldn’t go away. Can I stay here forever? I asked myself that question, and tried imagining myself in that scenario. Forever? This isn’t what I set out to do, this isn’t who I want to become. It’s fun for a while, but forever? I don’t need that bag/shoe/notebook because I already have plenty. Holidays are great and I’d love to see more of the world, but holidays shouldn’t become one of the few things left that I look forward to. Am I really happy where I am when the desire to get away is so strong?
But I can’t leave because I need the money/hours/freedom. I can’t leave because I don’t know what I’d leave for.
It’s okay, there’s no rush. I’ll leave, eventually. Right?
Wrong. I wasn’t ever going to leave because I was giving myself reasons to stay. I didn’t need whatever I would tell myself I needed, but I would talk myself into thinking I needed it. It’s not that I didn’t know what to leave for; I just wasn’t brave enough to think hard/be adventurous. I was being my own handicap, and three years of doing that to myself was enough.
Yesterday was the last day at work. I left a job that was gradually eating away my spark. I don’t know if I’ll be happier. I’m not going to earn as much. I’ll have to stick to regular working hours. I’ll earn less and work more. It’s going to be difficult, because I’ve gotten used to easy.
But for the first time in a long while, I’m truly excited. I’m going to work hard at earning a living, and spend that hard earned money on things that I truly need. I’ll cherish the time I have outside of work, because time will become precious again. I’ll finally be doing something that feels like I’m actually doing something for people other than myself.
I’m terrified. And excited at the same time.
I’m finally moving forward.
Happy Source: Me