Well, what do you want to be when you grow up?

My mother called me yesterday to ask me if I thought she was depressed.  I have not laid eyes on her in two months and our phone calls have been more infrequent, as this is her busy season at work, so really I had no idea what to tell her.

In all honesty, she hates her job.  It has been 7 degrees and snowing in Minnesota for 4 months straight.  Her large family can at times be stressful and again, she hates her job.  But as an independent lobbyist, she is unable to find something that pays her as well and allows her to spend a couple months each summer at her cabin.  But is it worth it?

I’ve been having a series of mini-crises lately over what I feel is my rudderless life, both personally and professionally.  I was never one of those kids who always had a dream, knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up- a doctor, a lawyer, an astronaut.  I have now been at my current job for over a year.  I fell into it largely due to unemployment, accident and my aunt’s persuasive ways.  I never really wanted the job in the first place, yet here I still am. 

Despite the resumes and cover letters I have sent off into the universe, I have yet to receive a job offer I am actually interested in taking.  So I continue each day to show up to work, have conversations about my inability to keep the sugar packets stocked on the counter, answer the phone and pray for a new job.

There are many sides to this sword that makes me question my own life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.  How much personal satisfaction am I supposed to get from my job?  Is my job supposed to make me happy, or serve as a basic way to fund endeavors in life that bring you satisfaction?  I can’t seem to find a black and white answer, just a shit ton of gray. 

Overall, I strongly dislike my job description, but I enjoy the company of my co-workers and the company I work for.  It is a largely unimpressive, but allows me to travel once in a while, fly some airplanes and has given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have been given elsewhere.  I am well paid, have health insurance and after running into an old ground school classmate that had recently been fired, lucky to even have a job…?  Maybe, sure.

But being that I live in a city that is more concerned with what is listed on your business cards (and I don’t have any!), as opposed to the content of your character, I feel like I should be more impressive.  Have a job with more responsibility.  That looks better on a resume.  But what if when I have that job, I am not any happier?  Or despise all of my co-workers?  What if that company sucks?  What if I have to commute to Silver Spring?  

See how I am talking myself into fucking circles?!

Yesterday was a bad day.  I was down on myself with each and every phone call I answered.  It was raining.  I was sad.  I was lonely.  But today will be a good day.  I ran to the Capitol this morning, drank a cup of coffee, ate a brie sandwich for breakfast, read a great book on the train.  The sun was shining. 

For a couple of minutes, I’ll try to not think about what I am trying to achieve in life, but how I am going to make myself happy at this very moment.  My friend Barrington believes that there really isn’t a larger purpose to life.  You just have to make one up, but when in doubt he tells me, set your sights on a pony.  And a pony it shall be.

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