The gift of work
Every once in a while I have to stop and remind myself of what my dream life looks like. I was in Victoria Falls and Cape town recently (thank you travel fairies) and I did some tourist-y things on both trips. It was fun to just sit on a bus and have someone drive us to a location with a tour guide feeding us information about the history of the place. I enjoyed that bit.
However perhaps because the vacations were so close to each other (4 days apart) I got SO homesick when I was in Cape town. The weather was bad and I really just missed the familiarity of Jo’burg. I forced myself to do stuff there but I really just wanted to come back home. Never mind that I got back from Vic Falls SO sick I could barely walk so I basically just stayed in bed until it was time to leave again. Sigh. First world problems.
I thought I would enjoy being away for so long. If you only get 15 days leave per year, two weeks away from work is a long time! But not so much. I thought a lot about the kind of life I want to live while I was away and the whole time I was observing people doing their jobs and wondering if they enjoyed it.
Tour guides, tour bus drivers. I don’t think I would enjoy doing that EVERY day. I went with two different friends on each trip. In Vic Falls my friend went Ziplining- I chickened out. In Cape town my friend went sky diving- I was too broke for that. However I noted that people do those activities for the thrill. I was wondering if the guy who has to come down the zipline to fetch you enjoys doing that and the guy who jumps with you when you sky dive. I don’t know how many times a day they have to do that but more than once just seems like a lot. But then again “i job yi job.”
That is what I learnt during my time away. That people don’t do always do their jobs because they are passionate about them or because they particularly like them. Sometimes a job is just a job, it pays the bills and that’s all. I was miserable because I wanted a job that would make me happy. Something with meaning. I am employed right now but it isn’t something I can say I wake up looking forward to. It’s just something I have to do to pay my rent, pay for my car, get food and fuel. And maybe that too is okay.
In my dream life I wake up looking forward to the day. I have a job that is fulfilling. I go on vacations to rest and not to escape my life. I read a lot of books and spend time just talking about them. I also write a lot and I truly experience my world through the written word. THAT is my dream life. I am nowhere close to it right now cos my rent needs to be paid. And I am here to remind myself that that too is OKAY. Just as long as I maintain a clear picture in my head of what my dream life looks like and I never give up trying to realise it- I am good.
I turned 27(!) on the 2nd of October. I felt like such a failure for being 27 and not having achieved anything of note. That’s how it feels like right now. But a conversation with a friend forced me to look closely at my life and count the small victories. I’m not doing too badly. I do not compare myself to my peers because I know that is a dead end road. There will always be better as there will always be worse. So I really just focus on myself and my dreams and see if I’m where I want to be (I’m not) but this part of my story matters too. “The useless days will add up to something.”
I am at work right now and I am thankful I have a job that pays me a salary so I can afford my life. I do not want to lose sight of my dreams in the midst of all this angst about growing old and not being where I want to be. I extend much needed grace to myself. I am grateful that I am alive with opportunities to dream and also realise those dreams.
So yea once again, i job yi job. I don’t have to be in love with my job although that would be great. I will stay the course, be faithful to my dreams and keep doing the work that brings me closer to them. I am grateful for my little life. Although it may seem very mundane sometimes I missed the normalcy of it while I was away. I am not one to always be on flights to the next destination or buses to the next tourist attraction. Once in a while is great but I enjoy my every day life. I am grateful I even have the opportunity to visit some place once in a while.
I always thought I wanted a job that involved a lot of travel but now? No, thanks. I want to be paid enough to take myself to those nice places work would send me to. I’ll share pics from my travels on my next post.