When I was nineteen-year-old, I worked at a marketing agency full time for six months. I was studying business at the time, and marketing seemed like the cool, creative thing to do. Except I didn’t think much of what kind of product I would actually be marketing. I got stuck working on pet food coupons & holiday packaging, and let me tell you something: I am NOT an animal person.
I decided there and then that if I was going to work endless hours and spend the better part of my life stuck in an office, I needed to care about the product of my hard labor. And there came in my logic that since I’d watched more TV than any sane individual my age, I was meant to turn TV from a passion to a life ambition and pursue a job in TV.
It wasn’t bad reasoning per se. Just a little naive.
Fast-forward through the rest of my college education, a Masters in TV/Film Producing, and the last two years of my professional career.
I’m a grown up now. I’ve been on this planet for over a quarter of a century (this is how I make my age sound cool), I’ve moved continents twice, lived in five cities and three countries in seven years. I’ve worked over 60 hours a week and barely earned enough money to make rent. I’ve had an amazing work days where I’ve felt fulfilled and accomplished, like my life had a purpose.
Here’s the thing though. No job can replace a friend, a loved one, a family member, a significiant other, a week of vacation in a new country with your oldest friends. Pouring ALL your energy, hopes and dreams into a job is not healthy. I’m an all in kind of girl, and I didn’t know any better. I was eighteen when I got the idea that a job could and should be my whole life.
Your life is your friends, your family, your loved ones, your new experiences, your night out until 5am speaking to random strangers, your sleepless nights reading a book, your horrible-tasting cupcakes, your favorite restaurant, your cheap flight home for the holidays, your roommates who became your family.
I used to think work should be my whole world. I realized I was wrong. Work isn’t my world anymore — it’s just part of it. A big one, albeit, and one that matters a whole lot. But it’s no longer the sun around which my entire universe revolves. I’m a lot happier for it.
Now there is space in my head for other interests, there’s energy in me for new passions and discoveries.
I’m open and ready. Life can come to me. Or better yet, I’ll chase it down myself.