If you’re happy following your passion, great. But, if you’re unhappy following your passion and doing it just because of inertia, then somebody needs to give you a little slap.
— Mike Rowe, Dirty Jobs

It's funny; well, sad really. I've been dealing with the same sense of disenchantment or unsatisfaction (what I like to borrow from Buddhism and call dukkha) since I entered the "real world." It's been going on long enough that what I used to refer to as my quarter-life crisis is now inching up on a mid-life crisis.

It's not for lack of trying - over the past 10 years I've lived in three different states, two different countries, held eight different jobs with three very different titles, launched a business, received a masters degree, written two novels, and published one, all while maintaining a high degree of dukkha.

I don't say all those things to brag, but to bring attention to the effort I've exerted pursuing what appeared to be worthwhile endeavors only to end up back at square one. Folks say to follow you passion and everything will work out. I think this has messed me up. I have a variety of interests - obv. And, no one single passion. Working to make things I like into a passion, or career, have in the end tainted the things I like and left me feeling pretty empty.

I should add - since I'm using the "empty" term: I've found and married someone I love and experienced a religious awakening and found a church. All of which should on some level offer fulfillment and they help...

It's just that career piece - that thing we have to do everyday to survive and that seems to have an ever-increasing value in today's society - that eludes me.

I'm wondering if it isn't just the type of work. I probably should have been a skilled tradesman or a cop. Something that kept me more active than sedentary and something that focused more on a learned skill than a natural talent. I think I should be putting in a hard day's work as opposed to sitting at a desk all day writing copy and answering emails.

But, enough about me - the thing that really got me thinking about this on a broader scale was Pinterest. Seeing the positive affirmation memes my peers are seeking out and repinning lead me to believe these feelings of..."is this it?" are not solely my own. It seems many people - those with varying degrees of observed success: homes, families, wealth, careers, et cetera, etc. are also seeking out something more.

When I started this post, I felt as though I might have reached an epiphany of sorts. But, now that I've walked through my thoughts -  I feel like I may have forgotten it. And, so it goes...

Comment