Growing up I knew working in “an office” would kill me.
Today I work in an office. Most of the time. And I’m not dead yet. Mainly because as a kid, for me, “working in an office” meant admin work. I didn’t even know what admin work was but I didn’t like it. At all! Decades later, I still can’t stand admin work.
My so-called office work is this, blogging, writing, working on my Dream BIG TV Show… most of the work is done at a desk, in front of a computer with phone calls part of the mix- all things an admin job would’ve entailed, so what’s the difference? The type of work I’m doing.
By the time I was in twelfth grade, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to study.
One day I asked my dad what I could study to get on TV, he said journalism so that’s what I did.
Why TV? Because since I was a kid it’d always been my dream to be on TV.
I would spend hours in my bedroom acting little scenes out- pretending to be people I’d seen on TV.
One of my favourite pass times (aside from reading) was practicing short pieces for one of my favourite kids’ variety shows. If asked at that time what I wanted most, it would’ve been a presenter on that program.
That dream didn’t happen.
Years later though I did end up on TV- and a couple of years into TV I delved into a field that truly resonated with me- business news.
My excitement and buzz for business led me down a couple of paths which, to cut a long story short, led me here- to my home-office doing what I love- what I’d always dreamed as a kid I’d do.
When I hear young people say they’ll study for careers they don’t really want because a. Mom and Dad want them to and/or b. They want something to “fall back on”- a part of me withers for them. Because I know that what awaits them are many long hours of hating what they’ll do for a living coupled with bitterness and regret. And a real possibility is: them asking endless “what ifs” when they’re older and finally realise that the true point of life is not “making a living” but enjoying living.
Few of us had the privilege of being taught that we could make a living enjoying what we do.
When I was in high school my aptitude tests indicated that I’d probably do well as a chef. I enjoyed cooking but being a chef would have killed me.
But my so-called guidance counselor (or rather misguided counselor) pretty much told me I wasn’t smart enough to pick and choose what I wanted to do with my life. She was wrong. And so was everyone else who said I wouldn’t make it doing what I do.
But the people who always supported me and raaaa raaad me on, were my Dad and Mom.
My Dad in particular made me feel that my writing was spectacular.
When I started my journalism career as a print journo, my dad read every single article I ever wrote.
One afternoon he took my portfolio file and re-read every article I’d written over the past two years- it mattered to him. And that made me feel that my work mattered- and more important, that I mattered.
Kids know the kind of work that’ll kill them. And even if they can’t articulate it they instinctively know what will make them feel alive!
I’ve written about our Spiritual DNA– and that’s the part we go against when we choose what seems like a “secure” career decision over the wild passion that’s encoded in who we are.
We humans are three parts: Spirit, Soul and Body.
When we pursue careers that don’t align with who we truly are, a part of us dies. And the rest of our being lives in mourning for the part that’s gone.
We were never meant to limp through life like that.