The Job of Happiness

The Job of Happiness

I know what I signed up for.   I guess I just didn’t believe all the rumors.

“People don’t write because it’s a lucrative sport, or because it’s always enjoyable. They do it, because they can’t NOT do it. It’s their passion. That’s the only reason.”

A successful writer told me that a year ago, and like I said—I didn’t want to believe it. But here I am starting to believe it, because for the first time since I’ve been writing professionally, those sentiments ring true. They sink easily into my bones, and I drag around the extra weight. I can’t NOT write, but damn, can someone please make the job steadier, easier, better paid, more social, and include a bit of water skiing on Fridays?

I know. You’re probably judging how juvenile I sound. Who doesn’t want $50 more an hour and simpler/shorter/more intriguing days surrounded by people you not only love but also admire? I think we all do. So the big question is: is anyone getting that? Is job happiness prevalent, or is it the exception to the rule?

I know doctors that cry at night and wish they’d become florists.

I know florists who cry at night and wish they’d become doctors.

I know six figure business stars who need Xanax to keep it all together, $25K a year teachers who went into teaching to change lives and are now trying to change their own, and builders who think their lower backs won’t last another year.

“I’m wearing golden handcuffs.”

“I have a family to feed.”

“There’s simply a lack of options.”

“It’s good enough.”

“I hate it and love it.”

Whatever the reasons for staying while not being 100% satisfied, I’ve heard them all. I ask about job gratification a lot—worldwide. It’s important to me that I figure it out, but I don’t know if I ever will, because my poll isn’t going so well.  I guess adult life is more confusing and dark than I ever imagined.  Turns out this sad, little gem is the most common phrase I hear.

“It’s just a job. You’re not supposed to like it. Nobody does.”

Deep breath. Sigh.  At least I know one thing I won’t ever be confused about—hating that sentence. In the end, even when writing makes me broody like a teenager who didn’t get asked to prom, I refuse to just have a job, hence why I’m writing. I won’t spend the majority of my life completing tasks I despise or surrounding myself with people that make me miserable, hence why I’m writing. I’d rather live a tough life than a numb one, hence why I’m writing.

Writing is my happiness. It will always be worth it, even when I forget that’s the case. I’m chasing my dream, and shouldn’t we all?  Or is the dream job a myth?  Does everyone, even the content workers, wish for better careers?

I don’t know, but I’m happy to write about it.