I grew up with a girl whose parents worked together. They didn’t own their own business, they just happened to both be employed by the same company. I’m not sure if they worked in the same department, I’m not even sure what they did, I just know they arrived at work together and they left work together. They’ve done this for roughly 30 or so years, and even though I don’t know what they do, I find the whole premise kind of romantic. For some reason, I find it more romantic that they don’t have their own business, and that they both choose to work together for someone else. From what I can recollect, they were married before they started to work together, so there was never the “dating someone from work” dilemma.
I’m not hoping to find someone that I work with or will eventually work with. I think my friend’s parents have a unique situation. I also think that there’s a huge difference between how our parents prioritized things and how we now prioritize things. Working at one place for over 30 years is unheard of these days, especially when it’s not a business that you can call your own, or a job that you can’t consider as your “dream job”. Like I mentioned before, I don’t remember what they do for a living, but I’m betting that if they were actually passionate about their jobs, I would have some sort of memory of what it was. I did see them a few years ago. I do remember them still being at the same place. I just forgot to ask what they did after all these years.
It probably doesn’t matter to them that I don’t remember. They’re just happy that they live comfortably and that they were able to raise their one daughter off of their income. As far as I can tell they have passions outside their job, but they’ve been fine just making a living. I think my parents were the same way. I think a lot of parents in that generation had this mentality as well. It’s something I kind of envy.
I’ve been drawn to art ever since my adolescent years. I’ve always wanted to do something artistic. Whether it be playing in a band, being a screenwriter/director, and now as some sort of essayist/short story writer, I’ve always felt that it’s what I should be doing for a living. My expectations aren’t as grand as one might expect. I don’t expect to ever be flying around in leer jets while swimming around in a money bin full of money, but I’ve always felt like making art for a living was what I’m supposed to be doing, even though I’m able to find steady, stable, employment elsewhere.
In college my first goal was to record some music, which I was able to do before the end of my sophomore year. Later, my goal became to finish a full length screenplay before I graduated. Once again, I was able to accomplish my goal, and I was pretty satisfied with myself. I completed my goals, and I didn’t embarrass myself in the process. I didn’t care that I didn’t get a record deal out of my EP or that I didn’t sell a bunch of copies of it. I just cared that people liked it. For some reason, starting with that screenplay, I’ve needed my penchant for writing to become a sustainable job for me and unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet.
I feel like I’m dawdling. I had a friend in college who told me that he smoked a lot of weed in high school. After freshmen year in college, he had an epiphany and stopped smoking so he could focus on his studies. He got into grad school and is now doing research that he’s really passionate about. I really wonder if I’ll ever have a similar epiphany where I’ll stop complaining in my mind about my stable, reasonably stressful job that I currently have. I don’t think it’s bad to look for better opportunities, but I wish I could be happier with what I have.
Perhaps I haven’t found the trigger for my epiphany to appreciate “normal work” yet. Perhaps it’ll be something profound like having my first kid, or maybe it’ll be something that barely seems related to the future of my life. Maybe in 30 years, I’ll look back at these times and laugh at how foolish I was for thinking that I needed to create art for a living and that I could never picture myself working at one place for 30 years or maybe I’ll look back and smile at the struggle to finally get to where I wanted to go. Either way, I hope I’ll finally be able to find that peace.