“Remember: No matter how good you are at something, there’s always someone who is a million times better.”

“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.”

 

– Drew Carey

 

——————————–

 

How many people can say they are doing EXACTLY what they want to be doing with their lives?

What’s the old quote? Something like, if you spend your life doing what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Well, how many people can really say that? How many people can say, “I love my job.”

FACEBOOK teaches me a lot, and one thing I’ve learned is most people hate what they do.

How many status updates read, “TGIF” or “Only a few more hours left of work” or “I hate Mondays.”

All the jobs I had in my life, I always knew in the back of my head I didn’t want it for a career. Even the ones with career potential like selling cars or working for the insurance company.

When I got hired at the newspaper two years ago, I thought maybe I had found a career. I loved to write and I loved news. Six months into the job, I realized, while I enjoyed having my name in the paper and I enjoyed putting a story together, from my notepad, to the computer, to the printed page, I pretty much hated the other aspects of the job. I hated going to board meetings, I hated going to craft fairs and car wash fundraisers. Bottom line, while the job could, at times, be exciting, I knew deep down I didn’t want to make it my career and do it for ever and if I had a wife and kids, we’d be on welfare.

Once those thoughts creep into your head, no matter what you do, it’s the kiss of death.

I remember being a senior in high school and the guidance office arranged for college reps to come and talk to individual students about career aspirations.

I still remember what the rep wrote on my sheet.

“Walter should take a year off. Not rush in to college. Figure out what he wants to do.”

But, all my friends were going to college. I had been accepted to most of the schools I applied to. My parents wanted me to go. It seemed like the thing to do. Even though I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

I went to Keene State College thinking I would eventually major in English. I got good grades in English and, as I said, I enjoyed writing. I thought maybe a teacher or something.

After a year and a half at Keene I transferred to Central CT State. I took an Acting class because my roommate told me it was an “easy A”.

After three classes, I thought maybe I would change my major to acting. Maybe I would be a movie star. That would be fun. That wouldn’t be like work at all.

Then life got in the way. My mother got divorced and my step-father, who was paying my tuition, was no longer going to support my education. I was also partying a bit too much and, if memory serves me correctly, my priorities were a bit mixed up, as I was kind of in love or something.

Long story short, my college career ended around that time and I never went back.

I spent eight weeks at The Connecticut School of Broadcasting, thinking maybe I wanted to be on the radio. That would be fun. That wouldn’t be like work at all. When I “graduated” with a certificate in Radio  & TV Broadcasting, I didn’t feel I knew any more about Radio & TV broadcasing then I did before I took the class.

I also dabbled in Stand-Up Comedy.

I found a school in NYC and, mostly at the urging of Bub and Joot, I took a comedy class.

It was a lot of fun. I met a lot of cool people and got to perform three times on stages in NYC. As I’ve said before, right here on this blog, it was the craziest, funnest, most surreal thing I’ve ever done. That was almost 10 years ago, and had I stuck with it, and really focused, who knows where I’d be right now.

Instead of being rich and famous, and firmly entrenched in a career I’m just confused and, honestly, a bit lost.

Sometimes it scares me to death.

What am I supposed to be doing? Why haven’t I figured it out?

Do people eventually just give in and settle? Do we, as humans, eventually reach a sort of compromise with the universe. Do people who truly hate  their jobs stick it out, because they have a beautiful spouse, and beautiful children and a beautiful home and hating work is a small price to pay for that level of happiness. Is that the piece of the puzzle that I don’t understand?

Is loving your career overated when the flip side is having  a loving family to come home to every night? Who knows? Well, maybe most people know. But I don’t.

If books, movies and TV have tought me anything, it’s that things happen when you least expect it.

Okay……any day now….I’m waiting.

“The man with the best job in the country is the Vice President. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, ‘How is the President?'”

– Will Rogers

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2 Responses to ““Remember: No matter how good you are at something, there’s always someone who is a million times better.””

  1. Guidance Counselor Says:

    No, you don’t settle. You keep looking. You find out a way to make ends meet while you’re doing it, but you focus on finding out what it is you want to do, and you give it your best shot. You work hard at getting what you want, but you cannot do that until you really know what it is you want, so you get your priorities straight first.

    Perhaps comedy is the way to go for you?

  2. walt – i was thinking about this post…and since i am also struggling with my own professional existential crisis, i thought i would comment. here’s what i have come up with… i love the field that i have chosen, and for the most part it has been good to me. however, no matter how passionate i am about that choice, there are ALWAYS days, weeks, (and on occasion) months when i ask myself: why do i work crazy hours, for bullshit pay, for clients that think they could do what i do because they take weekly trips to home depot? the answer is because i care about what i do, no matter how much it may at time frustrate me. like anything else, it has it good points as well as bad. but at the end of the day the good points tip the scale.

    what it comes down to is, work is work. if it wasn’t work, it would be called something else. like hobby. or fun times. which isn’t to negate the fact that work is much more interesting and bearable when you actually care about what you are doing. so if this weren’t a ridiculously complicated question, and i could turn it into utter black and white simplicity, i would say that everyone should decide what they care about most (besides family, friends, etc.) and then figure out how to get paid to do it all day long. if i were to venture a guess, i would say you are already doing it.

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