Last weekend, Deacon asked me what my dream job was. Not even really dream job. What would truly make me happy? What are my goals?
I didn’t have a good answer. I didn’t really have an answer. Eventually, I landed on wildlife photographer, but that’s not really what my goal is. I think it would be a cool job, but not necessarily what I strive for.
The list of what I used to want be isn’t quite a long one. As a kid, I wanted to work with animals. As a teenager, I always wanted to be a writer. People always told me to get a job in what I liked to do. I liked to write, so why not be a writer?
But the older I get, the more I realize that I don’t want my job to be my hobby.
There’s a few reasons for that. One, I don’t want to have something I like to do become something I have to do, because I will inevitably stop liking it. And two, I don’t think I’m good enough at any one of my hobbies to have it be my occupation. I like writing, I like photography, I like blogging…but I’m not going to be adding anything to the world if I pursue those paths. There will always be better writers, better photographers, better bloggers. And I don’t want to put myself in a position where I always feel inferior to those people.
I know that’s about as negative as I could get and it’s not a very healthy way of thinking, but I also know that it’s how everyday would be for me and I’m going to avoid that if possible.
My real goal is to find a job that I at least somewhat like and that I excel in and am qualified for. Right now, I think I’ve found that. I’m happy where I am. I like editing, but it’s not something I take home. I get a work life and a home life, and I like that.
That’s also how I can bear being a teacher and talking/presenting to students all the time. I’m actually relatively good at it (at least I think so?), and I like having done it, but it’s not something I look forward to. I don’t like speaking in public. I don’t really like speaking in general, or being energetic, or engaging with people I’ve never met before. I always said I never wanted to be a teacher. But then I was put in a position where that’s what I had to do, and I didn’t sink. Still, I don’t want to wear that hat all the time, and I’m glad I can take it off at 4:30 and become myself again.
So I think you can enjoy your job even if it’s not what you would do in your free time. You are a complex person. You are multifaceted. You can be happy where you are and with who you are. You can love to do something and not want to throw your whole world into it. You can excel at something and keep it to yourself. You can be average at something and still love to do it.
Just do what makes you happy. Have big goals, or small goals. Don’t feel like you have to keep pushing yourself. Don’t feel like you can’t be happy with how things are right here, right now. Keep growing, yes, but take your time. Enjoy where you are.