It’s quiet at the office today. I don’t know if that’s what caused me to wake up and realize that my job is rapidly draining all the joy in my life. Well, okay, I’ve known this for a while now, but I’ve continued to lie to myself and everyone around me that I love my job. That’s got to stop! But how?
There are a gazillion blog posts and websites and how-to books out there on ways to turn one’s passion into one’s profession. I’ve read many of each but find myself no closer to taking my passion and striving to turn it into a profession. I went to college because that’s what I was raised to do. I don’t regret it…it did teach me to think logically and to do research, but it was also one hell of a party so my primary focus was just to graduate so I could say I have a degree. I did get that degree but it has absolutely no bearing on what I am currently doing for a living…running numbers in construction management…I have always hated numbers. In fact, getting my degree in political science had no bearing on anything. I have no desire to enter the political arena, or be a lawyer. I should have stuck with English as a major instead of changing midway through my freshman year. Heaven knows, I loaded my college schedule with every elective writing class I could squeeze in. My professors seemed to like what I wrote; they thought I had talent.
Because I really did love to write. I still do, actually. I just took a really long break from it. There’s nothing like having the soul sucked right out of you to quash all creative thought.
When I first entered this field, I liked it. I got to go to work in jeans, t-shirts, and boots. We could swear and yell and come in hung over with no fear of repercussion. It was fun succeeding as a woman in a typically male-dominated industry. I learned to be assertive without being aggressive. I enjoyed supervising others, making sure they followed the contract and built what they were supposed to build. I moved my way up the food chain from the field trailer to the operations office, managing contracts for multi-billion dollar construction programs. I had to buy slacks and blouses. I got to wear heels again. I felt like a girl when I got dressed each day. But by the time I got to this position, burn out had set in.
I cannot continue to get out of bed each morning to go to work at a job that presents no challenge, no autonomy, and no satisfaction. I can’t just quit…I’ve got responsibilities, so I’m stuck here while I take baby steps to pursue my writing passion. This blog, self-publishing my children’s story through lulu.com, using plinky.com for writing exercises, working on the 3 to 4 other short stories that are percolating in my brain, maybe taking a creative writing class to jump-start my mind…those seem like good baby steps.
Of course, this all assumes that I can still write an enjoyable story…
© Hilary Clark and “Pining for Poetry & Prose”