Dear People Who Talk Work Outside the Office:
I once despised all of you. I never understood why you’d leave the office and actually continue talking about what you had been doing the last eight-plus hours … working.
Be it positive, negative or gossip, it never made much sense. I often thought to myself: Self, why would someone commit so much brain matter, energy and time to something when he/she isn’t being paid for it?
Over time, I did overtime (read: over thinking) and realized that most people who speak negatively about jobs or refuse to talk about them are not doing what they desire to do with their lives. Even if they just want to be a lazy bum or a housewife. Most of them aren’t happy. The people who speak glowingly about their professions or crafts often times love what they do.
They often come up with their best ideas when they are off the clock. I’ve come to this conclusion over the past seven years of post-college life.
If you know me, you know I will almost never ask you about work. I want to know about your passion — be it knitting, your kids, writing, acting, singing or doing people’s taxes.
If I ask you about your job, I’m secretly hoping you’ll answer with one of two replies: “Man, it’s work,” or “It’s cool.” That is, unless you are absolutely passionate about what you do.
If there’s an accountant out there who loves his/her job, I really could listen to him/her talk about crunching other people’s numbers. I know some accountants. None of them ever talk about work. They instead speak of other life aspirations same as Harold Crick (“Stranger Than Fiction”) spoke of playing the guitar once he freed himself from his monotonous work.
I also know a few attorneys who make six figures. They all seem to be scheming to leave their practices in pursuit of their life goals/dreams or simply to work a schedule that doesn’t require clocking 19-hour days.
That said, I’ll loan this advice to anyone who reads this: If you don’t love what you do and do what you love, you ultimately cannot be happy with yourself. Fulfilling passion is where happiness is found.
And the more friends I know diving head first into the blissful abyss that is dream chasing, the more desire I build up to take a similar plunge. That’s what TMCY is about. That’s why I talk my friends ears off about it daily (sorry, homeys).
It’s also why I can’t hate you for talking about doing what you love, even if it is your labor. For you, it makes your day fly by. And that’s a 1,000 times better than looking at the clock every five minutes praying that 5 p.m. arrives five minutes from now … and the actual time is 9:05 a.m.
P.S. Here’s a great song about living your dreams from a songstress you may or may not know. She also happens to be a former schoolmate of mine: Janelle Monae’s “Letting Go.”