I can’t go. I gotta work. Sorry.

For those who missed it, I recently started a new job. My old job was okay, though on some days I described it as “soul-crushing.” Maybe a bit dramatic. My new job is in the same sr3_workingbuilding (third floor instead of the basement), has slightly worse hours, and pays the same. The work itself, for a lot of reasons, is much more satisfying to me, and I think my resume will look much better now, with this new position on there. Things aren’t bad.

But I hate that I have to work.

When I start to think like that, I immediately stop myself, out of respect for the many who are, through no fault of their own, currently out of work. At least I have a job, right?

Still, I have dreams.

Remember dreams? Not the “last night I had a dream I was having lunch with Orson Welles and he kept sending back the soup” kind of dreams. The kind of dreams that normally start off with “I wish I had the time/money/skill to…”

They get you out of bed in the morning, they get you through the day, they keep you moving.

For me, I find myself wishing I had time to write more. I’d like to write full-time, and make video games as my off-hours hobby (more on that dream in a future post).

Currently I work full-time, write as a hobby (and only when I’m not drained from working), and I only occasionally even think about making video games (although I try to make time to play them as often as possible). Most of all, I dream about being my own boss, so when something exciting comes up, some once-in-a-lifetime adventure that I can’t pass up, I won’t have to say “Fuck. I can’t go. I gotta work. Sorry.”

Take this tweet from earlier this evening:

TSpost

I read this and immediately drafted a tweet with those hashtags and a picture of me and my lovely wife. I imagined us piling in the car with a couple days worth of clothes and heading out, first to the gas station, then to Las Vegas, a place I’d never been to and always wanted to see. Google maps puts the journey at around 1,750 miles. And right around Kansas City, I’d stop for a bathroom break and check my Twitter feed. And there, in my direct message inbox, would be a message saying something to the effect of “congratulations…your tix are waiting at will-call.” Man, that’d be sweet.

Of course, like a lot of my daydreams, this one is so full of what-ifs I probably should’ve stopped about a half-second into it.

But can you imaging having that kind of freedom?

Of course, I didn’t need Twitter to inform me of the existence of Las Vegas, or to tell me that Tegan and Sara were playing there on Wednesday. I knew those things already(well, I’m only mostly sure that Vegas exists), so Twitter’s not at fault here, as much as I’d like to blame it. Stupid Twitter.

So how can I cope with spending my days working when I’d really rather be writing? How do people do this?

I’m reminded of this TED Talk given by Jane McGonigal, especially the part about the “top five regrets of the dying.” Watch it. I’ll wait:

First time I saw that, I’ll admit, I teared up a bit. I thought about what it would take, when it was time to move on, to feel like I’d lived a full and meaningful life. Really makes you think about your priorities. And when I remember, I try to do some of the stuff she suggests throughout my day. It helps.

Writing is one of the things that really makes me happy. Whether it’s a rambling blog post or a groundbreaking sci-fi short story, writing helps me to be fulfilled.  Video games are another thing. As long as I’m doing one of those things, my time isn’t being wasted. I’ll die a happy, handsome, old man.

I never sent that Tweet I drafted. Instead, I got bummed out and sat down to write this blog post. Now, having written and shared something, I feel better.

You do what you have to, and fill the rest of your hours with what you love.

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