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 building (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:
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?
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.