This day has been at least three weeks long. Been texting parents, desperate for some gossip. Mum lost Dad in Marks and Spencer’s. Then she found him and they’ve gone to get coffee. Feeling somewhat jealous – pensioners have such action-packed lives.
As of a few months ago, I am working in ‘communications’ – although whether the work I am doing qualifies as communications is another matter – at what is supposedly a university. It looks sufficiently like Hogwarts, but there is a suspicious lack of any students on campus. At all.
In an attempt to maintain a positive attitude, I am (sort of) aiming to live by the 4 principles in the ‘FISH!’ workplace philosophy*:
- Choose your attitude
- Be present
- Make someone’s day
and to make a new friend or acquaintance every day.
*As described by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen in their book ‘FISH!’
First day back at work after Christmas. The job is still relatively new, but I’m getting to know the people quite well. They’re all very friendly and kind, but there’s a pervasive laid-back attitude that’s sadly at odds with my natural inclination to throw my whole self into my work. I’m like a particularly excited goat that wandered into the tortoise enclosure and just can’t get with the vibe.
At lunchtime I went in search of a staff choir that I once saw a poster about somewhere. Found the room after prolonged exploration, at the end of what could be described as a secret passageway covered with poems and Shakespeare quotes. The room itself was a surprise enormous drama room, which is a bit odd considering this university doesn’t teach drama.
It may have been the room of requirement.
No sign of a choir, but I made friends with the man in the sandwich shop so consider the day a success.
I am thinking of my self-doubt and anxieties about the future as a quarter-life crisis, which sounds lame* but does sum it up pretty well. How many other people feel like this? Am I being ridiculous to expect more from life than just having a job and getting by? I watched a video clip the other day that suggested my generation have been brought up to think they are special and are now being disillusioned by the reality that the world is actually not bothered if they live or die. I don’t think I’m more special or important than anyone else, but I still don’t get how they can be satisfied by just getting along in jobs that are OK-ish.
What about people I admire? Did Maxine Peake always know she was going to be an actor? Did Ellen DeGeneres have a time when she was eaten up by fear that her life would come to nothing? And thinking of these particular people, do you have to be famous or acknowledged to make an impact? What does making a difference look like?
*It is lame – the migrant crisis is the sort of thing “crisis” denotes. I’m in no way comparing my feelings to the lives of refugees or anyone suffering with the effects of an actual crisis. But within the confines of my own existence, it’s perhaps at least worth the name “a bit of a stress actually”.
Your guess is as good as mine.
Since graduating two years ago, I’ve had several jobs, one of which I loved (in web/digital), and others that have been more mixed. They have all been short-term contracts and there has never been funding available to keep me on, although colleagues have been pleased with my work.
At the moment I’m struggling with the frustration of not finding (and keeping) a fulfilling job, and anxiety about making the ‘wrong’ decisions and not getting the most from my chance at life. This blog will share some of my questions and thoughts, plus an insight into the rollercoaster of excitement that is my current working life.
If anyone out there is feeling the same way or asking similar questions, I’d love to hear from you. Maybe you felt like this a few years ago and are now successfully and happily pursuing a career in law/floristry/dog grooming/world domination that brings you daily joy? Or maybe you’re muddling along and that’s OK actually – you’re happy. Please share if you’d like to.