Dear Self: Give Up Your Search for the Dream Job

If my inner state of being had been on display, it would look as though I was fist fighting the air, mumbling and grumbling about how unhappy I was. Disconnected and discontented, I despised doing work everyday that held little interest to me, living in a place I felt I had long outgrown. My spirit was agitated and wanted an out. I was frustrated that I didn’t know my life’s purpose: that one thing that would give my life meaning and stir my soul day in and day out. And because I didn’t know what that thing was, how could I work passionately towards it? How could I work towards being great and leave a legacy that ‘I was here?’ I mean, that’s what life is all about, right?

More so than my actual job and the people I worked with or where I lived, was this story I kept telling myself that happiness was external of me and reserved for the future: in my dream job if I could only find what it was, with a baby, and a beau, and a dog, and unlimited vacations. But right now? No good. Not good enough. In retrospect, it was that attitude – a resistance to what was – that made me suffer most.

I realized nothing could make me happy. Well for a little while, but not forever. And how did I know? I had gotten plenty of what I dreamed of in the past, and I noticed how dissatisfaction would eventually creep in wishing for more. Or the heart-wrenching anguish I felt when I lost the things I once had. Nothing external of me could complete me. Not even cutting my hair or traveling or starting a blog. With that realization, I came to a sense of hopelessness. “Would I always be a discontented seeker, incapable of committing to a singular path happily?” And of course, that thought drew me back into a depressive loop.

With much help from the book ‘Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle, I’m learning what’s most important is my inner state of being.  That is not dependent on anything outside of me. If I can be at peace with myself, with life just as it is, that is worth more than anything which eventually ends in time, anyway. And on the surface that seems so bleak, but there is so much freedom knowing that the fullness of life exists in each moment (whether I recognize it or not), and isn’t necessitated on another person, or job, or place or some future time. And with that, I can enjoy things fully – even set goals – without the expectation that they’ll fulfill me, even this thing called blogging.

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