Lovely Desperation

I think we all get a bit desperate sometimes (unless you’re completely satisfied with your life in every way, in which case, well done. Seriously.). This past year I’ve been fluctuating between different directions of desperation. I desperately want to quit my job. Then I desperately want to be able to enjoy my job because hey, it pays pretty good and my life would be fine if I could just learn to like it. But when I’m working, I just want to write. When I’m working, I just want to read. I don’t see the pay as a reward for hard work – it’s just a reminder of how much time I’ve wasted. That’s honestly how I see my work: wasted time.

I know a lot of you out there are artistically minded. You love imagination and beautiful things. Some of your are even fortunate enough to make a living doing you enjoy. Of course, fortune isn’t the whole of the matter. You invest the whole of yourself into what you do – you threw caution to the wind and put your heart and soul on the line. I desperately want to do the same.

But I’m just so damn practical!

Maybe practical isn’t the right word. But it’s something cold like that. Logical. Calculating.

Pessimistic.

I like to think of it as realistic. I went straight from high school to uni because I was realistic. I went straight from uni into a full-time job because I was realistic. I thought of these things as starting my life. Building a foundation. But how was my life founded? What was I building towards? I find myself surrounded by people who are truly invested in their careers but when they talk about them I completely lose interest. It would be so easy if I was as driven as them. If I were so motivated towards ‘progression’ and ‘advancement’, then things would be simple.

But the truth is, I want to stop.

I don’t care about working towards the next step up the ladder. I don’t care about gaining experience. I just don’t care about my work.

Then that little voice crops up again – anything could happen in the future. Anything. Bad things. Things that cost money, and will always and continue to cost money. What are you going to do then if you quit now while you’re still able to work?

I hate being realistic. Reality sucks. I worked that out when I was fifteen and I found out ‘adventuring archaeologist’ wasn’t a real job. That’s why I started writing. My first book was about the search for Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s secret tomb. So why was I trying to act in accordance with reality? Because I can’t run away from reality. I can’t hide from reality. But I bloody well want to sometimes.

Do you ever have a certain feeling bubbling up inside of you that you are doing the exact opposite of what you are meant to do? That desperate drive to be who you really are, and damn the consequences? It would be so liberating. I could be so free.

But I can’t escape reality. So the argument goes around and around again. I want but I need. I need but I want. I’m not even sure which is the want and which is the need anymore. Do I need money or fulfillment? I suspect my perspective is skewed, but I’m not sure where the bias lies. What’s more important to me? What will matter more in the future? I’m just stuck in this state of desperation, swinging between positivity and negativity.

I don’t know if you could tell, but I had a fairly shit day at work.

Ugh, I know I’m in a bit of rut right now. I love this blog, and I love writing and I love reading, and work isn’t preventing me from doing any of these things that I love. After all, I still have a bit of time at the end of the day. Maybe tomorrow I can afford a better perspective. But right now, I just needed to rant. I’m sure you’ve felt the same at times. Thank you for giving me this space to voice myself, even when I’ve gotten a little ugly. Please feel free to rant and rave at me whenever you feel like it – now that I’ve put you through this, you have every right to do the same.

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8 thoughts on “Lovely Desperation

  1. Work to live, don’t live to work. I decided a long time ago to work just enough to be comfortable and spend the rest of my time pursuing the things that made me happy. I had to sacrifice though. I don’t drive a new truck, my house isn’t a mansion, and I don’t wear the latest fashions. Women avoid me like the plague because I dropped out, didn’t row fast enough when the Pharaoh wanted to water-ski, but I have a good dog, some good fly-rods, a loaf of bread and some peanut butter, and I pay cash for everything.

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  2. I know you live in Australia and all, but you just neatly expounded upon what we call “The American Dream.” It is the idea that fiscal security = happiness. It is a dreadful idea, but so enticing. It feeds our desire for control. We want to be prepared for every bad situation, and buy ourselves out of it. At least that is how it gets its nasty claws into me.
    Cody and I talk about this a lot, as we have over $40k in school loans due when we graduate, and we both work about 15-20 hours a week right now, and live literally waiting for the next paycheck to buy groceries some weeks. We also throw caution into the wind, and spend our savings on a cruise that we “can’t” aka “shouldn’t” afford. We just saved up another $1k to fly home for Christmas to see our families. These are not “wise” fiscal decisions, but we have to choose our priorities. If either of us faced a serious illness or injury, that $1k would be a drop in the bucket on a hospital bill. We did not fly home in December last year to save money, and his mother suddenly died in January. Obviously not worth the fiscal choice. Either way, we are not practically prepared, so we might as well just let it go. Sometimes we wait to buy fuel for our cars. Sometimes we eat leftovers until we hate them. But sometimes we get to go to the Bahamas.
    I think it is great you have a high-paying job. I say, you pay off your debt, and create a savings account. Save up whatever you feel comfortable living off of for “x” number of months, and then, if you really want to, quit your job. As long as you are debt-free, who cares?! Nobody! The only people who care are the lenders. Get them happy, and you are in the clear!
    Life is too short for wasted time. Do what you love, and be broke. Your life will be so much more fulfilling. God could take us from this earth any time, and no matter how much money we have in the bank, our lives are over. Our “lives are just a vapor in the wind” to quote Scripture. I pray you find the purpose and joy in your vapor.

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    • Wow. You should write a post on this topic. I thought it was just my own insecurities but you’re right – it’s an ideal bought by us as a society. Thanks for your encouragement. I’m reaching a fork in the road at the end of this year. I need to make sure I’m making the right decision, so I really appreciate your advice. That’s so sad that Cody’s mum passed away. I’m sorry for your loss. I’d hate to have that sort of thing happen to remind me that money isn’t everything. I need to learn from other people’s experiences too before it’s too late. I think I’ll be taking that leap, and what ever happens will happen. I will try to be happy and find contentment.

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      • I am so glad to offer some insight, and I am glad that you are astute enough to learn from others. That is one of the best qualities a person can possess. Thank you for your condolences. At least when you do make that leap, you will have the support of your readers! 🙂 I am excited to hear about your future developments, wherever they lead!

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