For Love Or Money
Jason has written a very bare and honest piece about his career. He's one of the few people I know who is able to make money doing what he loves. I've given much thought to his piece, and was going to comment over there. Instead, I think I'll try to place my half-shaped thoughts here, because it fits with the theme of my blog. (Wait a minute? This blog has a theme? Yes, yes it does.)
I love stories. I love to read them, to tell them, to hear them from other people. Someday I hope to make money writing stories, but that's a dream realised by a rare few. I don't kid myself that I will make the top of that mountain, but the striving is fun so I don't always mind. I've always had a "real job" in the process because I also love eating, driving, having teeth. I've heard that same golden career nugget from Dave Ramsey, from my 7th grade guidance counselor and from freelance writers' articles in the Reader's Digest. Yes, it seems obvious. If you can do what you love you will have a good career.
I thought about that one day three years ago as I stood over a copier with a stack of artist contracts. Obviously "what I love" has never included negotiating some painter down to a X% royalty on their picture of a Christmas Tree. Yet that's what I did for a long time. I've also been a travel agent, a bookkeeper, a Marketing Specialist (you may know it better as "secretary in the Marketing Department.") No, it's not following my bliss or carpeing the diem. But it's like the lives of most people I know. What we love is our families, our homes, our dinners with friends. So we learn to love what we do because it enables us, at the end of the day, to be who we are. Wives, Husbands, parents, members of a community.
A few years ago--not long after the copier incident--I started to realise that in a bizarre way I WAS doing what I loved. Sitting in the lunchroom day after day, hearing the very personal stories of the lives of my coworkers and their children was very much doing what I loved. No, I wasn't sitting at my desk banging away the Great Katherinian Novel. But I was learning how other people experience the marriage of their daughter, the death of their mother from Alzheimer's. The falling in love with a coworker, adopting a baby from Romania. I consider it a real blessing that I was able to find what I love within what I do. I think everyone can do that. And even if they can't, they can take pride in providing a life for themselves and the people they love.