Career Day

Business Casual
In the week since I've started my new job, I've been enjoying this thing called routine

I like getting off the train with the suited-up briefcase carriers, and hearing my heels click-clack on the city sidewalks. I check my lipstick in the hall mirror, and grab a cup of coffee from the connecting restaurant I still work at one day a week. I walk through the kitchen, and push the elevator button : going up!

It's the honeymoon period I have with every job, when it's all still a novelty, before I've ever referred to it as soul-killing, or considered calling in sick with a parasite.

And, it's gotten me asking myself the age old question : What do you want to be when you grow up? Literature will tell you to start at the beginning; at career day. Imagine yourself, hand raised, in a one-armed plastic desk. That is where you can find your life's mission. I can see my curly hair and stretch pants, feeling bold and excited as I proclaim : "I want to work in a crayon factory!"

Yes, really.

I can understand the allure after seeing this episode of Sesame Street - it's colorful and creative (and I'm sure the psychedelic music didn't hurt either). I had plenty of experience mixing that powder that looks identical to Craft Macaroni and Cheese. All the things that go along with factory work - boredom, monotony, the fact I would be surrounded by old people, and might get the Orange Lung - were lost on me. 

I then think back to my fellow students, and I wonder how many of them are the lawyers or doctors that they wanted to be. Maybe, their dream of being a Law and Order lawyer turned into being a divorce attorney, or the office's CPA. Or their Dr. McDreamy became a nurse practitioner, an x-ray technician, or a pharmaceutical rep; professions that don't have Emmy winning TV shows based on them.

Should they feel like they've failed? 
The reality is, professional success has little do with a title.

If you're like me, the goal was never fame or prestige. I didn't want to be a world famous crayon maker with my own weekly spot on Sesame Street. I wanted to know that I helped make things possible for other people (in this case, excited kids sitting in front of coloring pages).  It's that motivation that has made my new job so rewarding for me. I get to be part of a humming, buzzing multi-part system that is all working towards something bigger

So in the coming weeks, when the honeymoon ends and I realize that I'm really just a secretary; when I start getting impatient for the day I become a writer, I will remind myself to take a walk and take a breath.

And, I will return as the smiling face who comes bearing mid-day Starbucks. I will find satisfaction in knowing I achieved my youthful ambition. I am now the person who makes the burst of creativity and the spark of imagination possible.

[ (1) I look like I have the same body type as Mrs. Potato Head here. It's the four sweaters I'm wearing, I swear. (2) with my Pentax k1000, on film ]
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5 comments:

  1. Love this! So relateable :) And P.S. you ARE a writer. A beautiful one at that. I hope that you continue cherishing this yes-my-job-is-awesome feeling!

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  2. And for those of us who did try to choose career paths on prestige without realizing it, this post resonates well :)

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  3. After a session of blog trawling yours really caught my eye. You have a great writing style, funny and relevant.
    Good luck with the job!

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  4. thanks for making me feel better about my crappy job. always good to remember that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. i think at career day i would've said i wanted to be a fashion designer....then i grew up and realized that i lack the patience, art and sewing skills. oh well. thankfully, i'm not totally a grown-up yet and i still have time to decide on such things....hopefully :).

    also...i totally loved that episode of sesame street and because of it, "visiting a crayon factory" is on my life list. true story.

    hope you have a lovely day!

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  5. hey beautiful! so glad to read that you are happy :) thanks for making my san diego day just a little bit more lovely!

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