"Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home... it's your responsibility to love it, or change it."
- C. Palahniuk
I think the thing most people fail to recognize is that they actually choose the job. They choose the relationship. They choose ....
I was a professional. I had a job at an office. I wore suits - bad suits, mostly - but I wore them, every day, with a tie. I was fortunate. I had a job. I had the respect of my peers. I was utterly fucking sad.
The profession had lost its appeal. It paid well. It offered security. It provided insurance.
Over the years, about 25 of them, I worked for a total of two companies. I was at the first for a little over twelve of those years. The second occupied the remaining thirteen or so.
The first twelve, I worked for a sad man who was clueless, cocky, and insecure. I was utterly fucking sad.
The last thirteen, I worked for a lovely man who thoughtful, humble, and comfortable. I was still utterly fucking sad.
So I quit.
I did not quit in one day. It took about 18 months to make it real. I took on fewer projects. I dialed back my portfolio. My boss was totally supportive and helpful. But I did quit.
I not only quit the job at hand, I quit the business. Pivoted, as they say. Ninety degrees of pivot - a completely new direction. Less money. No security. Totally unpredictable hours. And you know what? I have a great deal of joy in my life now.
I'm about twenty pages into a new book, Get Your Shit Together. I highly recommend you pick up a copy and read it. I would like to say something along the lines of: "I wish I'd read the book earlier and made other choices back in the day," but I'm pretty sure my younger self would not have been receptive to the message. We're kinda crazy that way, we humans.
Go buy the book. It's not reverent in any way. It's full of beautifully rendered foul language. It has some good ideas.
Even if you don't read the book, give a little thought today to what brings you joy. You have a choice. Is he a nagging whiner, with whom you feel stuck? Is she an asshole controller, with whom you feel stuck? Quit. Is your boss a jackass? Is your work a soul-suck? Quit.
It might take some time. It might not be easy. You may have crazy responsibilities. But, give some serious thought to what it might look like to choose something you enjoy.
You have a choice.