Galleon on Salt Billows

You have been interested in your shadow. Look instead directly at the sun. —Rumi

Month: July, 2013

An Ideal Job

When I was young, I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I grew up. But I knew one thing: I wanted a job that I would love doing day after day. I would never want to take vacations. I would never dream of leaving it for a better paying job. I would have the perfect life, and laugh at all those CEOs whose lives were for sure devoid of even the tiniest filament of joy.

Then, reality hit.

Actually, no. Not so harsh. Reality knocked on the door lightly. Reality swept into my life like a gentle breeze.

I realized that there was nothing I’d want to do every day like clockwork. A year of working has taught me that. I can love doing something at first, but eventually all the little things will weigh me down. I’ll love it until I’m forced to do it. I’ll enjoy eating candy until it’s being force-fed to me meal after meal.

I’ve always thought that I wanted my career to be something I love love love. Something I couldn’t imagine not doing.

Now, I think that it’s enough to have a job that I just like (a lot), and have time left over to do what I love on the side. That way, I don’t feel forced. That way, I have free time that I can devote to my hobbies rather than to my job.

Yes, I think this is more perfect.

The Rush of the Days

* Racing against dawn, my alarm blares its tireless tirade. I dig under my pillow and push snooze, registering somewhere in a back niche of my mind that it is probably a bad decision. I am too comfortable to care. When I finally persuade myself otherwise, the alarm has rang for the tenth, fifteenth, twentieth time in five minute intervals. It is the worst type of nagging – the self-inflicted kind, the kind that works only after the deadline has passed.

The morning routine never changes. Breakfast, if I feel like being healthy.

The day begins.

The commute to work is either too long or too short. The lights don’t turn green when I’m late or red when I need to check on something. Before I know it, I’m stuck behind a truck that’s going a tiny fraction of the speed limit, and I resign myself to the inevitable pattern of morning traffic.

Eventually, I find myself thrust into the bustle of work. The general excitement of accomplishing tasks that, together, amount to something permeates the air like a patchy cloud. The lingering holes are filled instead with ceaseless thoughts, none of which have ever done me any good: I’m hungry, why is it so hot in here, when will I get a chance to do this or that.

The hours fly by fast when they’ve been forgotten, but creep along when they know they’re being watched – a sardonic sort of observer effect. A break for lunch squeezes itself haphazardly in there somehow, surrounded by various assignments that stack up like a pile of legos.

Work ends. I drive home, and eat either on the way or after I arrive. The cat wants to play, but always longer than I intend to keep him company. I lay flat on my stomach and catch up on the goings-on of internet. More time passes. The nightly routine also never changes. I lay still in bed, and allow the rush of the day to die down. My thoughts still fly around at terminal velocity. I try valiantly to push the residual noise out of my head.

But there. A moment before sleep —

My mind stills. I think about what is important to me.

My dreams and passions. The simple moments. Those I care about. The progress of humanity on this swiftly spinning Earth.

Perfect clarity.

My consciousness slips away like the final rosy hues of sunset, and I let go.

* Repeat.