Not long ago, I announced that I was resigning from my job. The time I spent unemployed was pleasant, relaxing, and surprisingly brief.
Yes, I have rejoined the working class. You see, I occasionally have to eat, and I like having a home with walls and a roof. These things cost money. Honest work seemed preferable to begging or robbing banks, so I found employment at a local nursing home.
My work consists mostly of washing dishes. As you can imagine, it’s wet work. (No, not that kind of wet work.) I’ve been on the job for just a few days, but I like it. My coworkers have been friendly, welcoming, and kind. The work itself isn’t terribly demanding; I’m even permitted to pick up a book when I run out of things to do. Employees are given free meals, and (most importantly) there is coffee in abundance. So far, I have nothing but good things to say about my employer. My job is ideal in many ways.
However, there is one way in which my job has disappointed me—though to be fair, my disappointment has hardly anything to do with the work itself, and nearly everything to do with me. Washing dishes is not a step forward in my career; it’s more like a step sideways. It will pay the bills, I hope, but it puts me no closer to my dream of working in writing or publishing.
To be painfully honest, I’m going through a bit of a rough patch. I don’t know where to go from here. As I toil at the mind-numbing task of rinsing dishes and sending them through a dishwasher, I find myself wondering, “Is this really why I went to college? After all my exciting years overseas, have I really resigned myself to such a mundane existence? What’s the point of anything? Who wrote the book of Hebrews? Is there any difference between flotsam and jetsam? Will Beyond Good & Evil ever get a sequel?” (I am easily distracted.)
At the decrepit old age of twenty-five, I feel that I really ought to have settled in a career by now—or at least figured out what career I want to pursue. I feel humiliated to be working another dead-end, blue collar job. This feeling is shameful and arrogant, but I can’t help but feel it, especially when I consider how many of my peers have settled into successful careers. My work doesn’t merely wound my pride. It cuts my pride into tiny pieces, pours gasoline over those pieces, and then sets them on fire.
My pride is in ashes. My clothes are damp with dishwater. My career is… well, it isn’t. I feel endlessly disappointed in myself, but I have decided one thing for certain.
I won’t give up.
My job is a fine opportunity for me to learn humility. I’m trying hard not to be an arrogant git, enjoying the free coffee, and washing the heck out of those dishes. Honestly, I’m thankful to be working. I hope to move on eventually and figure out what the heck I’m supposed to do with my life—and until then, I mean to make the best of things.