There is a time in everyone’s life when they realise they don’t want to do what they’re doing. That realisation came to me yesterday, standing in the rain, feeling like death.
I’ve caught a cold, and usually that’s fine. I can typically acknowledge being ill, mope a bit and get on with life, but this one has really really knocked me back. And it made me stop to evaluate what I’m doing.
I’ve been working non-stop through the summer bar my holiday, because we’ve been really short staffed. My 20 hour contract has blurred into 40 hour weeks. I’ve barely seen my family, haven’t mourned the loss of our beloved Bernese Mountain Dog, and I haven’t even started on the 5000 words due in my first term of university.
Don’t get me wrong – this rant isn’t me saying I hate my job, but I’ve been forced to acknowledge that it isn’t my passion.
Working hard for something you’re passionate about shouldn’t be hard work.
Whilst I love coffee, it isn’t my passion. I’m exhausting myself and making myself ill for something I don’t see as a lifelong commitment. I am a Type A personality, and I constantly try to put my all into things. I’m a perfectionist and I will do whatever I can for people I regard as friends. But this has become an unhealthy lifestyle and one which provides very little for my future. And it has to end.
Passions, however small or unique, should always be cultivated.
I do have passions and ambitions, and for a while working in the coffee industry was one of them – I wanted to progress, to know everything about coffee that I could, and gain as many insights into the consumer industry as possible. But nearly three years of verbal abuse from angry customers and holidays spent pushing myself to the edge have taught me that it isn’t actually what I really want to pursue. And what I really want to pursue is what I should be looking at.
It’s no secret that I love books and literature, and it’s been pointed out to me many a time that English Lit is a much more ‘me’ degree than History and IR. I’d love to be able to work with books, to be surrounded by the type of novels I want to write myself one day, and to work and interact with like minded people.
It’s my life goal to go into journalism and copywriting, and I really hope to be able to get experience in those types of careers, even if it is just as a *gulp* coffee girl. I want to be looking for internships, to be able to write and submit freelance work for local papers, to try to make a name for myself.
Finally, I don’t want to be stuck living in a small town. I want to live in a city, whether it’s London, Paris or New York. The bustle of city life is something I’m drawn to, the simultaneous feeling of being surrounded by people and yet being entirely by yourself. I’m looking into opportunities which will take me away from the countryside, which has been the perfect place to grow up, and into the chaotic and brilliant lifestyle of the big city.
Striving to achieve a goal should uplift us, not exhaust us.
It’s been a fantastic ride with this company, and without it I wouldn’t have met some of my closest friends. This summer we have battled against pretty tough situations and come out on top, and as much as it’s been emotionally draining and exhausting, I’ve been with some of the best people in the world. I can only hope that they, too, pursue their passions, and I know that they’ll succeed in whatever they set their minds too.
Have you ever had a sudden realisation that you aren’t where you belong? Have you ever changed a large aspect of your life? Let me know below.