No, I’m not referring to the Huey Lewis song, but now that’s playing in your head, isn’t it?
I sometimes lament the fact that I have to work for a living. I’m sure we all do every now and then. We feel there’s so much more we could be doing. For me, I wouldn’t want to just lay around the house and watch television all day. I’d spend the bulk of my time writing and working on creative projects (big surprise, right?) and the rest outside, either at the beach or gardening in the yard.
But the world doesn’t work that way and we have to do something to earn a living. It’s usually something we aren’t exactly keen to do. No one really wants to pick up trash, mow lawns, prepare food, or work in retail. I’m lucky in that I get to be a webmaster during the day. It’s not writing, but it’s something I enjoy. And I’m also lucky that the guys who work for me are reliable and smart as hell. They make me look good.
Of course, I’ve had my share of crappy jobs. I used to drive a forklift and load beer trucks on the graveyard shift. I also worked in convenience stores, usually the night or graveyard shifts. I’ve worked in restaurants, optical labs, and did landscaping for a while. A lot of manual labor and thankless tasks.
These jobs weren’t fun, but they taught me some interesting skills, allowed me to meets some interesting people, and in the end helped me to better appreciate what I have now.
Looking back, I remember how miserable I was doing some of these things, but I also discovered ideas for stories and characters. So in the end, they paid off by giving me fuel with which to be creative.
When you think about what you’re doing for a living and you aren’t happy with your situation, do what you can to change it. It may take time, but if you work at it you’ll eventually move on and move up. But in the meantime, take in everything around you. Every experience is an opportunity to learn something, to pick up ideas and traits for characters, and to grow as an individual.
No job is going to be perfect, but don’t give up on your dreams. They won’t all come true. And honestly, you shouldn’t achieve all your dreams and desires. If you did, what would you have left to yearn for?