Today, we were at the beach (last-day-of-holidays beach day for the win!) and ran into a friend we hadn’t seen for a while. Work chit chat was thrown around as part of the usual small talk. Jared spoke about the exciting stuff going on with his bar/s and our friend told us about how well her business is going. She’s started a business doing something she’s very passionate about and you can tell.
As they spoke, I got the usual tight feeling that I get in my stomach when the conversation turns to work. I stayed quiet. A small knot grew in my stomach while I hoped she wouldn’t ask me about my work. Thankfully, she didn’t. Jared can talk for ages about how awesome his bar is going and all the exciting things coming up for him. In no way do I resent his success. He’s worked hard to get to where he is and I admire his drive and the fact he knows exactly what he wants to do and is actually doing it. I feel very excited about where he’s going and the fact I get to come along for the ride and reap all the benefits. There’s nothing I would change about this situation at all.
The thing that makes me want to disappear is how little there is to talk about when it comes to my own work accomplishments. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job (sadly, I’m actually looking forward to going back to work tomorrow) but it’s not the most exciting thing to talk about. Most people aren’t interested in hearing about spreadsheets, invoicing and calendar management – e.g. the life of a PA/Office Manager. And it certainly sounds even more dull after talk of bars and cocktails and lush interior fitouts. Still, I have great bosses and awesome work life balance yet sometimes being around all these people with big plans and their own businesses makes me feel so unambitious.
Sure, I’ll be studying again in March and doing a degree means I have some ambition, right? But I’m not even sure I know what I want to do with it, if anything. I don’t really have the desire to be the next Sheryl Sandberg (although I love her). Maybe one day I’d like to work for myself doing freelance copywriting or social media/digital marketing or something but that’s purely so I could set my own hours and work from home like the hermit I always wanted to be. Waking up late, staying in my peejays all day, not having to leave the house unless I want to… ahhhh, that would be the life.
But anyway, as I was saying, despite being very happy, it’s so easy to compare yourself to others and think something’s wrong with you for not wanting more. Not everyone’s built to be a Chief (or has the desire to be one), there have to be some Indians. After working jobs that made me miserable, my ambition is to do something that I enjoy, that I’m good at and that makes me feel productive. I don’t want a big empire or to be famous, I just want to be able to do what makes me happy. I want to have time to write and to see my friends and family and enough money to be social and take holidays and all the stuff that makes life great.
Sadly, despite my hippy-dippy philosophy, I’m also a somewhat competitive person. I compare myself to others and am often hard on myself when I feel I’m coming up short. I do want to be successful. I just think my idea of success is a bit different from others. It revolves more around my lifestyle and how work facilitates that. I don’t need to be the boss. I just need to know I’m needed and useful and to never, ever be bored. And that’s enough for me.