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When Your Career Just Isn’t Good For You

As it happened I was dragged into the Federal civil service, pretty much kicking and screaming.

“I’LL NEVER BE A BORING BUREAUCRAT,” I wailed, as we sat there considering my future.

What I wanted, in my head, was that image: the glamorous brand consultant, glamorously traveling the world.

But it wasn’t good for me. It wasn’t good for us.

  • “How are you going to do all that traveling?”
  • “What about the kids?”
  • “You know how unstable consulting is.”
  • “This is where the jobs are – you’re in Washington, D.C.”
  • “Think about the hours they keep over there.”

I did it, and it hurt me to do it, because I wanted what I wanted so much.

In the end it turned out right…working for the government changed me.

Yes, for the better.

Government workers are in the end a group of decent people. They give back to the community.

They are rationally oriented, focused on the details, extremely knowledgeable, stable, and committed to what can be done within the limits of procedure.

For a creative mind like mine, which works fast and goes off in fifty different directions at a time, the discipline has been healing.

I remember there was a time that I wanted to be a writer. Full-time, just a creative in the coffee shop, turning out book after book.

But as it turned out, the art and the craft of creative writing was destructive for me.
It took me to dark places inside my head.

Sure the writing was beautiful. But it was harrowing, too.

One time, before I started grad school, I had an interview to work at a fashion magazine.

But the environment wasn’t right.

I couldn’t admit it to myself, and so God solved it for me: The night before, I got a terrible migraine, and it did not go away until I cancelled.

As a young adult, I wanted to be a volunteer.

It happened that I knew several people who were raped. And in those days, the victims just disappeared from school.

They also rattled the doors when they went to sleep at night, obsessively and compulsively. (For they remembered having opened the door when they shouldn’t.)

So I chose the Rape Crisis Hotline, and the first time I showed up at the hospital, and I saw the victim laying there, I ran out of the room and vomited.

It was hard, because I cared so very much. But my presence in that place, at that time, and for that cause wasn’t helping anybody.

Today I have gingerly re-entered that space, of trying to help.

It is frustrating; I can only yell out from behind a very tall fence.

Because I can’t fall down the rabbit hole, again.

I guess the point is, what are you good at in life?

What is your purpose on this planet?

You need to make money, and your soul needs you to make a difference as well.

But you have to keep yourself as intact as possible. Not do things that drag you away, into the pit of Hell.

For as they say: “Life is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.”

There are people on this Earth who need you.

All opinions my own. Public domain photo by pixel1 via Pixabay.

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