I Don’t Ask for Much

I remember working at a small start-up charter school in DC back in 1999-2000. I was married and Ex and I were trying everything in our power to get pregnant. I was stressed out about the possibility of not being able to have children and teaching elementary school wasn’t helping matters any. I always seem to find myself in the middle of pioneering ventures and all of the stress that goes along with them. This school required very long hours and the students were not exactly in a charter school by choice — many had been kicked out of their public schools for behavior problems. It reached a point where getting up in the morning to go work was depressing. My mood would start to change by 3pm on Sunday afternoon in anticipation dread of the week ahead. When I reached the point of bursting into tears when my alarm clock sounded in the morning, Ex and I both decided that enough was enough — and I quit.

While I am not yet to the point of bursting into tears when the alarm sounds, I am very much in a similar place with my current job. I am so happy and excited about all other areas of my life, but work is the one thing in my life that brings me discontent. I hate that I feel like it takes me out of myself. I am not the person I want to be when I’m there anymore because I am just so miserable. In a nutshell, I have made very deliberate choices to rid my life of toxic, dysfunctional relationships. I don’t expect and do not intend to tolerate the dysfunction of someone who seriously needs to be medicated in my professional life. I spend too many hours a day at my job to have to wonder what kind of mood he’s going to be in today. I gave up tip-toeing around dragons a long time ago. I’m at the point of wanting to work at the car wash up the street so that I can eat until I find another job. It’s just that bad.

The first question people always ask me when I talk about changing jobs is, “Lexi, what do you want to do?” I want to not be defined by my job! I want to work in a peaceful environment that allows me to use my talents in a way that brings me joy and makes a difference to the others I touch. Honestly, I just want to get paid for doing something I enjoy. Will somebody please pay me to write and learn and share what I’ve learned with others? May I please have a job where I can predict when I’ll get off each day and still have enough daylight to be outside and connect with nature and find my peace in the evening’s breeze? Is that too much to ask?

I am capable of living a very simple life. I don’t require much, in fact, I probably already have more than I need. I am fighting the urge to pack up my apartment and load it all into a storage unit and march off with one backpack to this place for the next 6 months so that I can find peace from the effing rat race and chart out my path. I just want peace. I want to live in a world that values serenity and wellness more than getting…MORE. Greed is really annoying me right now. It shouldn’t cost this much to live in a box. It shouldn’t cost this much to eat healthy food. It shouldn’t cost this much to put gas in my car to get to work. It shouldn’t be so hard in this country for a person to make an honest living from their gifts, talents and life’s passion.

Something is terribly wrong.

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10 thoughts on “I Don’t Ask for Much

  1. @ ~m~

    Yep! I am still moving. But moving involves finding a job and a home and paying rent and other such responsibilities that I don’t want in this particular moment.

    You’re right though, I’ll just use vacation time for my retreat getaways.

    I sure would like to make it my lifestyle though — for a month or six.

  2. Just do it! That’s my new motto anyway. Whatever is going to allow you a peaceful existence is what you should strive for. Negative workplaces can be very toxic and draining – and will eventually spill into your non-working hours. Hopefully, you will find the peace you’re seeking sooner than later.

  3. I have been in more soul-draining jobs than I can even remember, Lex, and you do have options. You do not have dependents right now, and there will never be a better time to take some time off to nurture yourself and figure out what you really want.

    The cost of everything is obscene, but I do believe that there are simpler and more rewarding ways to live. The longer we buy into the consumerism around us, the more it continues to take over our world.

    As long as your basic needs are assured, I hope you will leave this job that separates you from your real self and find another way to live. You have many gifts, and stifling them is bad for you and for the world that needs them and you so much.

  4. oh, sister… your post could not have come at a better time. i finally have a f/t job after a year and a half of looking, looking, looking… one that pays well and has perfect advancement opps–but i am still not happy. i, too, am wondering “so what do you WANT to do?”. i believe i’ll figure it out, but part of me wonders why, at thirty-something, i still haven’t figured it out yet…

    much luck to you.

  5. Honey, you are preaching to the choir!! And when you find all those things you’re looking for, see if there’s an extra spot for me. Wouldn’t mind being your co-worker 🙂

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