Stay Patient, Hustle Hard

Waiting for my dream job to fall into my lap is turning out to be a little bit like waiting for Taylor Swift to call me to go hangout in Nashville. Which is to say, it is totally still possible, and I'm totally going to hold out hope, but that it is increasingly unlikely, so I ought to keep going about my life.

One of the side effects of being, well, a millennial is being constantly under the impression that I have this great big ability to manifest my most perfect life, and if I just work for it, believe in it, and really strive for it, it'll happen. In a few ways, I whole-heartedly believe in the power of that. It's not impossible. Hard and intentional work yields results.

In a few ways, I totally understand why a lot of people would call bullshit on that philosophy.

Like a lot of people though, I do have great big dreams for my life. I do have career goals. I do have things I want to create, and accomplish, and give to this world. I have things that I want to be in my "perfect life." Sometime we'll talk some more about the word perfect, and what I'm really thinking when I say perfect life. But think more like deliriously happy and satisfied over stepford-esque.

I have found, more and more, as I work through this hunt for the seemingly mythical dream job, that sometimes it just doesn't matter how much you want it, and how hard you work, and how qualified you are. Sometimes you're still going to feel stuck. Sometimes you're still going to feel unfulfilled. Sometimes those opportunities that you're searching for in every nook and cranny of the world just aren't going to reveal themselves.

That is hard. That goes against everything I think when I think about hard work pays off, and stay humble, hustle hard, and good things come to those who work. That all forces me to step back - look at what is missing, look at what is going wrong.

I hate to say it, but it might be horrifyingly simple.

I'm 23. That's it.

What's missing? Time.

I have decades worth of working, creating, and achieving ahead of me. The place I'm in now, the job I'm in now, the desert of loneliness I'm strolling through now? That will all change. Maybe thousands of times. Because, I'm 23.

“We're so young. We're so young. We're twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There's this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lie alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out - that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it's too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.” Marina Keegan, The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories.

If you still haven't read The Opposite of Loneliness, I need you to stop reading this and go grab a copy now. It will make you cry and laugh and feel a thousand wonderful feelings. 

The amazing thing is, it's not too late. I'm not missing out by not being in my dream position. I'm not losing anything by creating where I am, and working with what I've got.

There really is so much time.

It is still daunting to know what you want and not know what path is going to take you there. But you guys, Sheryl was right, this is a jungle gym, not a ladder. I've got places to go, and things to learn, and people to meet - and it won't always be climbing up rung by rung. It will take time, but damn I'm going to keep crossing the money bars.

Because, here's the best part - every time I do get somewhere new, every time I do create something that's been floating in my brain for weeks, every time I can take one step closer to that big bad dream, it's worth it. And it doesn't matter if it's been 6 days, or 9 weeks, or 17 years in the making. When you get there, it's not the time that matters anymore, it's the payoff.

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