I want to be something more. To do something more.
More than a meek worker bee waiting to be told what to do. Asking for permission on how to think, what to like, how to feel. Being made to feel like my taste, my words, my ideas aren’t good or good enough. Waiting for someone to hand me something. To “allow” me to lend my words and my brain to a project.
I’m tired of questioning myself at every turn. Wondering if the instincts that have served me well so far aren’t that great after all.
There’s nothing worse than being given an opportunity, feeling like you blew it, and then sitting there in wait. In wait for the next chance to show you don’t suck. In wait for them to fire you. In wait for something, anything to happen that’ll reignite the flame and remind you why you’re here in the first place.
I’m not really sure what my calling is. Sometimes I feel adrift. I have a million ideas of things I think I might be good at, but I haven’t found the one thing that makes my heart sing. Maybe I’m one of those people who never will, who is always at least slightly discontent. Maybe that’s what makes me me. I’m always looking for something better.
That’s not to say I’m floundering. Or at least it doesn’t look that way. From the outside, most people would think I’m successful. I managed to parlay and a not so lucrative editorial and marketing career into a much better job in advertising. I was recruited first to one major city and then paid to move to another to work at one of the “cool” places where lots of “creativity” happens. And I’m paid well to show up every day.
So, what’s there to complain about? I have a nice apartment. A “good” job. A nice car. Friends and family who care about me. A boyfriend who drives me crazy, but I know loves me. So what’s missing?
Sometimes I think it’s impossibly self absorbed to worry about things like “personal fulfillment” and “finding your calling.” There is something so selfish and ego filled about wanting a life that’s about more than going to work and being a “responsible adult.” But fuck it. Who cares? There’s a lot of ego involved in staying in this advertising hamster wheel of rejection, misogyny and “prestige” too.
I’m tired of it though. Tired of the whole god damn thing. Tired of crying when my boss hates my scripts for a fast food menu item that legitimately looks disgusting and is actively killing Americans. I’m tired of the politics, the hierarchy, of “playing by the rules.” I’m tired of “being patient” and trying to bro down with the bros (it never works). And, quite frankly, I’m fucking sick of the patriarchy in general, which is very alive and well in this industry. Still. In 2017.
And while we’re on the topic of stuff I don’t like, you know what else I’m really fucking sick of? Awards and our industry-wide obsession with them. Do I say this out of bitterness for never really having won one? Maybe. Would I be thrilled if I did win a Lion? Or a pencil? Fuck yes. Does recognition for your work feel good? Definitely. Do I want the chance to work on something award winning? You better believe it. Do I want to sip Rose on a yacht in the South of France on the company dollar? Abso-fucking-lutely. But that doesn’t mean I don’t find the whole award obsession barf-inducing, ego stroking and, well, meaningless. I just can’t make myself care that much — even if I know it means more money, better jobs and increased opportunity.
Mostly, though, I’m tired of continuously feeling like not enough. And maybe that’ll follow me wherever I go (it probably will). But I think it’s worth finding out.