I never really followed the expected path after I graduated from high school (*cough*12 years ago*cough*). Most of my friends either went to university or got married and had kids. I, on the other hand, took time off from studying and worked different jobs while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do. I have done it all, store clerk, makeup artist, car rentals, room service… I took time off to work not only because I didn’t have the luxury of changing my mind mid-career and had to save up, but also because I am as stubborn as they come. If I do not feel like it is the right moment to do something, I simply won’t do it. I firmly believe that everything has a time and a place. I have never regretted my decision because it was the right one for me, but sometimes I would look at my friends and be amazed by how together their lives seemed to be. It’s like they always knew exactly what their next step in life would be.
Now I work in an office. I really thought this was what I wanted because that’s what all my friends are doing. But sometimes I look at they’re “important” titles on LinkedIn and their fancy office clothes, and for a few seconds I wonder: what is wrong with me? They look so happy with their 9 to 5, why aren’t I this happy?
I hate self-pity so after a few minutes of self-doubt (which sometimes turns into hours), I snap out of it and pull myself back together. The next day I come back into the office, located in the amazing Champs Élysées in Paris, and scold myself for not being more grateful for what I have and for the amazing opportunities this job has given me. If it weren’t for this job, I would probably be living under a bridge and I wouldn’t have had the chance to move to Paris with my boyfriend. So thank you, office job.
Anyways, as I was saying, I walk along the Champs Élysées being my cheerful self again, I enter the office at 9:30 am, I take a coffee, and then I proceed to do the same tasks repeatedly, every day, until I clock out at 6:30 pm. I don’t want to misuse the word “literally” because I hate it when people do that, but I literally feel happiness escape my body. All those hours sitting down and doing a job that, although important, is also extremely undervalued, makes me feel completely unmotivated and enslaved in a routine. I mean… this is what translator’s do… We sit down and translate, but I’m used to working from home where I have the liberty to come and go as I please and take a break whenever I want to. Since working in this company I have received twice an e-mail complaining about my breaks, and I know it shouldn’t, but it offends me. I’m a grown woman, I think to myself while fighting the urge to reply exactly what I’m thinking, don’t they think I know how to manage my own time? Does the work not get done on time? But also, I am fully aware that this is not their fault and that I should, indeed, follow their schedule.
While working here I have come to realize that maybe I am not made for the office life (or maybe this office in particular) and that I should not look at what other people are doing because what works for some might not work for others. Now I find myself trying to figure out what it is that I want, which is proving to be a bit more challenging than expected not only because being unemployed while I “find my thing” is not an option, but also because I have no idea on where to begin; but I rather feel a little bit lost for a while than accidently end up working in a job I dislike for the rest of my life. And who knows, maybe the process will be a fun one. (I do welcome any advice!)