I resigned from my previous job about four months ago. And it was a highly traumatic experience. And my ex-boss got to keep the kids. Restraint of trade means I can’t be with them anymore. To make it worse, I went to a competing agency, which is a little bit like infidelity. And my ex-boss made it clear that I had betrayed her. And I felt like a toad. Actually, I felt like a toad that had been run over by a truck.
The guilt was overwhelming. I nearly crawled back, begging for forgiveness. But the documents were signed and we were breaking up for good. But my little affair with my new job kept me going and I saw it through.
If a divorce is a bugger when pursuing greater things in your career, a real one must be a monster.
Then I saw some of my clients in the media, the final product of my work. And I missed them a little bit. I was a great parent and serviced the crap out of them. But I had to be a good parent to my new children.
Fortunately they were happy to welcome me into their family.
And the new job? It’s great. It’s a bigger family, and a warm and loving family. I’ve pretty much forgotten my past life. And I feel as though I have always been right here.
Did I betray my old boss? I don’t think so. I don’t think losing staff is much fun, but my new company is much, much better for me.
Am I a bad person for wanting something different? Absolutely not. It’s about growth and happiness and sometimes you need to be just the slightest bit selfish.
Do I have any regrets? Nope, none. I’m very happy.
It’s been ages since I made a list. So here it is, the five most overrated things I can think of right now.
Ramen. In its defence, it did come out of a packet and didn’t have English cooking instructions. I still wanted to feel like a ninja while I ate it. Or at least like an animated character in a popular Japanese TV series. Neither happened. In anticipation for the day that it does, I am obsessed with Ramen, but it doesn’t make my hot list.
Twilight. Badly written books translated into worse movies. Teenagers now think vampires sparkle and have self-control. I would much rather watch a D-grade rendition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in a sauna than sit through the A-listed Eclipse in an air-conditioned cinema. And I have less than no interest in reading about the cotton count on Edward’s sweater.
Having a full time job in a recession. Yes, I’m really lucky to be employed and even more lucky that my job is stable. But I can think of a lot of things better to do with my time than sit at a desk for 10 hours of the day. Like hugging an angry porcupine.
Having my car washed for me once a week. But only because in his thoroughness Edmore ‘re-adjusts’ my side mirrors. It drives me *#%@&%$ nuts! Just like the bits of lint on the bonnet.
Jelly beans. These are exciting for about two minutes. Then they roll all over the place, fall on the ground and contain so much artificial rubbish that they make you want to vomit rainbows.
So, I work. I’m a young professional at the cusp of my career… And while I never thought I would do what I am doing, I love it and it’s taking over my life.
A day in my life starts with my alarm going off and me hitting snooze for about half an hour. But, reader, it’s cold out there and R50.00 excluding VAT says you are doing the same. Then it’s coffee, shower and off to the office for that hour and a half of silence and concentration before business officially opens (I have had phone calls at 07:30 though). And then the flood gates open and I’m rushed off my feet for the next eight hours. Then I hang around for another half hour or so, because, well, your business is important to me, and I will get you what you want.
Like many of my peers and colleagues, I don’t take lunch. I eat at my desk, and I take calls with my mouth full. It’s a good thing people like to talk, or else I would never get the chance to chew. I have become a master of multitasking, and can type up an e-mail completely unrelated to the phone call I stupidly took. So, in case you were wondering, I’m fine, thanks, and it’s freaking great that your Bulldog is okay after her operation. And I’ll send you that document in… hey, what do you know, it’s on its way right now. Do you have it? Great, goodbye.
Once I get home, I need to eat again. That means dinner for one, or sometimes dinner for five – because leftovers are great to take with the next day and eating the same thing two days in a row is a serious time saver.
Unlike other single, working people, I actually cook for myself. And not just two-minute noodles (I lost interest in those in the first three months of university), I’m talking about minimum two vegetables and some protein. Or pizza. I don’t do microwave dinners, I’m not paying money for something that smells like a wet dog when it’s ‘ready’, that is packed with sodium and is mostly made out of recycled cardboard and dye. Over the years I have become a decent cook, I have made amazing things with whatever is in the kitchen, and I’ve had some failures that have resulted in me needing to throw pots away. But 90% of the time, I’m eating okay and keeping those energy levels up for the next day.
I will then collapse into bed, with a book I’m too tired to focus on and read the same chapter three times before deciding it’s late and going to sleep.
Sometimes, I will have work functions. And these will drag on well past my bed time and I’ll watch people drink heavily and network with them, even though they will never remember who I actually am.
Sometimes, I can take a friend to work functions. These go on until the early hours of the morning too, but at least I have decent conversation that extends beyond soccer and weather (honestly, is there NOTHING else to chat about?).
And that is how I spend my evenings.
Some of my friends are married, living with their lovers or in serious relationships. And I need to know – how do they do it?
I barely have time for myself, but these guys are making time for another (every single day), getting their laundry done and producing meals that put mine to shame. They stay happy and connected, sometimes nauseatingly so, and I’m proud of them – high five, guys, you have superior time management skills! I currently don’t even have the time to date.
Before I blink again, it’s Friday and then I blink again and it’s Monday.
So, sure, I spend a large chunk of my weekends working. And sure, I’m really busy all the time. But that’s what it’s like being a working person. Relationships get neglected and recreation becomes a thing of the past.
One thing I do know is that I am luckier than most.
I love my job. I have a passion for my industry. A lot of people my age are miserable in their careers and desperate for something new – but it’s tough times for business, so they stick it out and become increasingly miserable. But not me, my exhaustion and routine make me happy.
And that is the life of this young professional in 750 words!