So in my last blog I said if you sleep eight hours per night and you live to be 90, you will have spent 30 years of your life sleeping. That got me thinking about the other 60 years and how I should be spending that. If you work 40 hrs per week...that comes out to about 22 years spent working. Now I know many of you spend more than 8 hrs at work or maybe you commute, or maybe you are like me and spend a lot of time working at home to prepare for the next day. That's time you aren't getting paid for, but still work. So I'd say for most of us...you can go ahead and round that number back up to 30 years spent working.
Do you love your job or does it just pay the bills? I know a few people that love what they do. And to them, it feels like they have never worked a day in their life. Do they have some headaches due to upper management, co-workers or certain high maintenance customers? Absolutely, and that can make if feel like work for a few moments and that sucks. But for the most part, they are happy going to work.
I know more people that hate going to work. Or maybe they like their work, but hate who they work for. Now don't get me wrong, I understand that there are circumstances such as children, illness, sudden loss of a job, college tuition, mortgages etc. that force us to sometimes do what we have to do to survive. Or maybe having a bunch of stuff is worth doing a job you don't like doing. We all have our priorities and I am by no means judging anybody for that. Happiness means different things to different people. But even if that's the case, maybe you could be actively be seeking a way to make the same amount of money doing something you love in the meantime. Then you will have a bucket of cash and love or at least like going to work...what could be better than that? There is always room for improvement in your life. I love money as much as the next girl and I want more of it all the time, but I have realized that as a trainer, I probably won't have much of it, and that's ok.
So you are probably saying..."Tell me how to do this you wise old bitch...Mrs. Fuckin' Know It ALL!" Look, as each day passes, I realize more and more that I don't know shit! I'm like a sponge. I love to learn new stuff. I love for people to teach me new and better ways to do things. My favorite day is when someone can change my opinion on something. Don't get me wrong...I'm pretty damn stubborn, and you better have a full power point presentation and at least 10-12 references and possibly a piece of cake on hand to change my mind about something important...but it has happened and I cherish that.
In my super smart opinion, the way to find happiness in your career is to figure out what your gift is and then find a way to make a career out of it.
The jury is still out on how we all got here...some believe in creation and some believe in evolution and there are several people out there that don't give a shit. No matter what your opinion is on that subject, the world and human beings in general are pretty amazing things. Take the human body for example. Everything in your body has a purpose. To stay healthy, all those little systems need to be running smoothly in order to keep balance and harmony in your body. When something gets injured or stops working or maybe you are born without it to begin with, that's when chaos ensues and illness mental or physical appears. And then let's think about how the world operates as a whole. At some point we are eating something that probably ate something else that ate something else that maybe grew in the ground and then everything dies. The waste products, like manure and the decomposition of all those organisms fertilize the earth and then add a little water to it and BAM! it all starts again. CLEARLY there is more to it, but I think you get my point. Everything on earth has it's purpose and if we don't fuck with it's habitat too much, we will continue to thrive And....um...it's not looking too good right now :( Global warming is real and we are using up our resources and polluting the earth more every day. Believe the hype people. Scientists are just talking shit. They have actually research to back it up. Anyways, that's a fight for a different day.
I think we were all born with a few gifts and and a few defects...some more than others. Some people are really book smart, but street stupid. Some people do horrible in school, but are amazing athletes or artists. Some people have a lot of charisma and people skills that make great politicians or sales people. And then there are some built like me that are defective in that area and do not. I have many flaws...navigation appears to be one of my biggest obstacles along with my award winning personality. If it weren't for my Iphone, I'd get lost going home. I have been to the same place ten times and still have to use my navigation to get back there. If there is the slightest option to take a wrong turn, I'm gonna take that shit...every...fucking...time. Count on it. My point is, it takes all kinds to get shit done and keep the universe in balance. If we were all good and bad at the same things, we would never survive. So appreciate people that are different from you. We are all working as a team to get the same job done...survival.
I love art. I'm a pretty creative person, but it's not necessarily my gift. I was an art major in college for a couple years and had the dream of making art for a living. I slowly started to realize that very few make it in the art world. Even people that are amazing are seldom able to survive on their art work alone. And the truth was, I wasn't amazing. Not even close. So I decided to get a degree in advertising and one in art history. I thought advertising would be kinda artistic, but still a real job. Or I thought I could be a museum curator or an art professor with my art history degree. Turns out that for the most part, advertising is essentially a degree in lying and manipulation to get someone to buy your product...um...no thanks. And who am I kidding...I don't have the balls to stand in front of a classroom and teach. So, the day after I graduated from college, I did the next logical thing. I packed up my shit and moved to Athens to be a tattoo artist.
I was a tattoo artist for 10 years. I wasn't horrible, but I wasn't great. I'd say I was average. I did some tattoos I was really proud of and I also did a couple of turds. Those turds keep me awake to this day. It wasn't from a lack of effort. I drew and painted a lot in the effort to get better at my craft. And I did get better, but never great. It killed me to know that a customer could head down the street and get the same tattoo for the same money and it would probably be better than mine. It ate me up. It weighed heavy on my conscience and my heart.
While I was tattooing, A big gym opened up down the street. I joined before it was built and I harassed them daily with phone calls asking them when they were gonna open. When it finally did, I never wanted to leave. I'd be there for hours. My girlfriend at the time would call and bitch at me for being there so long. She would say "It's like a part time fucking job! When are you coming home?" It was like my home away from home...I never wanted to leave. I was a total freak back then...hard to believe....I know. But it's true. I think I had long pink dread locks and a bunch or metal jewelry in my face. I wore dumpy t-shirts and cut off sweatpants. I never talked or looked at anyone, but I took every class I could. You could always find me in the back row in the furthest corner. One day, a manager walked up to me and said, "You should work here. If you are gonna be in the gym this much, you might as well get paid for it." I seriously thought I was getting Punk'd. I looked around for the hidden cameras. I was like, clearly this lady is smoking crack. I thought about it for a few days and ultimately decided to give it a shot. I thought maybe just maybe, it would help me overcome my social anxiety. It would be like tough love for myself.
I started by teaching one cycle class per week. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I didn't sleep the night before my class for the first year. And I was pretty sure I was gonna shit myself during every class. People liked me but had complaints. They would say "We like her music and the workout, but we can't see or hear her." I wore a hat pulled down real low and I never looked up. The only part of my face they could see was my mouth. And I didn't use my mouth much except to mumble go, stop, stand and sit. It was action packed! I hung in there anyway and eventually, I got a little more comfortable. To this day, seven years later, it still stresses me out a little to sit in front of a class, but I do it.
I do it because I love fitness and it doesn't feel like work. I started teaching a few more classes and then became a personal trainer which allowed me to quit tattooing. I can't tell you how much I love my job. The gym is my workplace and my playground. If I'm not working, I'm working out. I come home and spend hours reading articles and watching videos to expand my knowledge as much as possible. My clients are my friends and nothing makes me happier than to see them smile when they get results. Coming up with workouts is easy for me, it's fun...it's my gift.
It took me a while to discover my gift, but when it did, my life changed. Will I ever be rich? Probably not...gonna need a sugar mama for that shit. I wanted so badly to be a great tattoo artist, but I just didn't have it. I was born to be a trainer. I'm not saying I'm the best trainer out there, because I'm not. But I'm trying and I'm loving the journey. And I'm happy to say that I'm enjoying my 30 years of work.
So if you are sleeping for 30 years, working a job that you don't like for another 30, and in a relationship that makes you unhappy and leaves you unfulfilled, it might be time to reevaluate some things. When you do the math, that doesn't leave much time for happiness. You deserve more happiness...find it.