My gas heater kicks on and begins to hum through the vent in the floor. Behind my office desk my back faces two windows that don’t look out onto anything beautiful. They look out on the unkempt small space between my house and my neighbors house, the area is full of dead leaves and tree stumps. Even though my curtains are pulled tightly shut I know it’s no longer early morning because I can hear the traffic rushing into downtown Greensboro towards office life. Aside from missing seeing the colors of the sunrise as I’d drive east into downtown and getting a steady paycheck with health insurance I don’t miss corporate America and it’s muted grey cubicle cells that we’d pretend weren’t a more lenient jail.
I’m grateful my commute is the next room over especially on a day like today when I feel a touch under the weather. I savor drinking a cup of coffee in my pajamas while I work listening to the feral cat or a squirrel playing in the dead leaves between the houses. It’s mornings like this that I think about the life I left. I used to drive into the office wanting to be doing anything or going anywhere besides the office because I didn’t enjoy the work I had been doing, but I felt trapped not knowing what else to do.
There was a journal prompt I thought about often during those days, I’d ask myself over and over “what would make me happy?” To be clear this is a bit of a trick question from a Yogic/Buddhist perspective. We should be able to cultivate a place within ourselves that we can tap into that allows us to find happiness no matter what situation is present. That helps us avoid the “When Trap” like…
“When I leave my job I’ll be happy”
“When I loose 10lbs I’ll be happy”
“When I get married I’ll be happy”
See where I’m going with this? When I worked in the office I could find happiness in what I was doing even if I didn’t love the job its self. I tried to focus on what I did like about it and what I could derive happiness from but that didn’t change the fact that I knew I needed to find the courage within myself to make a change. I knew deeply that there was a different life I was supposed to be living. Every day in my morning pages I’d write about the kind of life I wanted, and what my dream workday would look like.
Now I see that prompt “What would make me happy?” and I can’t do anything but smile because I’m so happy. Yes I still have sadness at times, fears even, yes being an entrepreneur has a huge amount of financial risk that I’m currently looking square in the eye, but I’m so happy. When I try to answer that question now the only thing I want is to connect with more clients who have felt the way I felt. Then getting to work with them in a way that will allow them to realize the type of life they most want for themselves and help them find the courage to pursue it relentlessly. I hope that everyone will be able to experience the joy of having a job and a life that's the right fit for them.