“I hate my job.” This was my mantra for a long time, and honestly, it got me nowhere.

Being an aspiring writer naturally means I have a stereotypical part-time job in the service industry. Dreams need to be chased, but bills equally need to be paid, and that requires sacrifices. Now the only thing worse than the meagre pay for a great deal of manual labour is often the dread/depression that accompanies it. Not only from the monotony of the work itself but also the frustration that you can’t be making a career out of your passion instead. And the only other alternative being JSA, which is very much, the same monkey on your back only with an added layer of shame lathered over its fur.

Now while battling with these sorts of feelings: the sinking in your stomach the night before your next shift, the gnawing at your soul knowing you can’t stay home and write. I found myself getting increasingly frustrated with the fact that I was forced to feel like this multiple times a week. There’s nothing worse than constantly feeling a negative emotion and like there’s no way to stop it, it robs us of our freedom to feel how we want to. I wracked my mind constantly about what I could do internally while waiting for my external efforts to take affect.

And the longer I contemplated this the more lost I got, so I decided to shift my focus from the answer to the question, and that’s when I had an epiphanot (noun: An idea that seems like an amazing insight to the conceiver, but is, in fact pointless, stupid, mundane, or incorrect – in this case obvious). It doesn’t rob us of our freedom, we just think it does.

I took this theory and put it to the test. Instead of allowing myself to dread the prospect of work the next day, of repeatedly telling myself “It will be awful” and creating that reality before it even happened, I made the decision to tell myself it would be fine. I was still real with myself, I knew the work wouldn’t be any different, but I decided to try to see some of the more enjoyable aspects of it. For example, working in a kitchen has its perks: we have loads of food lying around with which to make stuff. I decided to engage my co-workers in jokes and general nonversation (noun: A completely worthless conversation; small talk) instead of brooding in my own resentful bubble.

But ultimately I made the decision to surrender to the flow and “be like water” to quote Bruce Lee. I accepted that I currently need this job to serve a purpose and so I can continue to pursue my dream, and that harbouring any negative feelings towards going to work were utterly pointless. I let go and finally became able to see the situation as it really is, and combining this with actively thinking about how truly terrible the lives of many of the worlds population are really helps put things in perspective and yank you out of your Youniverse (noun: Used to indicate that a person has knowledge only of himself; their universe consists only of them. – last one I promise) and make you appreciate your situation properly.

Now I no longer mind my job or the fact that I have to go to it, yes I would still much rather be doing…a great deal many things, I accept that it’s a necessity of chasing my passion. And I aim to take it one step further and discover the ability to actually find enjoyment in it, because if I can find enjoyment in my mundane job, I will have developed an incredibly useful life skill.

I have also decided to change my mantra, the new one being: “Todays shift will be a good one.”

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