Recently I have not been very happy at my job. For a while, I loved it because it was a brand new industry and I was fascinated by the glimpse inside this bizarre world of trucking. But now, the stress is overtaking the fascination in a big way.
I get to work around 8 am every day, and one day last week, I didn’t, leave until 8 pm. I turned the car radio on, and immediately these lyrics blasted out at me: “We were made to thrive.”
You may not happen to believe this sentiment, but I do, and hearing those words after such a hard day was not an encouraging moment. The same question that comes up again and again in the living rooms and bars occupied by my generation came up in my car. What on earth am I doing? The same response: I have no effing clue.
So, that was a bad day.
I haven’t quit my job in a moment of clarity and courage since then. I haven’t completed a brilliant novel that will earn me millions and save me from ever having to do something that isn’t my calling (I believe in those too. Sort of. It’s complicated.)
But in the week since that spectacularly depressing day, I have collected some moments in my memory that remind me what thriving actually feels like. Today, for example:
I wake up at the time I’m supposed to, meaning I have time to get everything done I need to and still cuddle with my cat. I smile at the guard at my work, and he smiles back. I share a joke with a coworker. Fast forward 9 hours, because this is really not about work, and I arrive at my family’s church. My youngest brother and I head to a friend’s house to go swimming. She and her mother and I watch my brother, whose jerky but somehow still confident movements through the water endear him to us. We have a splash war that ends in a tie when I pick him up and carry him out of the pool. I take him back to our parents’ house and then drive with the windows down to see some more friends (and eat the cookies they offered as a last minute bribe). An old song that I love comes on the radio, and I turn it up, thinking back to when I first heard it, in another car in another state with dear friends. In that moment, I’m still not happy in my job. I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do about it. It will matter tomorrow that I don’t know, but in that moment it doesn’t.
One day, I hope people will look at me and say, “Boy, she sure is thriving. She is doing exactly what she’s supposed to be doing with her life.” (Secret: there’s not just one thing.) For now, I will keep thriving in each moment that I can.