Better & Worse

I'm taking a break from knitting-related posts to drop some truth bombs about my life. Here we go.

I graduated from college with hopes that I'd move quickly on toward great things. I knew the reality: I had friends who had graduated with honors before me who were working in grocery stores or taking on unpaid internships, going broke while simultaneously trying to pay for their small studio in the city. I have a sister who has settled into a job because she couldn't find something related to what she really wanted to do. Too many people have told me that I shouldn't expect to find a job I like until a few years down the road because the unemployment rate is so high, because there are too many full-of-themselves college graduates, because people are settling for entry-level status when they should be managers. Yada yada yada, blah blah blah - you know what I'm saying.

Children's Department at the library

Children's Department at the library

I have so many ideas regarding what I want to do with my life. Start a business. Become a teacher. Go back to school. Move to Florida and become a street performer in Disney World. Screw it all and travel the world with money I don't have. What I do have is a degree in history. I love history. I love sharing my love of history. But that's not the only option out there for me. Although it doesn't mean as much as it would have thirty or forty years ago, I'm educated. I'm intelligent and quick-witted. I'm creative and friendly and open and warm. I could do so many good things, things different from the opportunities that require a degree in history.

I've never wanted to limit myself; if anything, I've wanted the exact opposite: to try everything; to grab every experience I can; to live and love and learn to recognize when it's time to move on. Will the next job I have be the one I'll have for the rest of my life? Likely not, and it would be unrealistic of me to assume that, in my mid twenties, I'd find the "perfect" job from which I'll retire in 50 years. But each job I've had thus far in my life has taught me something, and life is all about the experiences we have and what we learn from them.

I know that even if I don't love what I do now or have done for work in the past, I will kick ass at it anyway. I throw myself in. I ask questions. As difficult as it is sometimes, I admit when I'm wrong. I have a huge desire to prove that I can do more than people assume. I want to learn and to grow in my work life and as a person through these experiences.

The front desk: where the magic happens

The front desk: where the magic happens

I am so excited at the thought that I could (hopefully one day soon) be working for a company that makes me glad I'm working there and employs other individuals that are as happy to work there as I am. I like my job at the library, I do, but it doesn't excite me. It doesn't make me happy to think about getting up at 7:30 on a Saturday morning to spend all day waiting for someone to ask for help. I like the work in general:  when I can help a patron find the book they need, suggest a good one I've read recently, show them where the biographies are, teach them how to access something on our computers, and work with the children's librarians to coordinate programs and choose new books to add to the collection.  Those are the days when I'm glad to be working where I do, when I can see what I've accomplished by the look on someone's face or just the thankful tone of their voice. But when I feel as if I have to hide even muted enthusiasm for having this job, when I feel awkward for being over-friendly as a means to compensate for certain co-workers being so much the opposite, when I feel locked into my job description and seem to be discouraged from branching out to learn something new - those are the times when I'm not glad to be working there. But if there is one thing I've learned above all else, it is to deal with it and be thankful for it and embrace it anyway, because there's always some good to be had. I will leave my job at the library having gained something, even if it's not something tangible or obvious to me right now.

So, that's about it. Am I happy at my job right now? Sometimes. Would I be happier someplace else? Probably. Am I making the most of where I am right here, right now? Absolutely.

You can't know what's better without knowing what's worse.

I'm going to leave you guys today with two videos from my a cappella group in college, Blends with Benefits.  I'll always be thankful that I was a part of Blends; I left college having met one of my best friends there. (He's the one in the purple pants standing next to me in the video on the left.) I miss singing with these guys every week.