There was a time when I enjoyed working 80 hours a week. I felt invigorated by my projects. Work was important to me. It wasn’t the most important thing to me, and it wasn’t something that I had planned on being important to me, but it was. I was happy it, then, too.
As time has progressed, though, work has become less important to me and I enjoy it less. My priorities have shifted. I have gone from loving work, to working because I have to, to hating work. There are many factors at play here. For starters when I was at my all time job happiest, I was severly underpaid (like 100%), but I was working on a project that I enjoyed and challenged me and with poeple that I enjoyed. I enjoyed them so much that we have remained friends long after the project was completed. I have made several moves since then, mostly for money. Some have been better than others. But one thing has remained consistent, each move has brought me a little closer to being ready to “retire.”
See, each time I moved jobs the plan was “just until I got pregnant” or “just until maternity leave.” These were never places I intended to stay long, just until my real life started. The quality of my work has shown this through the years as well. When I worked for me, for the challenge, my work was brilliant. Now, it is mediocre. I try to better, but it just isn’t in me. I really don’t care.
I care. I want to do well and have good references. I don’t want to be bad. But, at the end of the day, this is not my real life. This is not the life I’m living for. This is not where I’m meant to be. It’s just where I’m hanging out until my bus comes. My bus is just late.
Sometimes I miss her, though, the 23 year old girl who was going to streamline a manufacturing company. She was spunky and cool and smart. She drank too much, flirted way too much and partied too late, and still made it into the office on time. She was happy. She had so many options and paths. Every now and then I speak with someone who knew her and it dawns on me that I was her. And they think I still am. But, I’m not. She’s gone and she isn’t coming back. She’s been replaced by an unhealthy 30 year old (well, in *gasp* 5 months) bitter old bitch who just wishes that her bus would hurry up and fucking get here so she could quit her lousy job and be happy.