Friday, July 14, 2006

Grow Up

I turn 26 today. I'm officially closer to 30 than to 20. Yesterday, my employer gave me an early birthday present....my annual review. It was my party and I definitely had reason to cry if I wanted to.

For the past 10 months, I've been acting like a petulant child. I don't like my job. It doesn't stir any of my passions and I'd rather be doing something else. And something else is exactly what I've been doing. Actually, anything else but work. I'm not going to get into the laundry list of activities I engage in from 8 to 5 that aren't technically part of the job description. But the list is extensive. I kept telling myself that my passive aggressive behavior wouldn't exist if I was doing the job I was meant to do (writing and/or non profit fundraising). The slacking has caught up with me, because I know for sure that they notice my lack of motivation.

It's difficult to hear about your shortcomings from a group of people you feel no need to impress. I was defensive, recalcitrant, and a tad confrontational. But while some of the evaluation was absolute bullshit, most of it was true. I do have great potential, and I'm not realizing it in my current role. I really don't show a "bias for action," because honestly that requires caring. I stopped doing that a while ago.

I've been subsisting in this role under the assumption that I would land the job I really love and then blow this popsicle stand. Aaahhhh, the best laid plans. Eight months into the search and I got zilch, except this pesky little job that keeps demanding my attention. I'm starting to think I'm not deserving of much more. Yes, I know I have the skills to do whatever it is that makes my heart go pitter pat. But I haven't been a good steward over what I already have. No one can say, "well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things."

Yes, I have accomplished a great deal this year, and I made sure to put each achievement on my resume. But I neglected to cover the basics because I just didn't feel like taking the time to do it. Why bother, if I don't like it and it's not the right job for me anyways? Well, part of being a responsible adult is following through on commitments whether I want to or not. My company kept up their end of the bargain, they pay me. If they are doing their part, not liking this gig is not a good reason to not do mine. Just because I am actively looking for a new job, that does not mean I don't have to give my all in this one. I can't pretend that I love this stuff when I don't. But I can at least give my company what they're paying for.

Today, I took another step towards growing older, but yesterday I took an even bigger step towards growing up.

31 comments:

jailbait said...

Happy Birthday my love!

Cece said...

Hally birthday chica!!! I would call you and sing to you but thats more of a punishment than a gift..

RO'Neal said...

Happy birthday lady! Leave Chicago in one piece please :)

Through a Glass Darkly said...

So true... (as I sit here reading your blog post while I'm at work).

Tense Teacher said...

Happy Birthday!

What a wonderful message about responsibility; I would love to quote you in my classroom when I hear, "What does it matter anyway? I'm never gonna use this stuff in real life." Hang in there, though; you'll find your calling when you least expect it.

Jodi said...

Happy birthday. WHy does it seem all my blogger friends and i are the same person??? ~jodi

Solomon said...

Happy Birthday
That's a hard lesson to learn isn't it?

Rebelioness said...

Congratulations on another year and another VALUABLE lesson learned.

Love ya.

Charles said...

Happy B Day!!! People grow older everday, but it takes a wise person to mature. Happy maturity day!! That sounded so much better in my head...

Laurie said...

I'd tell you I understand what you mean, but I'm pretty sure you're painfully familiar with how much I suck at "following through on commitments."

I should take your advice. But you probably already knew that. ;)

But, more importantly: Happy Birthday!

tiff said...

okay this is too bizarre... I turn 26 today too!

jali said...

Good for you! What a great way to celebrate your birthday... well that and a couple of cocktails.

FLS said...

Happy B-day homie! Fuck the JOB!

Amen

Anonymous said...

Happy, happy birthday!

Count your blessings for your recent experience. I know that it may be a hard pill to swallow. I had the same dose of reality about 1 year ago...I grew up a lot and things are completely different now (for the better).

DSTcretion said...

Well Happy Birthday and yes u're gettin close to 30 but its ok. U can do just like most women be 26 for another 10 years.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Well, sure, happy birthday. But I think you gave yourself your own gift with what that post made you realize...

Jennifer said...

Happy birthday, babe. If it makes you feel any better at all, my daughter is only two years younger than you.

Yeah.

I'm THAT old.

Growing up is optional, but growing old, is mandatory. I wish I could remember who said that, but I can vouch for its honesty.

Lynn said...

This is mature. I am starting to feel the same way about my own job. You gotta fake it until you make it, right?

Diane Mandy said...

26--you make me feel so old!! :-( At 19, I started working in the dead end job at a TV station in the hopes of fuffill my real passion. Two year later, I got my first real break and was managing my own group at the very same company at 21. I've moved and changed jobs a few times since, but for the last 18 years have always ended up working in my desired field. Don't give up on your dream. You are very bright and talented, I have to think that with a little effort on your part, you will get noticed.

nikki said...

happy birthday!

this was a truly awesome post. i'm in the same situation. thanks for reminding me of my responsibilities. bottom line is that in that arena, i am a reflection of what i do. right now they're getting the "token negro who don't give a crap" chick. i gotta do better.

congrats on growing up. i just did, too.

Serena said...

Happy belated birthday. Those are definitely words of maturity and think it's awesome you got there.

Ace Dawg said...

happy belated birthday my Sands...

i am so with you on this...i'm actually in position i like, one that stirs my passion (and i'm good at) but the compensation is not what i envisioned for myself. inturn, i've taken an attitude of indifference. not towards my clients mind you, but towards my company. if feel like i deserve more...but i work for a non profit...there is no more...
i absolutely love that last line, and understanding the difference between getting older and growing up!

NegroPino™ said...

happy birthday

kat said...

Happy Birthday!

So what if I'm a few days behind? I have an excuse.

Elizabeth said...

Happy birthday dearheart!!!

Yeah, the job thing. I didn't start getting good jobs until I started doing a good job at the bad jobs.

Karma...or something like that.

Rebelioness said...

LOL...I love Elizabeth's comment. Seems that's all I read these days are the comments to your blog since clearly your blogging days are numbered! =(

You really took this maturity and doing your work thing seriously! You don't even call me at work anymore!!! Kudos, although it's to my detriment. I'm bored to tears here! Then again, I've been taking my job a bit more seriously, too...I guess you rubbed off on me!

Buffy said...

I'm headed for 'you plus four' this year.

I was 28 before I sucked it in and admitted to myself I'd rather be happy than rich.

I still get scared. All the money. All the plans. But I'm doing something I enjoy.

Don't settle. Even for the cold hard cash.

jailbait said...

Liz, I feel like you cut me off at the knees!!!!

I know you are trying to be all "responsible" now, but I neeeeed you!!!!(on myspace) :o)

Cece said...

Ok this has gone on long enough. I'm all for being responsible and an adult... but what about us? We need you more than job! Come back or be prepared to deal with daily phone calls. If that doesnt work then I will start singing. I hate to go there but if if its tough love you need its tough love youre gonna get!

├ůsa said...

Happy belated Birthday! And it seams like you have come to understand a lot of things on your own. I just want to add from my experience that doing a good job always pays off: even if you aren't doing exactly what you dreamt of at the moment. "It's resume building" is one of my mantras that have made it possible for me to keep going, even when it hasn't been fun. That and "I love pay-day!". And you know how people tell you to dress for where you want to be and not where you are today? That goes for working in general as well. Work as good as you would if you where in the place you wanted to be already. You are almost there! :-)

Sober In the City said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!!!! Can't believe I missed this. And this is the perfect birthday post! Reviews are the grades of adulthood. And you are so self aware to see this as an opportunity.

I watch your progress with great admiration.

And Jesus, 30 f'ng commetns. I am soooo jealous.