Every Job Is a Love Story
“Am I romanticising it too much?” I thought before I started to write this story. Questions — they are the weirdest things. They make you want to have an answer. They give you query, they fill you up with curiosity, and then you can’t help it. You think, and try to find an answer that satisfies you. That’s what answers are — a satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment. You stop protruding when you are satisfied.
Jobs — it doesn’t matter what you are doing, if you are getting paid for it or doing it for yourself — it is a love story. You never start a job thinking I am going to be sadder, depressed, or helpless after starting it. You will be thrilled, filled with anticipation, and you’ll try to be your best. But, you’ll not find a single love story that doesn’t take you on a ride of emotions.
But, you know, you struggle with yourself too in love. Are you the one you wanted to be when you started? I can’t answer that for you, but the good thing is — you know you will struggle, you prepare yourself, you try to be your best, to fit into your expectations and job’s. The job does you as much as you do it and so does love. Tell me you don’t research, read, learn, discuss your work before, while, and after doing it.
Love stories they have a preparatory phase, and so does jobs. You dress up for it, you give it your best days, and you show up on your worst ones. Somedays you make it better, somedays it holds you from falling apart. Jobs — the magnificent creation that defines your life. Jobs — the introduction you give about yourself. Jobs — a title, a place to learn, a space to create, a social gathering and a business one.
Love stories are about hope. So are jobs.
But, love isn’t a business, you say. It’s always business, I counter. If you think otherwise, you have a bad image of what business means. No one does business if both parties won’t win. Love is a business, and so is a job. They are both a non-zero-sum business. And, like you can be bad at love, oh! you can suck at a job too.
But, do people give up in a love story? No. They try. They try to make things better. People come out of crappy relations and find happiness. Love stories start when you first hear about it, make up your mind, and go for it. It begins there, with hope. That’s what jobs are — a hope.
Like love stories, jobs shift the emotional tectonic plates deep inside you, and like love stories, every job comes to an end too. Yet, you exit a different person than when you started. You’ve changed. Whatever the reason — better offer, strained relations, losing interest, or my personal best — to take a pause. I called it my personal best because I think it’s essential to understand how important and trivial it is — all of it. How important for you every day, how trivial in the grand scheme. You’ve got to have both pride, and modesty both in a job and in love.
I started to paint. Let me repeat — I started. I am a person who never completes a book, who wonder about the sentences and lose myself in tangential thoughts, and sometimes when I come back to the book, I had already lost interest. It’s in no way a testament for the book, but the reason for my reading is to be inspired, and it served its purpose for the time. I like this way of reading, and I am fine with not finishing a book in a sitting or a decade.
So, when I started to paint my tea coasters with oil colours, I didn’t have anything in mind, and I wasn’t trying to make something that I saw or copy something from a picture. I just dipped the brush and started to stroke the canvas — my coaster. It was only one brush first, then two, then three, and it was a job. It was a love story. It was making me learn, making me try, making me comfortable with my instruments and my mode of expression. It’s good enough for me. I started, and I will show up again — again without an agenda. If this baffles you, I have been practising guitar for six months straight, my fingers have cursed me in inappropriate languages, but I still haven’t practised a song to play for you. It’s okay to not do a job for presentation.
You’ve got to have both pride, and modesty both in job and in love.
So, yes, we were discussing jobs, or jobs being a love story. If I suck at my job, and I am trying — I will improve. I might not be ready to take a certification course or score “insensitive” in a love questionnaire, but love stories aren’t always successful either. Not all love stories are tested to limits, and just because a story started, it doesn’t mean it will have an ending you envisioned. It might never become a narratable love story, like many jobs will not end up defining you. You might hide it too. But, eventually, you’ll have a love story that will start with hope, and end with a job that’s perfect for you, and you will not care for validation anymore.
You’ll do it, and keep showing up. Maybe to get an insight, perhaps to discover yourself, or to simply unwind, and it will become your defining story.
Originally published at https://www.overtnibble.com on September 28, 2020.