i’m not sure if it’s normal for one’s feelings about one’s work to oscillate so much, to waver between such extremes. for the majority of the last few weeks, i haven’t enjoyed it. the commute, the slowness, and the crazy amounts of office drama (and accompanying stomach problems) have all made it a less-than-savory place to be, but i suspect that these things cloud over my perception of the work itself. do i hate the work? or do i just hate being at work?
there are many, many days when i loathe my job. days when i drive home and dream of every other occupation that i would find more enjoyable (including retail); days when i swear that i will never, ever work in an office from 8-5 ever again after this year is over; days when i look at my coworkers and wonder how i could possibly get excited about doing what they do. and there’s at least one day every week when i feel like i never want to go back, ever.
but then there are moments when i love it — moments when it is truly transcendent, when it connects and flows perfectly and seamlessly, and i think, “you know, maybe i could do this….”
i love and hate these moments. i love them for the obvious reasons; i hate them because they make me reconsider how much i dislike the work. and i’m highly skeptical of them. i was once in a terrible relationship that i generally recognized as terrible and described to others as such — but in spite of that, i stayed in it for months, because i was buoyed by these little moments when things would be good, and i would think, “you know, maybe this is okay….” those moments only carried me for so long, but still, they were able to lull me into complacency for a substantial amount of time. i wonder if the same thing is going on here… or if in actuality i do love the work and i just hate the circumstances in which i’m doing it.
i find that i’m conflicted about the work in other ways, too. on one hand, when i think about staying long-term at my current workplace, i think, “no, too small… i wouldn’t feel like i was impacting enough people.” yet when i think about the most meaningful work i’ve ever done, i always come back to the small groups that i’ve led, where i was investing deeply into the lives of approximately 8 people. even now, i think i would love doing that kind of thing full-time. thus, i find that i simultaneously want to impact 1. a very wide audience and 2. a very tiny one, in a profound way.
maybe i would be satisfied with either one or the other — lots of breadth or lots of depth. but right now, with the nature of my work, i feel like i have neither; i’m impacting a very small group of people for a very limited amount of time. the time i have with them is meaningful, no doubt, but i wish i could be involved in their lives in a more protracted way, or that i could be working with more people.
i get the sense that these are questions i’m going to be wrestling with all year, and i’ll spend most of the year sliding up and down the continuum of possible feelings. mmmph.