Several weeks back, I posted a blog in which I mentioned not having or worrying about a resume outside of LinkedIn. I’m sure that may have upset some people. Ultimately, I wanted it to bring some hope into an otherwise relatively bleak world.
All of this got me to thinking about the workforce, the American Dream and the things we were taught as kids. Then I started reading Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life.
“We’re taught to work incredibly hard in high school or college, doing stuff we don’t care much about, then find a good job, one with reliable pay, good benefits, and maybe a retirement plan. We’re taught to work a soul-crushing job for more than forty years so one day we might actually be able to retire and enjoy our lives for three years…” — The Minimalists, Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
When I was 8, I decided I wanted to be a nurse, and I clung to that dream until I was 18. It was equal parts freeing and imprisoning to know that I didn’t have anything to figure out about my future. But when I was 14, I started writing for fun. It came naturally, though I didn’t always enjoy the process. It became my passion.
People began asking me what I would do with my life. It seemed whatever major I chose was to be king until it killed me or I was too old to continue working. In the quote above, I left off a little bit of information I’ll include below.
“…(insurance actuary studies have shown that the average lifespan of a retiree is about three years after retirement)…”
It became clear to me that to live, one must work hard. To work, one must have a career. And so on. When I eventually mentioned considering a degree in English, I was asked what I would do with it. We are so entwined in having things figured out before they’re ever attempted. Yet this isn’t how the world, life, or any sort of good work is begun. I started – but did not finish – an English degree. Sometimes, I feel bad about that, but then I remember that it doesn’t exactly matter in the long-run. Because to learn writing, all I must do is write.
And the resume? I’m not too worried about it. I’ve learned that if I must fight to be heard amid the throngs of unemployed, the employer and I probably just aren’t meant to be. We won’t value one another’s sacrifices in the manner in which we should.
So take heart. Determine to be whomever [or whatever] you are. If you aren’t already doing that, please don’t believe the lie that it’s too late. It’s most definitely not. Take a breath. Dive.