The first three weekdays of your life start the same. You wake up with itchy eyes and while holding your stiff lower back, brush your teeth. You walk down the hall of your new home and head to the kitchen. It’s time for your dog to eat. After he scarfs down his food, it’s time to clean his teeth, wash his face and brush his coat. It would be nice to just sit down on the couch, watch some infomercials and go back to sleep but that’s not happening today.
You head down the hall to your home office. Every day you enter a space similar to this, no matter where you have lived, and you have done this for the past 20 years. You clock in for the day as you aimlessly sift through emails and work day plans.
This has been your life for 20 years because you can’t live in a nice home while taking care of an adult disabled son for the rest of his life if you don’t work. You think of your adult ASD son and pray every day he makes better decisions than you because something must break the cycle.
You stare at the monitors and wonder if this is all that life has to offer and as the hours go by, you slowly feel your career sucking the life out of you. But you are in a tight spot. Someone must pay bills; people have to eat and nothing in life is free.
You think of the lottery winners half your age and ask where did you go wrong. There are days that seem hopeless, boring and bleak and it’s during those times you look at your sons and remember why you do it. You suffer in silence because adulting is tough. Teachers and parents didn’t tell you that after getting good grades in school, getting a college degree and overachieving at your job that this would be your outcome. They encouraged you get a profitable career and work for someone else. Talk about a fool’s game. The lesson they should have taught is how to work for yourself and not make others rich. This is a lesson you reiterate to your son daily.
There are people you know who work for someone else but love what they do, but not you. You fell into your career by accident. Back in the 90s, it wasn’t ladylike for women to work in factories so you chose an office job and while you have learned a lot in 20 years, even you know there comes a time to do away with things that don’t work for you anymore.
In a perfect world, you would just quit your job and write thought pieces while working on the three books you have stored in your head. But the world is far from perfect. You have debts that could be paid off in 5 years but at what cost? You don’t exactly make a six-figure salary even though after all the years you’ve put in, education got and projects completed, you’re just barely making $42K a year.
The one thing that has always benefited your demeanor is that you’re a realist but yet optimistic that every day won’t be like this. You look to astrology for encouragement because it has helped you solve some of life’s mysteries. One day your ship will come and it could be sooner than you think but one must mentally prepare for greatness.
You’ve decided that while keeping your day job isn’t exactly ideal, it pays the bills but you will pursue your dreams as well and will take days off from work to give your dreams the time it deserves. Good for you, it’s what you should have been doing long before now but better late than not at all.