DON'T QUIT YOUR DREAM JOB
Few people get through life without feeling discouraged at times. Who hasn't felt like giving up? Who hasn't felt frustrated by life's challenges? One of the most frustrating things I've experienced is the search to find work that fulfills me and work that I'm good at.
I ran into a friend last week who was in my high school graduating class. I hadn't seen her for about eight years. She expressed the same sense of frustration about her work. She said she feels trapped in a job that she hates. What she longs for is to be a dietician. But the work she's doing now supplies her with a good pay check and medical coverage. She can't walk away from it to chase an uncertain dream. Yet the longing in her heart won't go away.
Like many people who are stuck in jobs that aren't suited for their personalities and abilities, my friend is totally discouraged and constantly frustrated. For the past two weeks I have felt the same way, which is why I haven't written lately. I want writing to be my life's work, but I've accumulated a stack of rejection slips from magazine editors and I wonder why I even bother to write this weekly web log. Does anyone even read it?
I considered stepping away from writing until I read a wonderful story, The Valentine Cat. It's a children's book that I picked up at a basement book sale. As I read the book to my daughter, I began to feel that the message was meant for me. Delaina didn't seem as interested.
The story is about a young man named Tell who gives up on his hope of being an artist because no one would buy his paintings. To pay the bills, he goes to work for a shoemaker. Every night Tell walked home from his job with his head down and a weary look on his face. But when he finds a half-frozen cat in the street and takes it home, his spirits are lifted and he's inspired to paint once again.
To make a long story short, the cat plays a part in leading a royal princess to Tell's home where she sees his wall paintings and falls in love with his work. Tell moves to the Royal palace and works for the rest of his life as a painter, happily painting every wall in the castle.
I guess the moral of the story is: Never give up on your dream because you never know when a breakthrough might be right around the corner. When you're passionate about something, you'll do it without pay and whether people notice or not. You'll do it without encouragement or praise. Pursuing our dreams makes us feel more alive. It puts a spark in our eyes and a spring to our step. We have to find ways to work toward those inner longings called dreams.
Tell was miserable when he stopped pursuing his passion. Then he made a decision that eventually changed his life: "If I can't be an artist to please the world, I'll be an artist to please myself."