"This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper."
Ends of The Hollow Men by T.S. Elliot
Some say it's one of the most quoted lines in all of poetry and possibly writing itself. It certainly is one of the most recognizable.
Those words have been applied to many a situation, and here I am doing the same.
When I last wrote, I was still caught in the euphoria that was preparing for my grand entry into the adult world. A land of milk and honey. Lavish corporate spending to make me, to make us, the new hires, feel special. Feel appreciated. Feel like we were the shiniest toys on the shelf of FAO Schwarz with dozens of doey eyed children pining for us. In the weeks since, things have changed. A mere week after I wrote that post, I returned home back East. I was excited. I was going to be joining my peers on the battlefront, courting clients, being the invincible warrior they made us believe we were.
I pined to be back East. The West coast was beautiful. It was fun, it was quirky. Sure, the people were slow and living in a hotel grew old, but now I yearn for those moments back. As much as I hated being in training all day with some questionable people in conference rooms with little real sunlight, it was engaging. It was interesting to learn. And as much as I did not recognize it as much then, it was fun.
Sitting in my cube all day makes me realize just star struck and manipulated my view can become. I lost touch with reality. The real world is not day after day of cater lunches, freshly made beds, clean wash cloths, and perfect 75 degree weather. It's hours on the phone, hours building hideously long excel spreadsheets, hours using software and tools you are told are amazing when in reality they make you angry half the time and work properly even less than that. Sure, the benefits are great and I nearly doubled the household income off the bat, but maybe I should have made sure I kept a hold on my expectations. Training is in no way realistic to the what actually happens on a day to day basis. I am not going to have brilliant conversations day in and day out. I will not have the luxury of having contacts and beautiful information to work with, bequeathed to me from my predecessor. Every day will be spent in the monotonous routine of figuring out what I want to do with limited direction and people who I can almost never reach even if they tell me to call them at any time.
I charged into the battlefield ready to take on the world. I hoped to dive into the fray with a bang, instead, I often find myself questioning and whimpering. Maybe I should have slowed down. Maybe I'm still stuck in the bottom bowl of the U-shaped culture shock curve. Not even three months in to my job and I already feel like I may have made a mistake.
I told myself and others, "No, no, I like doing this stuff." I believed myself then. I genuinely did. But looking back, I have to think, did I just say that so much that I believed in my own lie? It's hard not to sound like a whiny brat when I'm complaining about a having a job when so many in my shoes are jobless. Thousands of college graduates would probably love to be where I am now - employed, meeting my metrics, and being so close to DC. But I always expected I would do more.
I want my career to be in a field and with me doing something that I love, and in the role I am in and in the industry I am in, that is not the case. Sure, there is plenty of room for career development in my company, and if and when I choose to change my line business, maybe it will all suddenly be better. But as of now, all I feel like I'm counting the days until I can move on to a my next adventure. I will kick ass at whatever job I'm at. The only thing that I fear more than failing others is failing myself. I set the bar high for myself because I know that's when I work best.
So maybe I will have to bite the bullet and go along with the cold routine at least until I reach the one year mark. Maybe then I can move to somewhere new. Maybe then I can find that job that clicks. And maybe then that job will also end up being not what I was hoping to do. I may go through three, five, hell, maybe even ten jobs before I find "the one," but one day I know I will find it.
And I will wake up happy and excited to go to work.