I feel like a walking zombie.
I work full time in an office and have done so for around 8 months. About 6 hours into my 8 hour day I legitimately feel like a walking zombie. How can anyone still think straight after being indoors, in front of a computer, for this long? Previously, I’d spent my holiday breaks from university working outside (for the same company I work for now).
Initially, working in an office was wonderful. My own desk space, undercover car park, no having to wear hi-vis clothing, clean (FEMALE) TOILETS, access to a microwave and instant hot water, and the wonderful, amazing invention that is air conditioning! A month or so in, the novel fantasy that I’d initially encountered faded, and the office life started taking its toll. I got pain in my back, shoulders and neck, and had to take measures to help prevent the issue (hello yoga(!) and work space ergonomics). I also suffered from regular sore eyes and headaches from staring at a screen all day. I also lost any passion I once had for the field I work in. Getting to see all the equipment in real life when I worked outside, and solving problems with a combination of mental and manual labour was very enjoyable, and made me love my job. My brain wasn’t too pooped and I got the satisfaction of actually seeing my work achieve something. But that wasn’t the case with office work. No changing lives from answering emails. Plans I made would take years before anything came of them, and at times the work I was doing just seemed so menial and unimportant.
I missed the outdoors particularly in Autumn and Spring where the days were so wonderful, the weather steady and perfect for being outside enjoying fresh air and sunshine on my face. Being indoors and catching glimpses of the blue sky through windows made me hurt inside (although, being inside, away from the extreme weather in the middle of Winter or Summer, was pure luxury!).
But, I just can’t imagine someone working in the same office for 40 years without going mad. I was going mad only three months in. Getting up at the same time every day, spending the majority or all of the daylight hours in the same chair, staring at a computer, was really hard. The flexibility of university life had taken its toll on me, and I wanted my flexibility and freedom back! I fantasised about the talked-about magical land that is the work space at a company like Google. Free food, scooters, slides, flexible working hours and bean bags. I’d love to be able to take my laptop outdoors and work from a park on those lovely spring days.
Perhaps this is a “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence” scenario, and I kind of hope so, since I doubt there’ll be much of a way for me to get back into working in the field anytime soon.
So, I’d begun to see mundane office life for what it really was. Although, I’d like the solution to be to simply get a new job, I don’t think that is the case. I think I need to change my way of thinking. Making a difference doesn’t have to be something I can see. I don’t have to know the people I am helping, and they don’t have to know me. The reality that I’ll spend 5 out of 7 days working in an office for the rest of my life, is at first hard to take. Phrases like “do something you love” and “find a job you’re super passionate about” were what drowned my expectations as a child. The false reality I was sold was a lie, that is still being told to this generation. Yes, I believe it is possible to find a job you really love, but for me, and many others, perhaps work is just simply that; Work. Perhaps, I will never really “love” coming in to work everyday. But that’s okay, because work is just work, and as long as it makes sure I can pay the bills and doesn’t make me depressed, I will keep working. I’ll probably change jobs eventually, but I hope that I’ll reminding myself that it’s okay. The answer to my happiness isn’t at the Google offices or even working outdoors. I think my contentment is found in what Jesus Christ did for me, when He died in my place on the cross, so that I could have eternal life, and not in my job.
Overtime, I hope to grow to some-what enjoy what I do, and realise the value my job has for society. There could be many lives I save and people I help, that I’ll never know about.
Everything is okay, even if right now I feel like a character out of the walking dead.
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