First Steps on a New Path

“I’m done with the grind … it’s time to see what I can do for myself.”

I don’t think there’s a single moment in my adult life when I could have correctly answered the question “What will you be doing five years from now?”. I thought I’d step straight out of University and into a career in gamedev, before I realised that was definitely not where my strength lay. I thought my dead-end retail job would be a temporary stepping-stone while I found something more meaningful, and not a comfy place to waste away and slowly lose the will to live. I didn’t think I’d move to Edinburgh, find a temp job that turned into a dream job, and lose it because of mismanagement during a pandemic. I certainly never saw myself doing this.

And yet here we are. Because when my wife and I made the decision to leave Aberdeen and move to Edinburgh, we did so under the guidance of a single defining principle: “We will not settle for jobs that make us miserable.” It was the pursuit of more fulfilling lives that led us here in the first place; it led her to an illustration course, and it led me to what I didn’t yet realise would be the perfect job as a dogsbody-turned-number-cruncher for a chain of charity shops. When COVID-19 turned the whole world on its head, that perfect job changed beyond recognition into something I could no longer take pride in, so I left to seek (what I thought would be) a better opportunity elsewhere. That didn’t work out either, though I spent a while desperately clinging to it in the hope that things would improve. Finally I decided it was time to bring that chapter of my life to a close and concentrate on the future.

I’m done with the grind. I’m done with throwing away the better part of my waking life to appease faceless corporate executives who don’t even know I exist. It’s time to see what I can do for myself.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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