Tomorrow is Monday and most of us are going back to work. Work. Werrrrrk. An interesting thing, eh? Do you realize how much of our life we spend working and/or preparing for work? It can be depressing, especially when you get all science-y and look at the numbers. 1/3 of our life spent working!
So maybe we should rethink some things? This is NOT where I start talking about following a passion. I decided passion was bullshit a while ago. Because people do jobs every single day that are not sexy, fun, or cool. If everyone followed their passion we would be in deep shit. No, forreal – it is someone’s job to clean up our shit. Is that their passion? No. But they show up every day to do dirty work that in some way supports one of their passions, I’m sure. Also, passion miiiiight be a thing privileged people invented?
I tried figuring out my “passion” for the longest time. I thought my passion was food, travel, and studying humans. So I went to college for Anthropology. I dropped out after one semester. My logic was I could do the same thing talking to people and reading books and it was (almost) free. That logic might be insulting, but college was NOT the world for me. I tried though! I also went back for baking and graphic design. Thousands of dollars later and nothing to show for it I said goodbye to college forever.
I’m not going to get into the anxiety one feels when they go against the status quo and decide not to go to college. The world tells us that is our only option or we will end up at McDonalds forever! So what the hell do you do if you don’t go to college to follow your passion? So far in my 25 years of living people have paid me to…
- clear off plates and sometimes eat unwanted leftover food (dishwasher)
- organize children’s clothing (retail scum)
- make sure people don’t touch the paintings (gallery attendant)
- put fruit on sticks in fancy bouquets (food production)
- trick people into thinking they need said fancy fruit bouquets (marketing assistant)
- dance a waltz (ballroom dance instructor)
- take food orders and then deliver said food (car hop)
- make sure a bunch of teenage girls do their job right (head car hop)
- stir an ungodly amount of pecan pralines (candy maker)
- accidentally put whole milk instead of skim milk in a NF latte but serve it to them anyways (barista)
- create curated amazon wish lists based on DIY pinterest projects (??? not sure – was real sketch)
- sit at a desk and order catered lunches for very important people (office coordinator)
- sit at a desk and stare at spreadsheets (account manager)
- sell indie movie tickets (heartland film fest ticket seller)
- *organize classes where students pay with barter items (community organizer)
- pick produce and sell them to all the beautiful people of Montana (farmhand)
*The funny thing about life is that I was not paid to do this, yet it’s the longest (and most favorite) “job” I’ve had.
This list makes it appear that I’m a struggling actor living in NYC. Nope, only a confused Midwestern girl praying she finds her way. BUT NOW…I have never been more stoked about my career than now. Today, I work as a Facilities Assistant at a Montessori school in NW Portland. It’s something totally different than any of my previous jobs. I work in the trades world! I use my hands to fix things! I get to be outside every day! I don’t have to worry about what I wear to work because I spend my time around toilets and children’s vomit!
Do you know what working in facilities means? Because I had zero idea what I was signing up for. For the curious, facilities is anything that has to do with maintaining a building. This includes grounds, maintenance, janitorial, security, etc.
Working facilities in a school with grades pre-k to middle school makes it all the better. It’s also hysterical. I have this genius idea called “The List”. “The List” is my idea for a facilities based television show, produced by Amy Poehler, and filmed in the same style as Parks and Rec/The Office. It tells the story of the day to day life of a small facilities crew featuring WOMEN IN POWER POSITIONS WHO WORK WITH POWER TOOLS. I live and die by my work list. All day long I am adding things to a list: “make sign that says coffee cups are NOT recyclable”, “pull down fly trap”, “why is HVAC not working in the playroom”, “inspect sketchy homeless camp on corner”, “have talk with boys about peeing on walls”. Just last week a kid stuck his head in a chair and facilities had to CUT HIS HEAD OUT.
So if you wanna follow along my facilities career, I’m gonna start using the hashtag #thelistPDX on my Insta. Who knows? Anything can happen.
For once in my life, someone is paying me to learn things I am interested in that supports my passions. I’m still passionate about travel, food, and studying humans. But, I also have very specific goals of owning a small homestead and building a house. My passions now consist of supporting myself and sustainable living. I get to learn skills that support my goals working in facilities. And guess what? I’m going to San Francisco soon, I bake every week, and right now I’m binge watching a show about FBI agents who study psycho killers! I’m doing everything I wanted. This is my dream life!
What has your career path looked like? Do you like where you are at today? Where do you wanna go? It’s writing pieces like these that remind me how grateful I am for my life. That gratefulness seeps into my ability to support myself, so that’s what I’m gonna focus on this week.
Love you, friends!