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I Can't Keep Doing This for That Long

Actually it was, “There’s no way I can do this the rest of my career.” This is what I told myself about two weeks into my first job after college graduation.

I was living in a suburb of Washington, DC. That was as close as I could get to living in the city itself. My apartment complex was across from a strip mall. The location itself was a no-man’s land of apartment complexes and strip malls. You needed a car to go anywhere or do anything.

I was getting ready for work. The apartment had neutral carpet colors and inoffensive paint on the walls. This made it easy to rent, I guess.

I remember walking into the closet. That’s when the thought overwhelmed me. I was about to drive 20-25 minutes to my cubicle. The office building was in another soulless area similar to my neighborhood.

Everything was grey and lifeless. There were trees around, yet it felt like a landscaped trick, to momentarily distract from the faux brick building facades, parking lot pavement and grey cement curbs.

My cubicle was small. It was in a single-story office building. From above, if you took off the roof, I imagine the building looked like a sheet of graph paper, defined by cubicles.

The cubicles were made from a pressed wood, dark framing material. The wall frames were dirty, dusty carpet-like burlap. The desk was grey. The computers were an unpleasant cream color at the time.

Wow, writing this evokes the same feeling now that it did then. The feeling was one of hopelessness and despair.

I told myself there was no way I could do this for another 20+ years. Yet I felt trapped. I had no idea how I could find a way NOT to do that for another 20+ years.

Looking back, I think that realization set off a small spark. I think it’s that spark that eventually became Just Rolling with It.

Today that spark manifests a feeling of excitement to ride my bike to my co-working space and get to work. Reflecting back, I almost feel ecstatic. The shift almost feels unreal.

Yet it is real. It did happen. For this I feel grateful.

I share this with the hope it may ignite a similar spark in even one or two readers. Please let me know if it does. If it doesn’t, I’d be interested in learning why too.

P.S. - This was originally published in my free weekly newsletter here.