I grew up watching a lot of my friends have more than me (cue my X Factor style sob story). Why wasn’t I swanning off to the US for a summer holiday? Why didn’t I get a grand for good GCSE results, why did I have to pay for my driving lessons? The list of things I felt entitled to could fill an entire novel. It *probs* will one day. So I grew up knowing that I wanted money to be able to pay for all the fancy, glossy, golden luxuries I’d seen other people have and felt like i;d been denied.
Even after uni, my first priority was making money. I’m sure I’m not alone in that, the impatience of wanting to escape the budgeted student lifestyle as soon as possible. ‘I’ll take a job ANYWHERE’.
‘But Hannah, that job clearly says it’s in the Midlands. Do you even know anyone in the Midlands?’
‘No. But I have to do this, I have to apply for jobs in the middle of nowhere because I NEED a job’.
Ok, so I never ended up in the Midlands, but my point is that the need for success, the need for career fulfillment came before anything else. Came before having those closest to me as part of my everyday life. Came before what would really make me happy.
It’s viewed as weak in our society to enjoy our home comforts. To not want to leave everything behind in pursuit of a big glossy career far away. But would you rather have a job close to your support network that brings in enough money to support your lifestyle, your occasional sunny trip to Greece and your monthly Topshop habits, or would you rather have a job that sounds like you’ve just announced that you single handedly saved the lives of 6420863 orphans lives, live in a house made of diamonds and own a cattle of 14 unicorns every time you open your mouth? Oh, but you’re lonely too. You have the dreamiest job but you’re a long way away from the people you love most.
Which would you choose?
My theory would be that it would be the one you didn’t have. We have an innate drive to desperately want what we don’t already have, to yearn for more instead of appreciating what we do have.
I’d pick the former. I’d take my glory days in journalism and move out of London so that I could surround myself with my network of happiness and support.
My people who make me, me.
We forget that a job was only ever supposed to be something that supported our families. Something that ensurde we had a roof over our heads and dinner on the table, not something that took over our entire lives and cut down our human interaction to nil.
Just think about it.
But if tomorrow I was offered the chose between a hefty pay rise or the ability to do my job closer to my support network, I’d know what I’d choose.
Because that 15-year-old may not have had the same pretty belongings as others, but she certainly had a lot of friends and a lot of fun (note: too much fun) and she was certainly never as lonely as some days I seem to be.