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23 & As Lost As Can Be...

My Struggle with Finding Meaningful Work

Working hard is not the problem. Hell, working hard is all I’ve ever known. I grew up incredibly poor. My mother worked full time. My father was not able to work due to a disability, resulting in a low monthly stipend from the government. Needless to say, I’ve always known that working hard was something that would always exist in my life. 

My first job was at McDonald’s. I was 16, riddled with acne, and ready to start helping my family any way I could. I learned very early on that work was a necessary evil but what I didn’t know was how mentally exhausting it could be when what you did had no pulse or meaning behind it. Reality hit hard the first dozen times I was verbally assaulted by customers. Then was reaffirmed when being written up and reprimanded for minute mistakes from managers became the norm. I began to acknowledge the fact that the things I faced daily were all in the fight to work hard and help my family financially whenever I could.

Later on, beyond high school, I dabbled in other low wage jobs to make ends meet and was hit again with the same ol, same ol. It was reminiscent of a dryer cycle: pull yourself out of bed, clock in, dredge on with unfulfilling tasks, wrap up with little to no respect with the work you do, clock out. 

Even after graduating college, I still remain unhappy and out of place career wise. I’ve had more gigs than I can count on both hands. And tax season is going to be pretty interesting considering all of the W2s I’ll have to round up.

I don’t know if it’s the “millennial” framework at play or what but I refuse to continue down the same path of unhappiness just for a paycheck. Yes, I need money. I’ve always needed money. The drive to make more to somehow lift my family out of poverty has always been there but I’ll be damned if I have to continue to give up my soul for it. There has to be another way. There just has too...

I’m hoping documenting my success and lack thereof will aid in the development of my journey and my thirst to stop settling, once and for all. Hard work is not the problem. What’s become the problem is me doing the work for the wrong people with little to no appreciation. 

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