If I had to choose one word to describe my 2010 it would be endure. There’s really no way to not sound like a self absorbed, self congratulating asshole… but despite my ultimately privileged life, everyday of 2010 until late August was a struggle to find the silver lining.
There were days when I was doing work I didn’t believe in, working for people I didn’t trust with motivations I couldn’t understand.
Everyday I rationalized that this is what you do when you’re young and just starting out in the work force.
Endure, I would tell myself, be thankful you even have a job.
For awhile I got really good at highlighting the positive things, but eventually the misery took over. It consumed me to the point that I couldn’t enjoy side projects, long runs, or hanging out with friends.
I left. Without anything lined up.
I interviewed for two awesome jobs with companies making really big waves in spaces I’m passionate about. I wasn’t the right fit. And after making it so far and being so emotionally invested in the last one I lost it. I cried. I got in the truck, and I drove home to spend time with my family.
Endure, it wasn’t meant to be.
I took a job with a well-known company working 70 hour weeks & weekends, for less than I deserved, doing things that didn’t remotely resemble the job description I applied for:
But that’s okay because we all need to pay our dues. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty, and surely I’d learn a lot. But I didn’t.
This time I completely disconnected. It’s just a job. It’s just a paycheck. I worked while my friends went out on Friday nights and to the pool on Saturdays. I sat at home on Tuesday’s while they worked.
Endure, I’ll appreciate the next job more.
Sitting at a table in a bar with Caitlin McCabe, Ryan Paugh, Rebecca Thorman and David Geisberg at #SXSW 2010 I said, “I want to work in health care. I see a huge opportunity for social technologies to bridge the gap between doctors and patients, to connect patients to one another, etc.”
And so I networked. And I applied. And I interviewed on my days off. And I interviewed early in the mornings before going into work. And I tried my best not to bitch, moan or complain to co-workers.
Finally, a lot of hard work and preparation collided with a good dose of luck, and I was fortunate enough to land what has been a perfect fit. The conversation at #SXSW became a reality. I don’t have to posture anymore. I just tell the truth:
“I love my job. It’s the perfect fit for me in my life right now. ”
But I truly had to endure to get there. And I certainly didn’t have as much time for blogging. 93 posts in 2009, only 53 in 2010 so far.
So what does 2011 have in store?
I think my word for 2011 is going to be grind. I used to pride myself on working harder than most people. And I worked hard in 2010, but I was selfish. It was about me.
When I wasn’t riding the ‘feel sorry for myself, fight like hell to get what I want’ roller-coaster I was relishing any time I got to spend being back in Texas and spending time with friends.
But now that things have started falling into place I refuse to let myself be content. I’ll still see my friends on Friday and Saturday nights, but week nights I’m ready to put my head down, get in the trenches, and grind.
I have some projects I want to launch, plenty of writing to do, and tons of you I want to talk to and connect with. Seriously, send me an e-mail or a tweet. Let’s chat soon!
In participation with #reverb10.