I Want the World…
I’ve found my passion in life: writing.
I enjoy writing fiction. I enjoy creating compelling characters and tossing them into topsy-turvy worlds that wreak havoc on their lives and then spit them out when they’re done with them.
I enjoy writing blog posts, like this one. I enjoy putting on my blogger’s hat and talking about self-esteem, self-confidence, life, death. Anything really.
“You must be ecstatic that you’ve found your passion in life,” I hear you shout.
You see, it’s great that I’ve found my passion, but frankly, most writers cannot survive off their creative works alone. In other words, they need a day job.
And that’s fine with me. I’m not the romantic writer in any sense, and I don’t feel the need to be starved and penniless whilst I write my masterpieces.
Nope, a day job will suit me just fine. That way I can write without the pressure of needing to scramble to publish and sell my work just to put money in my pocket.
Not when you’re an entitled millennial.
Here’s how the conversation typically goes inside (and sometimes outside) my head:
Responsible Me: “Why don’t you become a primary school teacher? You’re currently working as a teaching assistant, so you know what to expect from the job. You enjoy working with children. You’ll receive a steady income, and there is the opportunity of moving into more senior positions. Job progression, if you will.”
Millennial Me: “But teachers work sixty hours a week, don’t they? A lot of it is UNPAID. They work in the evenings and at the weekends. In addition to that, there’s so much interference from government agencies. And talking of politics, school politics is the pettiest politics there is. And what about those pesky parents?!”
Responsible Me: “I didn’t say that teaching was the perfect option, but it is an option. You must remember that you’re not choosing your dream job here. You’ve found your passion in writing. What you’re looking for is a steady income that will support your writing aspirations…”
Millennial Me: “How am I supposed to write if I have no time to write? Sixty hours, remember? I’ll be too tired to write anything meaningful. Isn’t it a well-known fact that teaching is one of the most stressful occupations?”
Responsible Me: “Okay, fair point. How about an admin position, a 9–5 job that doesn’t require you to work in the evenings or at the weekends? You’ll have loads of time to write, then.”
Millennial Me: “But what if the job is too boring, and I’m not able to get anything out of it? At least I could use some of the stressful situations in teaching to inspire story scenes. What is inspiring about an office job?
Worse still, what if I am not successful as a writer? What if no one reads my books, my blog posts? I’ll get no satisfaction from the day job and no satisfaction from my writing. At least with teaching you get some satisfaction from helping children reach their potential. You feel as if you’re making a difference.”
Responsible Me: “But surely the satisfaction comes from the writing itself?”
Millennial Me: “It just won’t do.” (pouting)
Responsible Me: “Why don’t you train to be an occupational therapist? You’ll have to complete another degree, but it’s a very rewarding job, as you get to make a vital difference in people’s lives. It’s a varied role with the opportunity to go down many pathways, including mental health, paediatrics, or working with stroke victims.”
Millennial Me: “It will take three years for me to complete that degree. Plus, I’ll have to do 1,000 hours’ worth of work placements. Where am I going to find the time to write?!”
Responsible Me: “You’ll find the time. You can write in the morning—for an hour, perhaps—before you head off to uni. Just like you do now…”
Millennial Me: “But what if after spending three years doing an occupational therapy degree, I realise that I want to become a teacher… I think I’d prefer to be a teacher…”
Responsible Me: “Argh, I give up…”
This is just one of the many ‘problems’ I have. (I’m sure I’ll share many others with you in future blog posts.) But it’s something that really shouldn’t be a problem at all. Yes, nobody wants to be stuck in a boring job, and, of course, I don’t want to do something that consumes so much time that I won’t want to write. But…
That’s life. Sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to do.
And if my writing means so much to me, I will do it regardless of how much time I don’t think I have.
Many a millennial has been accused of being entitled, of expecting too much.
Can’t think where people get such an idea from…
What are your thoughts? Do you think that Millennials expect too much from life? Too little? What is too much anyway?