(This photo was a Halloween shot at work. The theme was 'the futuristic office', so I chose my future would be working at home, hence the robe, towel, cup of coffee & flip flops. I'm actually wearing purple silk pajamas from Victoria Secret in there.)
There was a time where I thought my life would only consist of a cubicle, dim florescent lights and a boss that would badger me for the rest of my days until the day I retired. Home life was all about resting. I didn't even notice the little things around me, like a beautiful view of the mountains, a hot cup of coffee to be enjoyed slowly or just listening to music, unwinding with a glass of wine. It was simple: get up, grab coffee on the way to work, sit in traffic, deal with bullshit at work, dive into traffic again, eat a quick dinner and go to sleep...do it all over again. I remember one of my coworkers had given our boss two weeks notice. One day, while sitting at the lunch table, we asked her why she was leaving. She said, "I got a job at another company where they're going to let me work from home. No commuting anymore!"
I have to say I never felt such jealousy in my life before. I don't believe I was even happy for her, although I managed to say, "Wow that's great," while wishing it was me. Back then, getting a work from home job was absolutely unheard of. Part of me didn't believe her...or want to. I took the next day off. I remember it so clearly. I wanted out. I hated where I was in life. I remember sitting outside in the morning drinking a cup of coffee and actually enjoying my surroundings and feeling so liberated that everyone else was at that dreaded office, even the girl who was quitting, while I was 'here'. I called in sick with a nasally voice. I just couldn't bear to go in there that day. It was definitely a mental health day for me. A friend of mine had come over and we both were discussing life - in terms of "quality" - what we wanted - what it 'should' be like. I complained about the coworker who got what I always wanted. She said one thing that stuck out: "You can have it, Deb. You have to chase it whether it means settling for less money."
The days, the months, even years that I chased it, I finally caught up to it. Of course, I was lucky enough to have available resources to do such a thing, but the most important part of it was that I was doing what I loved. And when you do something you love for a job, it no longer becomes a "job". While writing, I had to do something that actually made money back then. I did everything from selling my photography on this website I created. I then started working for a small art gallery nearby and a small bit of bartending here and there to make some extra cash. But, my writing career was building up. I still did little odds and ends, but at least these little 'odds and ends' types of jobs were something I enjoyed. I was apart of the art community, I was around people and best of all, I wasn't getting sucked into corporate hell any longer. I was actually setting my own time to go to the gym instead of waking up at 5am so I can be home a 6am to get ready for work. I didn't have to dress up in boxy business suits and high heels. I started wearing jeans, where my friends would say, "Oh...muy...GAWD, Deb's wearing jeans?"
Once I heard that, I felt like a human being instead of a stuffed shirt. Even now, if I have to go somewhere work-related, it doesn't require a stitch of business suit attire or even a nice jacket or dress shirt, although I try to dress it up with a pair of nice shoes & a top.
Life's too short to enter the rat race. I'd rather have less than the average person than to live 'well to do', with hardly any peace. I'm sure there's a happy medium in there somewhere, and if you're lucky to have that, then you're one of the fortunate ones. I was never able to seek that happy medium, until I started doing what I love - until I sought out my passion and my work became my love. The last few years I've been hearing of people having heart attacks at such young ages. One of Madelene's friend who had worked with her had a heart attack right in his car at work a few years back. He was in his early 40's. I heard other people recently discussing a recent passing of a friend who had a heart attack. Of course I'm not ruling out genetics and bad dieting, however, to live in constant stress can't be healthy. To never have the time to rest, take time out for yourself, to actually have a minute or two to enjoy the view is something that is so rare for some. There's a quote I read the other day. I'm not sure who the author is, but it said, "Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails, explore, dream, discover."
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com