Live to work or work to live?

Today on my walk home from work I passed a young guy with long dirty blonde hair wearing a janitor’s uniform. He was on a skateboard, effortlessly gliding down a hill. He smiled at me as he glided by, creating a soft breeze as he passed. I imagined him as the type of guy who lives for skateboarding, that his job is only a means to fuel his real passion in life. He finishes work, hops on his skateboard and lets it all go. He’s the type of person who works to live.

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Meanwhile, on the same train I catch to work every morning I watch others as they take their daily commute to work.  Most of them are glued to their phone and scrolling through their social media accounts. Some women are frantically trying to finish putting make-up on and men are quickly fastening their ties. Almost all of them are lost in their heads, planning for the day, creating a mental check-list of what’s to come. Some appear stressed already and none of them seem as if they are actually here in this moment. We make it to Town Hall station and a huge crowd pours out of the train. I walk the same path I do every morning to work. I open the door to the office, scan the room and watch my co-workers hunched over their desks in their little cubicles as the faint sounds of fingers hitting a keyboard fill the air. I wonder how many of them go to this job only as a means to fuel what they love in life and which ones allow it to consume their life.  It made me sad to think about the people that lost their fire and passion and became a slave to their nine to five, usually working late and barely having a life outside of work.

I hope, like everyone else in the world, that I find a job that I absolutely love, one that is spiritually gratifying. I realize this is highly improbable because I have no clear idea on what I’d actually like to do and this kind of job probably doesn’t even exist. But if I ever find myself in a job that feeds my soul I’d be more than happy to give it my all. And if I find myself in a job that does the opposite,  I hope I always find time to tend to my fire and passion; to keep searching for something more fulfilling and never settle. And for those days when it feels like a better job is nowhere to be found, I will leave work precisely when it’s my time to and carry no residue from the workday. I will aim to be like the guy gliding on his skateboard, free.

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