Work is more than just money making


I have recently made the horrific mistake of rejecting a work opportunity I have spent the entire summer thinking about. My decision was informed by pure confusion, as so many factors were at play at that moment. I also allowed my emotions, once again, to take over me and ruin what I have been building for years. The story of my life. However, this time was different, this time my mistake cost me far too much to simply ignore it, both on a professional and personal level; this time it actually meant something to me. A lot in fact. There was a moment, a month actually when I was certain that I will never be able to recover from my mistake. It felt like the whole universe carefully crafted this opportunity just for me and I single-handed, out of pure vanity, throw it away, right back at it. The reasons that I have listed against taking the job out suddenly ceased to exist. Vanished. On top of that, I have lost my whole motivation to pursue anything else, even the things that just one day before seemed so important, everything I somehow convinced myself was my priority. In consequence, I shut myself at home, crying my eyes out, wandering aimlessly throughout the days that could otherwise be filled with meaning, pursuit and value, working in the environment that simulated my growth, exposing myself to new challenges, collaborating with likeminded people and boss I looked up to and inspired me. Everything I always dreamt about.

Why have I done it? I totally lost trust in myself, my reasoning abilities, and decision-making. Then I moved on to blaming others. In consequence, I stopped working altogether, I stopped pursuing all my others goals, I failed to fulfill my other commitments too, and I even allowed my 3 years of relationship to suffer for it. I paid the price. The worse thing was to acknowledge that it could be avoided, that life could be so much different. I had the vision of me thriving, getting all the benefits of the situation and collecting the fruit of my work, being able to rise to the occasion and fulfill the requirements and expectations. I did try to fool myself that the ideal version of the other life I could live right now, I simply created it to punish myself even further, that could actually not be factual but the ‘greener grass on the other side of the fence image I fantasized about. However, deep down inside I knew I f**k up. I let people down, I let myself down, I ruined the materialized results of my long work and dedication, I ruined my reputation, and I ended the potential future chances to be involved with that particular organization again. Awful, just awful. How fast life could change upside down?

Now, when I am calmer and I am able to think about the whole situation without bailing my eyes out, I ask myself “What happened and why?” The only positive outcome that could come out from that lost opportunity is for me to actually inspect myself, identify the flaws that keep on reoccurring, amend them and grow for the better. There is no other way out of it.

More importantly, I recognized how important is to have a meaningful occupation in life, a direction, an organized structured plan for a day, week, year, and a goal. I have learned the value of consistency, reliability, accountability, and commitment. I am also able to recognize how influenced I was by social media and the entrepreneurial trend of financial freedom. Waking up and not having a purpose, a meaningful contribution to society or a justification for being alive is a heavy burden to carry. Moreover, my work was a platform for my social interactions, a source of meaningful relationships with people, and a daily battlefield on which I gained more confidence, self-esteem, skills, and knowledge, proving myself I am capable of more than I assume. On contrary, here I am again, isolated with everything still waiting to be offered.

The latest event was also a lesson about forgiveness. After committing my mistake, I was in desperate need of redemption, washing off my sin of not fulling the expectation, the blame, shame, and guilt of admitting I failed. However, very soon I realized that a few months back I was the one who cast someone away and refused to acknowledge how much they hurt me removing them from my life permanently. I was the one who refused to forgive. Now, knowing the depths of pain and remorse, I was able to reach out and confront my own pain. It was the first step in healing and moving on with my life. In fact, I have learned something new about myself from the feedback provided, something I would never consider or refused to consider, but now I was able to acknowledge and take it into consideration. Indeed, I have grown as a person.

Another lesson I was able to extract from that lost opportunity was the fact that it is not all about me. As basic and shocking as it may seem, indeed, somehow I did manage to run myself into a position where all I thought about was myself. The cathartic awakening made me realize that we all are a part of a wider community, and our actions have an impact on others. We are embedded in the web of social relationships and dependencies, regardless we want to admit it or not.

I must add that people tend to complain about their work without recognizing the positive aspects of their professional engagements. Yes, indeed, there is plenty of room for improvement. Nevertheless, do not disregard occupational activity altogether. People have a tendency to moan when in if fact they are happier than they realize and gain much more out than they are able to admit. Don’t let other people fool you.

Another moral of the story is, the most important of them all perhaps: I have realized how much I truly love teaching.

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