As a writer and a former student of acting, one of the things I love to do is watch people. I don't do it to try and develop a new character. I just do it to do it. I may never know what I may gleam from others. But I'm sure it'll be something cool. That's kinda my approach on life. If there's something significant that I need to know, somehow it'll come, and I'll know it.
I think one of the biggest complaints people have about their lives is not getting what they want. Complaints of unanswered prayers. Disheartening stories of bad things happening to good people. Now, I'm not discounting them as simple complaints. Shit happens. Sometimes it does get in the way. But life must and does go on.
However, I think people get what they want more often than not. Hence the saying, be careful what you wish for. You may get it.
I'm never one to settle for just a corporate job. It's a volunteer sentence at an open door penitentiary. As I was serving my time, an 8-hour day, a coworker complained how slow it was. And indeed it was like molasses on ice. She brought a book to read, talked endlessly on the phone, took long walks during work hours to pass the time. She even requested extra stuff to do from her boss. Her wish was fulfilled. For the next few months, she was working every single minute of her voluntary sentence. She barely took lunches.
So what did she do?
C'mon. You know. She complained it was too busy, doing everything she could to keep her head above water. She wished it had been slower.
As she diligently worked, her work load lightened. It got to the point where she brought in her book, talked on the phone endlessly, and took long walks. And as all cycles do, she went back and told me how she hated having nothing to do.
When I started writing, I knew the one thing I needed was time. And my job was entrenched in sales. Not only was it sapping my energy, my soul really, but the job had carried over into my free time. It was even affecting my relationship with my then girlfriend. Then is the operative word.
I needed another job that I could let go once I punched the clock to go home. And I had found it. But it meant less money.
What was more important to me? Money? Or my writing? Not exactly SOPHIE'S CHOICE, but one that a lot of artists do contend with.
There had been a lot of people leaving my department. At times it felt like there was an exodus, leaving me behind to suffer religious persecution. So I questioned myself. Do I stay or do I look for greener pastures?
I'd asked them why they were leaving, and their answers were some version of the grass is greener on the other side: more money, prestige, upward mobility (climbing the corporate ladder), etc. But it seemed to me they didn't have any direction. Not that you have to have a direction. If you're not growing, then you're...
But they were leaving on superficial grounds rather on specific wants. People tend to regret those decisions. And leaving this job meant their problems would also leave, following them to the next. Since the constant in these problematic situations is the self and not the environment. People tend to bring problems with them. That's why women don't date guys with baggage. Not that I have that issue. Ahem.
So. Back to my choice. Money? Or writing?
Why not both? I made sure I could live on the amount of money the new job offered. So I asked for more, which I got. Alleviating much of the stress my sales job gave me, or I imposed on myself, my free time grew more peaceful, allowing me to create. I still made less money than I did selling mortgages, but my timing was right on. Soon after, the real estate industry crumbled around me, as I lived in the fantasy world that I am still writing about.
Be aware of what you wish for. You are sure to get it. Whether it's right or not is a reward/consequence you'll learn from.