What makes me happy

I was recently caught up in a 35% lay off after just eight months in the job that brought me to Seattle from my previous home in Colorado. This layoff comes at a particularly inopportune time as we recently signed a lease on a place that is expensive, and my husband’s job is laying him off as well.

The transition itself has been fraught with emotional challenges. Having only moved out of state once before, it was a scary, unfamiliar, and disorienting event that took more than a month to adjust to enough to not be in a constant state of low to high anxiety. This was exacerbated by having to leave my husband behind because we wanted to wait for him to find a new position before following. That ended up lasting seven difficult months before we said enough and we were finally reunited.

In my experience every traumatic event has as part of its natural course a time of reflection where we ask what could have been done differently and what should be done moving forward. A question in the latter category that I keep returning to is: what would it take for a job to make me truly happy and not just what I do to facilitate the rest of my life. To be fair, I’ve never felt there’s anything wrong with having a job you don’t mind just for the good money, there are plenty of worse configurations, but I at times like these I wonder if I couldn’t achieve more.

I’ve asked myself on numerous occassions what would make me happy, and each time I’ve been unable to come up with an answer. The break came from an unlikely place: a dream. I think the dream succeeded where my analytical approach failed because it was able show me the emotional end-game I desire rather than individual traits a position might have.

In the dream I was one of several cast member on a television series during the shooting of the final episode. Genuine laughter frequently filled the air which was electric from the intense pride and sense of accomplishment of having created something wonderful with so many friends, all of which had passionately and diligently contributed. It felt so good.

That is what I want, both in life and from my job. It’s hard to tell yet whether this revelation will actually assist in guiding me into a position/pursuit or not, but I’m hopeful.

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