A few years ago I couldn’t find a job that ticked all my boxes, so I took up an office role. 6 months of working in a corporate environment was a revelation for me, my Dalai Lama. I tried to be all the things I disliked in order to find out who I really am. Mornings smell like new cotton suits and broken dreams. Every day I just become a little bit less of myself. My colleagues are the type of people I would usually avoid. I just have to camouflage my existence through boring conversations about food, children, our bosses’ shiny latexy red shoes. In time I get to understand that this is who I am without my gifts, my photography, my writing.
I am a boring human being who drags all her 206 bones to a job she hates, but that looks good on paper. I get paid to say things I don’t believe in and I try to get fat because everyone in the office tells me that I’m way too thin. So I eat a lot of fatty food because all I want to do is integrate. I want to be one of them. I have to forget all about creativity and just live a normal life, pay my bills and know what to say when the “food” topic comes back again. I eat, I sleep and I go to work. Nothing more, nothing less. My clothes get more black and my lines, well rehearsed, win undeclared Oscars. My conversations on things I don’t give a shit about have improved. The only time when I am being myself is when I’m dreaming. Slowly and gradually I fall into depression. My dad stares at me and says he never saw me so sad. He gives me 100 pounds to cheer me up. It works. My lie works for a while.Nothing else works. One day I get a wake up call that awakens all my senses. I decide to pay my client’s product from my own money. I am breaking the rules, I’m a punk in pointy shoes and cheap eyeliner. She’s old, doesn’t have any money left from her pension and just wants to talk to her only relative. I’m trying to be good and say my lines, but the procedure is so complicated that I might as well add “and at the end you blow down your top and you make the sign of the cross three times and also cut your hair on a full moon”. Forget about the system, forget about their rules. The only truth now is that this 80 year old woman is struggling to afford food, let alone a conversation with her only living relative.
The procedure is not inclusive, doesn’t think or care of all its clients. THIS is not genuine and I will not be part of it. My clothes are getting itchy now and I’m just creating a situation where they have to fire me, but I resign first anyway. What a relief. On a positive note,I learned how to make myself understood amongst people I disliked and most importantly, that I needed a job where my gifts, the only things that set me apart from other people are put to great use on a daily basis. To me, this was the case of photography and writing, but it can be anything from cleaning to a PHD. Don’t hide your magic, show it off. Choose you! If you feel trapped in a place that you don’t belong to and need someone to talk to, please reach out! I am now doing a job that I LOVE and would not trade for anything in the world, but it took years of honesty, compromises and commitment. Lead your way x