Thoughts on Work and Identity
Over the last eight months I have quit my career trajectory, stopped work completely, and then moved in a new direction. This shift has confirmed some of my existing beliefs about Capitalism, and has made other things more visible to me.
In a system where output and productivity are used to measure the success of the county, and by relation individuals, it is hard for others to understand why one would just. Stop. Capitalism wants to monetize all of your energy, mind, and body. And it can take a long time to deprogram yourself.
When I first started my break ,I had anxieties about stepping away from work for too long. Then as time progressed, I realized that everything is OK and that it is alright to just be a person.
During that time I started this blog, traveled with my husband, and made an effort to try new things. I now value my experiences and the ability to have work that I enjoy, over job prestige or money. In my current position, I write and brainstorm creative outreach materials, chat with volunteers, and get to work on small research projects. For the first time it feels like work complements my existing life, instead of overpowering it.
This shift has given me the mental space to pursue other things that I love, and set goals outside of my work life (like the new book that I am currently working on!). It has also given me the opportunity to deepen existing relationships and create new ones. I have the mental energy to go sit out on my neighbors porch after work, or walk through the woods with an old classmate.
I cannot afford to drop hundreds at Nordstrom each weekend like I used to do, but I also no longer live just for the weekend. I get up each day and just go about my life and it is amazing. I no longer work and commute for 60 hours each week, instead I work very close to home and have an abundance of time to myself. I can say that for me, free time and not having the "Sunday evening feeling" are true measures of wealth.