During my teenage years of dating and, I admit, my 20s too, I often found whoever I was dating never had any of the same characteristics I had determined to be intolerable in my previous boyfriend. One would always prioritize his friends first and expect me to eagerly tag along; the next would expect to spend every moment together. One would spend lavishly and save nothing; the next loved his money more than me. Upon meeting someone new, all I seemed to see was the absence of the unfavorable trait of my previous relationship – none of the downside in the extreme of opposites. I often wondered what was wrong with my means of selecting who to date. Intellectually I understood my pattern, but couldn’t seem to figure out how to recognize it in the moment. “I won’t make that mistake again,” I’d lecture myself. And inevitably I would. Ultimately I did manage to find someone who, just as me, is not perfect, but is imperfect in ways I can live with.
My 20-something work experiences were similar to my dating experiences, minus the luxury to leave a job the moment I no longer thought it was a good fit. A friend once commented that it seemed like I was always waiting for the next thing to be the right thing – the perfect thing. She was right. My expectations were too high. Perfect is tied to too many variables to remain perfect. If you’ve found your perfect fit, implore to a higher power that your understanding and reasoned boss doesn’t leave, your agreeable co-workers get promoted at the same rate you do, your organization doesn’t relocate doubling your commute, and you never endure downsizing.
Some days will be great days. Most will be imperfect. Fulfillment lies in finding a job with imperfections you can live with.