For many of us there is a great sadness in going to work, for we must hide within ourselves. And if not hide, pretend to be someone different from who we are, deny being who we are – or at least who we believe we are meant to be. Work becomes a lonely place, perhaps, but for the a few confidants who validate our gloom. We sometimes even believe we’re different – the only ones who see things for what they are – the only one who’s pretending.
We may disengage, not minding if the cuff of our shirt is frayed – what does it matter in this place – glad when we are passed over, reinforcing the invisibility we’ve grown used to. We may become angry, our gait walking down the hall a declaration, the fantasy of surprising them all when we quit.
Our misery and anger reinforced, relating the day’s incidents to those we expect will agree. Sometimes these conversations serve us well, providing us with much needed outside perspective and offering a chance to strategize how we should proceed. But, more often, our conversations about work do nothing other than strengthen our discontent and astonishment that such a place could be permitted to exist in civilized society.
Perhaps we’d be most fulfilled if we didn’t talk about work. If we limited our conversations to the few times we were poised to make a decision and to do something different – the times when we were ready to make a change instead of choosing to endure because we knew enduring was in our best interest. Perhaps we’d be most fulfilled if we minimized the day-to-day experience of our job, and viewed our real work as the investment in ourselves for change.