“Bro, are you going up tomorrow. It’s going to be fucking Biblical” the text message from James read. “No, I gotta work” “Damn” he replied. I started working in the mental health field because of the schedule and the flexibility that comes with shift work. I got into this line of work because it allowed me to live cheap and climb heaps, which is the goal for all of us I would imagine. I found a love for working with people; I couldn’t think of anything more interesting to do for a living. The days are usually different and there is some sort of problem that we have to figure out. Also, I have quite a bit of practice and I am finally becoming competent working with our clients after almost a decade. And as per usual in a professional setting the longer you work in a particular field the more opportunity there is to “grow.” This is what I am having a hard time with, the “growth opportunity” that I have had has put me into a position to hate my career. It isn’t the work. I love the work and I love the people that I am working with. It is the schedule that I struggle with; I am sure that I am coming off as a spoiled brat saying “whah! I want more days off per week.” It isn’t just a want it feels more like a need. I do really well with long days I think that is something that I learned from being in the back country, it is no problem for me to work sixteen hours a day for days and weeks in a row; the benefit of working that way is that I get the lots of time off after that and I have the time I need to recover. Two days off a week for me isn’t enough time to bounce back and attack my work the way that I need to in order to best serve my clients. I don’t come back to work feeling rested with the ability to wage “war” against drug addiction and alcoholism.
The other thing that I find funny is when I have been sharing this with people they inevitably say something like “five days a week is normal” or “it’s gotta be nice to have more money” which is total bullshit! No, it isn’t. Money isn’t a motivator for me, because what is the worst thing that could happen would be I become broke and homeless which is just a climbing trip after all. Money is the thing that we need to go and do the things that we want to do; so logically when we have more money we get to do more of the things that we love. Right. Wrong, the problem is I don’t have enough time to do the things that I love. This seems like a rant, and I have to take ownership for my own behavior and the decisions that I have made that have put me in this position. I am in the middle of building out a van and I am working forty-five hours a week and I hurt my finger and I have been in Salt Lake City for too many weeks in a row and my life is to soft and I don’t suffer anymore and there is no struggle.
What if this is the new struggle and part of it is me learning how to live in a city and work a regular job and have a car payment and be in a relationship and go to school and work a “normal” schedule. The struggle for me is I don’t want to do what I am doing right now and is that because I hate my job or am I just over it, so should I quit and do what I love? Or is this the moment before dawn when the will be licked by the first rays of the sun and everything will feel new, is this the part where I need to bear down and stick with it to make it through and if I hang on a little longer life won’t change but it will feel sweeter and more worth living. I know that the only things worth doing are the hard things, things that make us struggle and question. I also know that it is hard for me to see past the here and now when I feel overwhelmed and stressed. Maybe I should give myself a break, maybe I should quit my job, or maybe I just need a break.