I never had a clear idea of what my career would look like – not until I was five years into it, if I’m being entirely truthful. After university, I remember telling people I didn’t care what I did for work – as long as I didn’t have to spend all day on my feet in heels. It’s not that I’m undemanding. (Far from it, in fact.) But I’ve always known that my dream job, bestselling novelist living in Paris, is a bit too specific to be realistic. And when you can’t have what you really want, it’s easy to make the decision to settle for whatever comes along.
This isn’t a lead up to a post about career dissatisfaction. Quite the contrary – I’ve been lucky to discover, over the course of my career, that I have an unexpected interest in medicine. And that my writing skills are transferable to any field but particularly helpful in scenarios that require me to be extremely clear. Like, for example, when I have to explain to someone why they aren’t entitled to sick pay. The thing is, although I didn’t know what my career would look like before it started, I had an idea of what it wouldn’t be. And I never imagined I would spend my days in an endless series of difficult conversations.
I spent most of my teen years avoiding difficult conversations. I spent time with friends I’d grown apart from because I couldn’t face telling them how I felt. As much as I hate to admit it, I also dated boys I didn’t really like because I was afraid of what they’d think of me if I said no. In retrospect, I don’t know what I was afraid of. It seems so silly now, to think I preferred my own unhappiness to the idea of delivering an unpleasant truth.
That isn’t to say I relish difficult conversations. This subject is on my mind because, as I type this, I am on call. An addict I work with has been hearing God’s voice. In the past twenty-four hours, God had told him to do some destructive things. When I confront him about this, and about the fact that it likely happened because he has been using drugs again, it won’t be fun for anyone. There will be denial. And probably tears. But I can’t confront him until I hear from him. And right now, I don’t know where he might be.
I hate working late. But occasionally, it’s the only thing I can do. And it’s in those moments, when my work actually feels urgent and important, that I think back on my fear of difficult conversations. I took an unusual path to get to where I am now. I speak my mind more often on a daily basis than I did in all four years I spent in high school. And it’s the best thing, even – no, especially when it’s hard. Nothing worth doing is easy. Some days it is exhausting being the perpetual bearer of bad news. But I can’t imagine a quieter life now. I can’t imagine I ever thought I would be satisfied just pushing papers. Difficult conversations are the most interesting ones, after all.
#uniqlo #massimodutti #aldo #andotherstories #yogajeans