One thing’s for sure that we have all learned, is that no lifestyle or job is a guarantee. Except for a few rare circumstances the days of working at one job and one company until retirement is gone. Recently a friend said to me, “Jennifer, this downturn took my job and most of my life’s savings…how could this happen? I was considered successful!” Then she just shot me a look and said, “One thing’s for sure, it’s time to get hungry, get thirsty, and go and do what will make me happy and make me complete.”
So there it is….many of us know that all the promises, all the guarantees, can they any longer be trusted? Will we ever feel that we have the job that can’t be downsized, or done without? For many years we all thought that we will do the job that pays the most money, regardless of whether we enjoy it or not, and some have found that at the end of that road is a dead end street. All the hopes, passions and dreams we pushed aside, for the paycheck that we thought would always be there, can just as easily vanish.
The great promise of the large 401K, the perfect home, and the mega-bucks job, for quite a few, has come crashing down. If you’re one of them, don’t feel bad…it may be the beginning of an opportunity that will bring you real happiness doing something, this time, that you love. Another friend shared her thoughts with me, angrily saying, “Jennifer, it feels as if somebody came up to me and stole my life’s savings and my home. What adds insult to injury is that particular thief could have been arrested…but in this economic environment, nobody wants to take the blame.” She added, “From here on in, I’m only going to do what I love, for a living. I may end up broke, but at least I’ll be happy, and that they won’t be able to take away from me.” I responded, “I guess you’re not only mad, but now you’re hungry for your passion. God Bless you.”
So many emails, all of them saying the same thing in different ways. What went wrong? I played by the rules. I wasn’t a pig. Something evil went down here. This is America, these kind of things are not supposed to happen, yet nobody seemed to know what was going wrong until it was too late.
I’m writing this essay to let those out there who have been devastated by this downturn, know that they’re not alone. You will come back, but learn, there are always shady people out there claiming to be looking out for us all, yet behind our backs, they’re sharpening their knives. Success can be the best revenge, yet this time let us try to be successful at what we love, and what stokes our passion. Why is it that many times we only find out who cares about us when we go through troubles? Maybe it’s a way to take a good look at our lives, at what we have, and what’s missing.
© 2009 Jennifer Avalon