One good thing about my job is the endless hours give you a lot of time to think. When I was sifting through hundreds of wet pears the other day, I spent most of my shift thinking about purpose. As my lovely coworker Julie constantly reminds me, you’ve got to remember why you’re doing this because otherwise, she grimly says, you might not make it.
My current job is to push pears on a conveyor belt half a foot forward and to make sure the machine doesn’t jam approximately every forty seconds for ten hours a day. I also pick out the rotten, squishy, bug bitten pears. I see pears the size of cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and as round as oranges. They can be white, orange, red and brown, but all of them smell like chlorine. Needless to say, it’s also very, very repetitive.
Julie’s mantra has me thinking. My purpose right now is to get my visa for another year in Australia. Every morning when I wake up, my purpose is to get ready for work so I can succeed. I practice this every day by eating good food, laughing, listening to music, making an effort to talk to friends and fam at all hours of the day. My world at this packing shed is very small, and it’s worth mining all the good out of this experience so I make it through the next two months.
And I can do it. Saving up, planning my next adventure. Making an effort to maintain the friendships in my life, be creative.
When I decided to come to Australia, I told myself I had a year to figure out exactly what the hell I wanted to do with my degree and my career. The question “what is my purpose?” daunted me. I thought pressing pause on my life and moving around the world might help. But with each passing week in Oz, I panicked. I still hadn’t decided what I wanted to do and I wasn’t making any personal progress on why I came here.
Until the lovely Julie started saying several times a day, remember why you’re doing this. And I was left alone uninterrupted for hours afterward. Remember why you’re here.
What’s your purpose? The visa. With the added joy of saving lots of money. For Ryan. For the experience to travel, to give yourself time. For the visa. For the visa.
By the time I graduated last May, I was on autopilot. I was fed up with planning and school. My Grandpa passed away as soon as I started my job back at the city. I was miserable and had no motivation about anything really in my life. All I had going on just sort of ended.
My life right now isn’t like that. My current job forces me to put one foot in front of the other. At the end of the day, I’m mentally able to walk away from work and focus on the next thing, which is a big improvement over my other jobs that left me a giant ball of stress. Now, I can focus on myself.