Katherine and I sat at a freshly wiped, diner-style table. She ordered a deliciously smelly salmon cake sandwich. I asked for poached eggs, avocado, a fruit bowl, and sunflower bread (progress!). We caught up on the themes of our past year, the celebrations and stumbling blocks. It's wonderful to catch up with close friends after a long while because you have the space and already established vulnerability to honestly reflect on the deeper things of your time apart. Then we checked in on the right now.
I described my copywriting internship, how writing about ridiculously luxurious Lamborghinis and pinpointing just the right style for Kawasaki motorcyclists are not exactly my idea of a dream job. I remarked that the shift from college to career was abrupt, from the mentality of edifying myself to the mentality of building up a company with its own agenda apart from mine. In my senior year especially, I poured thought and time and effort into crafting my own writing style, the hallmarks of my own voice. Now at my company, I had to shed that skin and step into one that felt dry, foreign, and honestly a little bit boring.
Katherine gently reminded me of the real skill the company work was strengthening in me: doing something I don't really want to do with diligence. Taking good care of someone else's agenda. There will always be parts of every job I ever hold that I dislike, and yet I will still have to do them. And if I'm honest, even projects I deeply enjoy can become burdensome and frustrating as I work through the middle phases. Stretching this diligence muscle now will help me immensely when my day-to-day work is truly my passion project. And, her words reassured me, to see these tasks through is the beginning of a life of unselfish service.
(pictured: two recent wonderful graduates)