Stick the Landing

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You can check out anytime you like,
but you can never leave…

– The Eagles

Have you ever noticed that the people who talk about chasing dreams are always the ones who have already caught them?

I find this sort of hindsight optimism annoying and beyond unhelpful. It seems to suggest that, if we have a job we don’t love, every minute of every day, that we have somehow sold out. We “gave up on the Dream.” We have failed ourselves, the men and women who gave us life, and everyone else besides. Thank you, and goodnight!

Bullshit.

Life ain’t like that. You know it; I know it. All us real people know it. Sometimes life gives you lemons; more often, it shoves them down your throat. You try making lemonade when you’re choking on citrus.

It’s easy to spout pontifical when you don’t have to con yourself into believing in what you do. Any fool can appreciate the rewarding aspects of his work when it actually is rewarding.

Anyone can work hard when she feels like she’s “hardly working.” (Such a clever phrase…)

The true hero is the one who thrives in a job he hates. This is the definition of work ethic: getting up every day, going to a job that clogs the pores, melts the brain, and kills the soul, and still giving that occupational bit of cowpie everything you’ve got. The miserable worker who does good work anyway. The one who decides to be all she can be even though no one seems to care who she is.

That’s the real world: the one where you don’t have time for chasing dreams because the reality is too busy chasing you.

Don’t get me wrong: on my best days, I’m thrilled for the lucky few who find that “perfect job.” But most of us…?

Most of us are lucky if we stick the landing.

 

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