I’ve spent my entire adult life paying my dues. I’ve busted my butt to get by. I’ve worked in radio markets so small, they aren’t rated. I’ve commuted over an hour each way just to get my break. When I finally landed a decent paying job (by radio standards), I was let go. I got a master’s degree and walked away from my passion and started a new career.
I paid my dues again. I worked three part time jobs for 4 years, just hoping that someone would offer me full time work. I got another master’s degree. I added on a fourth part time job.
A year later, the 4th job did hire me full time. I was putting in 50+ hours a week, plus another part time job. My program was understaffed and I felt that I was underpaid. I was miserable. I gained 20 pounds. Eventually I was promoted again, to a better job. I am treated really well. They like my work. But I’m still not happy. Then came a random conversation with a supervisor.
B- “I’m just bored, you know?”
J- “That tends to happen to you a lot, doesn’t it?”
B-“I guess that’s what happens when you aren’t doing what you really want to be doing.”
It was as if the words came out of my mouth before I had even comprehended them myself. I think I’ve spent the last few years lying to myself. I thought I could be happy doing something else.
The crazy thing is, I’m actually really talented. It just took me a long time to realize it. I’ve won awards for my teaching abilities. I’ve also held the highest ratings in my weekend day-part in a major market. I’ve even done morning drive in a major market, albeit as a fill-in.
At 25, I had a “quarter life crisis” as I called it. I’m not sure what it’s called in your 30’s. An awakening? Either way, things have become pretty clear to me for the first time in a long time.
I’m done paying my dues. It’s time to blaze a new path and put my talents to work. It’s time to find that place where I can work as hard as ever, to bring in the ratings that I know I can. It’s time to find that piece of the American Pie that I’ve been working so hard for. I’m done looking for a job that will lead to something better– it’s time to find that something better.
It’s time to start playing darts with a map of the United States again.