I have a Dream Job. Or so I am told by those who think I do.
Understand me, I very much enjoy my life. I write and speak for a living. I travel the world (well, mostly the United States), seeing it by foot in many places, and interact with thousands of people. As a full-fledged adult (even if I don't act like it) I know how lucky I am even on that last point alone. Once you leave higher education, what are the chances that you will actually converse with more than 10 different people each day? You commute to work, work, commute home, then hang out with your family, if you have one. Getting out and about to meet new people is not part of that equation, for the most part.
Which is why I love the work I do. That is also one of the main reasons I do it. I am not getting rich off of it. My two books are well-received but have sold like one millionth as many as 50 Shades of Grey. My work is not without constant headaches. I am an instant responder in a world growing increasingly slow in response time. I am one who loves "persons" but cannot stand "people": that collective which grows exponentially in rudeness, ignorance and just plain self-centeredness as they increase in numbers in a single place.
The pictures of the places I post are usually done with my smiling mug in the foreground; the dreaded "selfie." I think it gives the photographs depth and cannot stand plain scenery shots. I am also not skilled enough nor do I have a nice enough camera to simply take a picture of a sunrise and awe you with it. And of course I look good in the pictures I post- I am not going to post the eyes half-closed, spittle in the corner of my mouth shots.
My reports from afar often tell about the wonderful places I go and the fantastic people I meet. Only when the situation gets exceptionally hairy, and mostly for comic relief purposes alone, do I talk about all the blech that goes along with getting from point A to B and back again. Standing on a concrete floor for 8 hours in a row for two straight days, answering the exact same questions hopefully in a new and different way, running fairly far fairly fast and then lugging myself, the rental car and my heavy books back to the airport to do it all over again probably 5 days later sounds fantastic, doesn't it?
Believe me, this is not a woe is me column. Like I said, the end product of what I do is worth it. I have experienced more than this small-town boy from Northwest PA could ever have hoped to experience in a lifetime. What I have done and what I continue to get to do are by-products of a ridiculous amount of work both athletically and professionally. I also know how fortunate I have been, as this Slate article puts it so succicntly. But I also believe strongly in the idiom that things only fall in the lap of people who happen to go where things fall. (If that isn't actually an idiom, I am claiming it right now.)
Which leads me to the point of this article (this is called "burying the lede.") Without a doubt some people on this planet are just going to have stuff handed to them. So be it. The rest of us have to work hard, scrimp and save and chances are we are still going to not get what we want or need. Unrewarded genius or hard work is almost a constant on this planet. Life is exceedingly unfair. But it is remarkably rewarding every now and then.
Dream Job or not.