Have you ever had a time in your life where you had to make super super big decisions? Or wait, let me take that back, I should probably say, a time where you were confronted with a situation that was really tough. I know this is beginning to sound like a rhetorical question. I suppose the easiest way to convey what I’m talking about is to give an example from my own life.

I’m at a point in my life where I can literally do anything. I can pursue any career or job I want and do it well and with joy. I have education, integrity, experience, connections and determination to do well in whatever field I go into. I feel like I’m a kid again and my teachers, parents and authority figures are crouching down in front of me, looking me in the eye and saying with a sparkle, “You can do anything! The sky is the limit! You can do anything you put your mind to. Astronaut, ballerina, fireman, grocery store bagger person, a fish thrower at Pike Place Market, CEO of Whatever.”

Kyle is Mr. Amazing and works really hard, so we don’t really need money and I could totally stay home and watch The View, Ellen, or re-runs of Matlock all day. But then I’d just start hating myself.
So here I am, itching to do something great. Scouring craigslist, signing up for temp agencies and networking with people I don’t really know, but somehow they know me. I’ve gone to a couple interviews already and done several phone interviews. Every time they ask me, “Why do you want to work for us,” or “what can you bring to our team?” I answer with eloquence, confidence and a smile on my face. But then I walk away from the interview thinking, “wait, what about what they can do for me?” I don’t want to be stuck answering phones, or talking with people who see me as nothing more than an annoyance blocking them from the person they actually want to talk to.

What gets me is that for so long I was one of ‘them’. Those people who are strapt for time, who have so much to do that they relish their sacred “free time.” Well, now I have all the time in the world and those things that I used to love filling my free time with, just don’t have the same flavor that they used to. It makes me understand now what my mom meant when she would say that “stolen food tastes better.” I used to think she was just justification for the Halloween candy wrappers I’d find on her desk or the missing M&M’s from my trail mix. But in reality, I think the concept of stolen food can also be applied to time. When we have to steal away time, we appreciate it and what we do with it more. Or maybe it’s just that I enjoy things more when I’m doing them to avoid something else.

Needless to say, I feel a passionate call to do something great. I know God has given me the means, the talent and the time and I feel I need to make use of that. So now, once again, I am bombarded by options. I can, 1. Get a temp job while I finish with the writing jobs I have right now, 2. Get a permanent job using my high-priced education, make lots of money and write on the weekends, 3. Scrap the job idea, volunteer my time to a non-profit, work really hard and use my extensive prayer request list to reflect my noble time consumption and impress people at church.

Another factor that loved ones keep pointing out is that I can’t sell myself short. I’ve got a college degree and I’m worth at least $16 or $17 an hour. My question is, where on earth do you find a part-time job that pays more than $10/hr? Let’s be honest here.

So it’s apparent, sacrifices will need to be made. What do I give up? My weekends? My dignity? My sanity? The benefits? The reasonable paycheck?

You may say, “Well, Missy, let’s simplify this. What do you enjoy doing? What are you passionate about?”
I’ve asked myself those questions over and over. The problem is, it’s just not that simple.

“It’s just not that simple. It’s more complicated than that.” That’s the point of this post.

That is what I’m frustrated with. I’ve been talking with older, wiser people and what gets my goat is when they say, “Well, you just need to remember that you’re young and you have lots of time. Why don’t you just work part time at Starbucks? I’ve heard good things from people who work there and they have great benefits.”

And that’s what I get for living in Seattle. Starbucks, like duct tape for some people, is the answer to all my problems.

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