The Calling

Several years ago, back in New Jersey, I walked into the casino bakery in a sour mood, knowing it would pass in a few hours.

The sour mood wasn’t uncommon- the casino job wasn’t the most rewarding gig in the world, and I griped a lot to Emily and my housemates. This time, however, the fact I was going to a job I wasn’t enjoying was secondary- there was other, external issues weighing on my my mind and, perhaps appropriately, I have forgotten what was so terrible about those days five years later.

What I do remember was coming in, putting my tools up, and chatting briefly with Karen.
“It’s so twisted… I almost find myself looking forward to going to work. Here everything makes sense even if it sucks, and I have control over it.”
Karen nodded sagely and said, “You’ll realize that as you move along in your career, Matt. Your family and friends love you, they support you, and they absolutely care about you succeeding- but they will never understand this life.”

When you realize that you want to bend your time, energy, and life around something- in or out of the usual rat-race, regardless of whether other people understand why- that’s a precious moment of self-knowledge that you shouldn’t ignore.

You’ve found your Calling.

A grayscale photo of a black womans hand in a sweater holding aloft a plaster bust of a serene woman's face.
Photo by Lisa Fotios on
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