The Pope, the President, rulers of countries and diplomats and celebrities – are all just who they are for a moment – until the next one comes along and slips right into their little slot that they thought was important. There’s always someone waiting to take your spot when you’re done – and sometimes even when you’re not.I struggle with “importance”. I’m an accountant by nature and I’m good at my job but I’m not stupid enough to think there aren’t a bazillion other accountants out there who can do my job too if I was gone one day. Quite a few of them would probably even do it better.
I don’t help anyone daily. I don’t make a difference. When I balance a general ledger, no one’s life suddenly gets better. If I were to say I was quitting – no one would sit down in my office and beg me to stay…because I’m not that important. It’s numbers people. It ain’t rocket science and even if it were – there are plenty of other rocket scientists out there who could fill my place just the same.I have a creative mind and a giving spirit but there’s no room for that in Accounting. So what then? Move on from a full-time job that I love that pays me well and offers me flexibility and a million other things? Nah.
It’s the same with the 2 part time jobs. Accounting. Good money. My terms, my way. But do I make a difference or make anyone’s life better? Nope. Not even on a good day.And even if I had every resource in the world and someone told me to go hand pick my dream job – I don’t know what it would be. I’ve lived too long and become too cynical for those dreams. As a kid I could have thought of plenty – writer, farmer, artist, therapist, etc etc. Now the dream job is the job that pays the bills. The dream job is the one that I love but could easily let go of.
It’s not important – the “what” that I do…and therefore it’s left me feeling unimportant as a human – career-wise. I never set out to not be important or non-difference-making. It just so happened that my skills and talents dealt with numbers and not choosing that path seemed like a silly move out of high school.I don’t regret the path – I just wish I knew in my heart that I changed some lives or helped more or gave more – daily.
There’s always been a part of me that’s wanted to be more and do more but I can never figure out what that “more” is. I’ve never had the balls to take the risk to find out. And 99% of the time – these thoughts aren’t on my radar. 99% of the time I’m at peace and content and know full well that my life is indeed what I’ve made it.
But 1% of the time something happens and it makes me question where I’m at and what I’ve done and haven’t done. 1% of the time I know that I’m not giving everything I can and I’m just letting life pass me by with the daily grind of jobs. Good, responsible, stable jobs. The kind I love but not the kind that make my heart soar.During this 1% time, I have to take a step back. Re-evaluate who and what I am and decide if I want to be something different. I have to decide if I’ll have regrets if I do nothing and just keep going. I have to decide what is enough for me. What I’ll accept and what I won’t.
So while this inner turmoil feels kind of icky for lack of a better word – it is good. Years ago I would have let these feelings just depress me and I would have spent my time just trying to rid myself of them.Now? I’m older and I can see the feelings have a purpose. It’s good to re-evaluate your life and what it is or isn’t. It’s good to feel a little inner angst because it can be the feeling that drives me to make changes.
I’m trying to sit with the feelings and decide if they are worthy of action or just a passing thought or self- pity party. I’m trying to decide if at my core I know my importance or if self-importance really even matters.I think we all want to feel important though realistically we all know our importance isn’t forever and when we’re gone our space will be eventually get filled. It’s a catch 22 for me – wanting it and knowing it doesn’t really exist.
I just am who I am – doing what I do – and I want that to be enough. Though I’m not sure it is.How do you feel important in a sea of people in your career and home and life? Does your sense of importance come naturally or do you have to work at it? Does it even cross your mind?