Then, I’m Happy For You
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
But, I’m Happy Being Me
If you’ve come away from the last two lessons (regarding ear gauges and neck tattoos) thinking, “But, I’m happy. I don’t want a promotion; and I like expressing who I am;” and you’re no longer in high school; then I am absolutely thrilled for you. I truly am.
This is great news for a number of reasons; though primarily, I am happy for you because happiness is, after all, a success measure that often eludes many successful people.
Of course, after sharing in your happiness, my response is simply “For how long?”
Putting aside the trust fund babies and all the great mechanics, (working) artists, (working) musicians, tinkerers, and craftsmen out there who genuinely enjoy what they do and can see themselves doing it well into their sixties; you should ask yourself “For how long will I be happy doing what it is I’m doing right now?”
For how long will you be happy making just above the minimum wage? For how long will you be happy taking orders from others? For how long will you be happy working on someone else’s schedule?
If you would like to spend your golden years on a beach painting sunsets, then working for minimum wage in your twenties and wasting your discretionary income on a lip ring is not the way to get there.
So, if you are currently happy, but you’re also smart enough to see that life is a long journey and you personally want more out of it than can be bought on a barista’s wage, it’s time to rethink the visible body art, the nose rings, and the permanently disfiguring ear gauges.
Nothing says “don’t promote me” like a neck tattoo.
Nothing says “I don’t date normal guys with good jobs” like purple hair and tongue piercings.
The shit sandwich you have to eat here is that everyone makes personal sacrifices for their own greater, long-term good. For you, this might mean some measure of conformity that you snickered at when you were a devout rebel in high school.
The shit sandwich here is to grow up – we’re not in high school anymore, Toto.