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Forging a New Mold

by Cleo Jarnagin about a year ago in career
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Being Fired is Possible the Best Thing to Happen to Me

Yesterday I was fired from my “stable” 9-5 job. It was not a surprise in the slightest. In fact, when I was first hired they told me I was being hired with a group and my future with the company would be up to me to secure. I did my best. I gave them 100% every day. I showed up in my suit, I had a professional demeanor, and I worked on every task assigned to me. After a few months of this; I was completely drained.

I’m personally an obsessive creative person. When I find something I truly love, I obsess over it until I feel I’ve perfected or almost perfected it. I learned to make balloon animals when I was 14 when I was bored during summer break. By the time the next school year rolled around I had a small business. Turns out there’s a big necessity for “Balloon Contortionist” during peak birthday party season. Working a normal Office Schedule I don’t even have the energy to do laundry after work; let alone start a new hobby.

This baffled and perplexed me. All my life I was raised to believe that this is what I should be shooting for in life. A full-time, white-collar job, with benefits. It was everything my working-class father and stay at home mother claimed was the ideal. Yet, day after day I was left fatigued and empty. All I wanted all my life was to do something great. To go the distance, to be someone people remembered. Age, of course, has made me less delusional. Still, I found myself yearning for a creative outlet. That’s the real dark secret of Office Work. When you’re giving 100% day in and day out to a corporate job, you have nothing left to give after you clock out.

I tried at my old job. I did. It was just never quite the right fit. This isn’t the first “perfect”, “adult”, Office Job I’ve had. They just never seem to work out. That is why I’ve decided this year will be my year to break the mold. No more 9-5s that I hate. No more working to live. No more pretending I’m okay with never having time for my passions. All my life all I’ve wanted is to be a writer. I’ve always dreamed of having my own “about the author” section in a book. This is the year I stop treating my writing like a hobby and start treating it as my job.

I’m done being fine with being just “okay”. No more small talk with co-workers about the weather, no more reports “due by tomorrow”, and absolutely no more talk about how “crazy things are today”. I am ready to take my writing career and my life more seriously. That’s why I’m starting today by finally joining Vocal and taking more Freelance writing jobs.

2020 was a lesson for all of us. A lesson in the real world. I’m sure most of us learned that life is precious and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Personally, I’ve learned that I need to put myself first. I’m done living my life according to what's expected of me. What’s safe and stable is just another way of saying it’s restricting. I praise people that can live and thrive in that kind of world, but for me and countless others, it was never meant to be.

2021 should be the year we all collectively agree to just do what makes us happy. If that’s working in an Office then do it. If it’s working a minimum wage job, then do it. We all deserve to feel happy and satisfied with what we do every day. I used to think that people who did what they were passionate about were the lucky ones. Now I understand that they are just the brave ones.

2021 I hope you’re ready for me because I’m ready for you and I’m done living my life on the sidelines.


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Cleo Jarnagin

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