The High

— Where did feeling empowered get me?

After college, I hopped around a few internet companies. The few places I first worked at were volatile places of work: the boss would have an idea one day, then the stats suggest otherwise and everything determined the previous day was thrown out. My work seemed so directionless and I felt like I was moving nowhere fast.

Finally I found myself at a online advertising startup where things were moving. Very fast. I had responsibilities for once. My work made an impact to the bottom line! With hindsight it's clear that impact relies on how the world reacts to the work. You might wish you had impact, worked as if you might cause it, and yet have absolutely no impact.

This empowerment I found...working late, feeling energized, I finally felt like I had purpose and place. And where did that lead me? Nowhere I personally wanted to be. I just found myself at another online advertising company after. And I have no interest in ads. But it felt so good to be in an environment where I could work hard and make an impact.

I'm constantly chasing the feeling of empowerment. Embarrassingly, I've watched motivational speakers on youtube. I want to FEEL like I'm moving forward with determination and direction. These videos make me feel that way and I want to feel like my work makes an impact. The feeling is as inconsequential as the feeling of tasting delicious ice cream. The high is intoxicating yet it has nothing to do with getting to where I want to be.

Am I empowering myself by being okay as someone who feels less than empowered most of the time?

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