When I was 17, I went on a date with a guy that loved to stay in the movie theater after the movie had finished to watch the credits. We sat in the middle of the theater and watched the names of people we didn't know and jobs titles that made no sense tick by to a mellow soundtrack while we looked for people with our names, interesting names, or someone we knew. Although he was a one-date wonder, sometimes I still like to watch the credits on my Netflix movie roll by, just to see if I can spot my name or someone I met once.
That experience, although brief, managed to leave an impact on the way I live. People and experiences, even if they seem insignificant or brief, can change your outlook on the world and impact your life.
My life has been a culmination of interesting jobs, experiences, falters, growing moments, and a continued search for passion and other passionate, like-minded people. I've truly hated only two jobs in my life, one in retail and another in policy. I hated retail for the painful, meaningless tedium, and the policy job because I was ill-suited to the position.
Regardless of my dislike for these jobs, I still found some useful takeaways from each. My retail job taught me attention to detail, ways to interact with a tough boss, and that showing up early for work goes further than you think. My policy job was supposed to be a career that I loved, one that would give me fulfillment and joy; however, it actually persuaded me that I have no desire to work in policy, and I have a lot to learn about intended and unintended consequences in this world. What I learned was to do meaningful research, to not be ashamed to leave something that makes you unhappy, and that a good boss/mentor can make a job worthwhile.
In both situations, I learned a lot from the people I encountered and the experiences I had. Like my one-hit-wonder date, they left an impression that allowed me to continue growing. Every job and person you encounter has the potential to change life as you know it, and to bend your life path closer to where you desire it to be. I am grateful for the jobs I hated, even though I couldn't have imagined saying that while I was working them. I am grateful for that night at the movies with my one-time date, just as I am grateful for the experiences that are allowing me to continue to grow, change, and hopefully lead me to the place I want to be.