Something small


At church on Sunday night, the pastor mentioned that in all of his interactions with people of my generation, the overwhelming majority of us feel apathetic and bored. I know that I do – at least, very often I do. We’re all wrestling with the questions, “What is my purpose?” “What am I good at?” “What is going to fulfill me?” “What am I doing with my life?”

I have no idea. It freaks me out. And I have to admit – when I was 13, I wasn’t exactly envisioning a future of being several years out of college, single, uninsured, totally broke, and working a dead-end temp job. I must make my parents so proud…

On Monday, I had lunch with some girlfriends. One is a gifted freelance writer – on her own schedule, working on a book that is going to be incredible. One works with the baseball team of a local university – the lone girl surrounded by cute boys all day long. One is legitimately famous – all over CMT – gorgeous and glamorous and currently nominated for, you know, a GRAMMY.

And after lunch, I went back to my silent, hourly-wage temp job – the one that is rapidly sucking my mind dry, like that tube at the dentist that catches all of your extra spit.

It’s hard to not play the comparison game. It’s hard to not look around and consequently feel lame. It’s hard to not give into the voices that say that my life is purposeless. It’s hard to fight the urge to allow my circumstances to define me. It’s hard to not feel apathetic and bored.

But I don’t want to be too big to do something small.

I have a choice – to focus on all of the bad things, or on all of the good things. Today, I choose to be grateful for a job that pays my bills. For a quiet room to sit and write in. For no one hanging over my shoulder. For the opportunity to be in touch every day with the people that I love. For the gift of no job-related stress. For a bottomless bowl of office candy.

And… for the abundance of good things that I have going on OUTSIDE of work.

I have no guarantee that I’ll ever have a job that is fulfilling – but maybe my job isn’t SUPPOSED to fulfill me. In the meantime, there is something to be said for patience.



  1. bronzedshoe on December 17, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    You are so wise. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Anonymous on December 17, 2008 at 11:03 AM

    You DO make this parent so proud.

  3. Case and Los on December 17, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Your penultimate sentence= BINGO.

    p.s. If I were your mom, you’d make me proud. (just so you know)

  4. dc on December 17, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    wise words, miss Annie. keep going, and one day you’ll look back and see the purpose in the purposeless-ness.

  5. Greta on December 17, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    If there was a meter that showed the level of necessity of an Annie-and-Greta get together, today it would be MAXED OUT.

    I love you friend. I love you for your songs, and your wisdom, and your humor, and your wit, and your ability to articulate the fears and insecurities that so many of us struggle with. Don’t ever let yourself believe that there is not BRILLIANCE and purpose in exactly where you are at, right now. God is IN this– even in this silly temp job– and He is in what it is preparing you to do next.

    I miss you SO MUCH. Facebook message reply impending.

  6. Anonymous on December 17, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    I freely admit that it is selfish, but I am glad your work does not provide you with intellectual satisfaction, because this forces you to pour yourself into your music, instead of your job. The results are spectacular.


  7. I am Kate Maxwell on December 17, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    i work 15 hours a week at a video store… so let’s not play that game… at least you’re out there following your dreams, which is, as far as i’m concerned, is completely honorable and admirable and all that good stuff.

  8. Deborah Barnett on December 17, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    I personally turn to Isaiah 58:10 when feeling purposeless. Or insignificant. Or blue. Or… you name it.

    Please read it.

    It is amazing to me that the best way to feel significant… is to focus on someone else. But it is true. Only in Gods economy.

  9. Christina on December 17, 2008 at 2:55 PM

    This is a season. It won’t last forever. There may come a day when you will have a career/job that will push you to your limits and you will wish for the silence of the temp job. Take this time and soak it up.
    Right where you are is a step on the path toward where you want to be.
    The undesirable is carrying you to the place of your desires.
    Keep on! You will look back and be amazed.

  10. ShesThatOneGirl on December 17, 2008 at 5:27 PM

    thank you for having the words, when I don’t and just need to be heard.

    soo many times your words change my outlook on the day.

  11. giving up slowly on December 18, 2008 at 9:40 AM

    It’s easy to play the comparison game… many of my friends are getting engaged, married, moving away, getting real jobs and we’re only in our early 20’s. It’s easy to feel like we’re not living up to our potential – working a temp job or a book store. I think the best Annie blogs come from your experiences “outside” of work… your running club, your singing, your family, your friends, your love of wine, your crazy adventures, etc. You have a lot of potential, but you ARE going somewhere… I try to think of how far I’ve come in the past few years and it helps me stir up more positive feelings – as to where I might be in the next few years… I’m proud of you Annie, no matter what job you have – you’re still YOU. Wonderful, amazing Annie.

  12. Tad on December 18, 2008 at 10:15 AM

    There is something to be said for being patient. You are a piece of a very large puzzle that God is working on in its entirety. Other pieces have to fall into place elsewhere before you can move to the next step. It will happen though, so keep your eyes pealed.

    Also be glad you’re not one of the 6.7% Unemployed.

  13. Anonymous on December 18, 2008 at 12:23 PM

    i have to ask, who is the “One is legitimately famous – all over CMT – gorgeous and glamorous and currently nominated for, you know, a GRAMMY.” ???

  14. Hush and Such on December 18, 2008 at 4:00 PM

    I feel like this so very often- thanks for reminding me that I’m not the only one. I may not be living up to my potential as a desk-job slave (as a Nashville transplant who left Seattle to write, I hate the calls from home, “You didn’t move there to push papers Megan”), but I am grateful as well for the life sucking 8-5 that pays my bills. This time is soooo not a forever thing, but its getting both of us to where we are going. : )

  15. Ali on January 20, 2009 at 3:12 AM

    Wonderful blog. I’ve just moved to Seattle, am out of college, jobless, and trying to make it in a new city.

    I try hard not to do the “comparison game,” but it hits us all at some point.

    THANK YOU for a lovely post!


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