Golden Handcuffs

When we are young, we chase the carrots that someone holds out for us.  Someone says, “Finish your dinner and you can have dessert.”  This is how it starts.  The carrots depend on what type of parents you had.  Mine were born during WWII and grew up with dreams of a stable job that ended with a gold watch and some cake.

If we get good grades, we can get into good colleges, and then we can get good jobs with retirement plans.  If we have jobs that pay well, then we can buy “things” – fine meals, clothes, cars, houses.  Those who make big money spend big money, and the golden handcuffs click, click, click.  The job itself often pulls us in – promotions, company cars, new offices.   Then the rules change, no more carrot, or just different carrots, and no one wants to be a quitter.  You were so close…  If your job is your passion, the passion is enough. 

What happens when the job that was challenging and exciting becomes just a job?  What about when working conditions, although not illegal, are intolerable for your spirit?  Can people make up for that?  Can personal passion outside of work compensate for soul-sucking jobs?  How tight are your golden handcuffs?  How much money do you need?  How would you sleep at night if you were at peace with your spirit?  What if your carrots were  joy and passion?  How hard would you work to change your life?  Do you believe in it? 

Each day that I write reinforces my passion and belief in myself as a writer.  Talent, effort, passion and belief are my four pillars of my goal of becoming a writer.  There are carrots everywhere.  Which do you choose to chase?  How did I miss the other carrots?  Was I naive?  When did I decide passion was not a top priority?  Maybe the goals and fears of an older generation influenced my choices.  It’s a no-fault circumstance that commands change.   Maybe a few perfect carrots are truly priceless, and passion is worth more than a gold watch.  I can certainly do without the cake!  Well, maybe a cupcake would be nice…


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