Deep breath. Settle in.
It just hit midnight here, and I’m alone with the city. All the tall buildings, the great ventricles of the city, have pumped out their last suited human, and are in a cardiac rest until the morning. Their lights have been left on, to compete with the stars, I think.
But the stars still win. The Southern Cross constellation is right in front of me, close, like it’s strung up between the Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton buildings. Like we missed a decoration when we were clearing out Christmas.
Rach said the moon was close tonight too. She texted me three hours ago, and said it was exceptional, that it sat in profile, all proud of itself for shining beautiful.
I missed it completely.
I think this is the part of life that breaks us. Not the late nights. Not even the deadlines. It’s not the hard work.
What breaks us is the pouring of our best hours into a vision that is not our own. It’s giving our best to something that doesn’t love us.
I’ll happily work all night for those whom I love, and who love me. I’ll pull an all-nighter to unpack an exciting idea onto a page. I’ll hustle so hard for those things in life I consider meaningful.
But, to put in hours of my day into a generic job? That is like death. That’s like pumping tiny suited bodies into my cubicles and letting them use up my best resources, only to leave at the end of the day without a word of thanks.
I’m with you, city buildings. I get it.
Sometimes you just want to fill yourself with inspired meaningful work, hey?
To know that worthwhile progress has been made this day. Progress towards a better world.
I think we should do work that matters. We should put a bouncer at the door and be selective about who will work within our walls.
“Joyful optimism? Come on in. Your desk is over by the window.”
“Grit? Take the top floor.”
“Prideful comparison? Sorry dude, there no space here for you today.”
“Love? Right this way. Take the boardroom.”
If I were that building, then at the end of the day, when all my people have emptied out of me and I was at rest again, I would turn on every light I had. I’d be so energised, I’d give the stars a run for their shine. And the great exhausted buildings beside me would start asking whether, maybe, they could borrow my bouncer for a day or two.