I was sitting there, in the park, one late evening. Pondering why I couldn't make up my mind. I was confused. Confused about life, confused about my work situation, and unhappy with the way things were.
But they weren't so bad if I were to be honest.
I have a great job, working as a freelance video editor, sitting in nice Cafes, sipping on my green tea, while doing my cutting, trimming, and editing!
But still, for some reason, I am unhappy, unsatisfied with the whole situation.
I rested my head on the crumbling Autumn leaves and napped for a little while.
Woken up by the sound of construction workers, I sat up and tried to see what they were doing. They were taking down some horse stalls. There was a horse-riding event of some sorts the other day, and I guess it was time to pack it all up and leave.
One by one the mental fences came down, one man holding the fence on each side, and then down onto the forklift it went. I stayed there just watching as it all unfolded.
A thought began to surface in my head, “these men are working, and they’re working hard”. I could see that they were breaking a sweat, but their faces showed joy. They were cracking up and laughing, saying things in Hungarian, which I did not understand.
Their laughter brought back some old memories, from years ago. It was maybe five, six years back, when I use to do labor work myself. It was in the dodgy neighborhoods of west Chicago. I’d wake up around six in the morning, take the train to work, and work right after the sun had risen.
One day we’d hammer away at concrete, another we’d mow some lawns, the next we’d fix someone’s water boiler. Odd jobs, but they paid good. We worked three to five guys, cracking jokes, f*cking around, but still getting things done. That was a typical work day. And after the work was done I felt good, real good.
As I sat there watching, I realized that in the past men use to work. Men worked hard. They didn’t sit around in offices, on cozy chairs, behind computer screens typing away until they got blisters on their fingertips and their eyes bled. No, men of the past worked, but they worked in the field, digging, breaking sht, building sht. They cut down trees, they fought wild animals, they built tools. But nowadays, it’s different. We sit in our comfy chairs, staring at pixelated screens, trying to convince ourselves that this is real work. But it’s not.
As men we need to move, we need to do physical stuff, it’s a biological need. If that biological need is not fulfilled then we start to behave in ways that hamper our masculine expression. We start to engage in behaviors that drive us to a state of depression.
When I think back to work which brought me the most joy, it was when I was working with people, and doing something physical. That time when I use to work at a Ski Resort up in the mountains serving food, cleaning dishes, and making beds. I had a team around me, I had people to talk to. I had a difficult job to do, but always at the end of the day, I felt rewarded. Or when I worked construction and had to carry those heavy-ass buckets with concrete in them, over and over again. It was difficult, but I felt an underlying sense of satisfaction because those fundamentals were fulfilled: being around people and doing something that required physical exertion.
At one point in my life I dreamt of being a video editor and working abroad from some cute little Cafe. And now, that I've achieved this, and have been doing it for some time, I realised that this type of work makes me unhappy. And sitting there, amongst those Autumn leaves, I realized why.