Dreams and jobs.

It’s Monday. And while, in general, I try to keep it light on Mondays because most of us are still easing into the week, today, we’re going to tackle something a bit heavier.

Here it is: I got a new job. (You may already know this if you follow me on Twitter.)

I know. I know what you’re thinking: Good LORD, Justine! Didn’t you just get a new job? Right after you just got another new job? WHEN DOES THE MADNESS END?

And I completely agree with you. I’m ridiculous. And, it would appear, notoriously fickle.

But hear me out. Because I really don’t think this is a symptom of fickleness. I think, in a bizarre, sounds-deeper-than-it-is kind of way, the fact that I’ve changed jobs so many times in the last three years is a symptom of eternal hopefulness.

Did you get a little teary-eyed reading that? Or picture a really sincere orphan staring you down with eyes the size of saucers? Gross, right?

Let’s back it up. Back it up all the way to about a year ago. Back to when I had a bit of a quarter-life crisis.

Can you believe it has been almost a year since I wrote this post? (No? Well, I recently found out the INTERNET is only 21 years old. So…time is a funny, funny thing.)(Sorry if I just made you feel ancient. I feel the same way.)

But anyway. Pretty much since I wrote that post, I’ve had this on-going debate going on in my brain over a single question: Does anyone really love their job?

I mean, we hear about these people, right? We read about them on The Everygirl and follow them on Twitter and see their obnoxiously fabulous pictures from their obnoxiously fabulous work events on Facebook and Instagram. The thing is…have you ever actually met one of them? Or I should say, really gotten to know one of them?

Because, in my experience, even these people who gush about how blessed they are to be doing what they love and having success at it usually come with an asterisk. You know, the kind that are attached to disclaimers like, “I mean, I never see my family, but I love it.” Or, “I can’t afford to eat, but it’s such an incredible opportunity!” Or, you know, “Sure, the rest of my life is in shambles, but other than that things are perfect!!

And then when I see things like this on Pinterest, it’s not exactly encouraging:

The thing is, I’m not ready to give up on the dream. I’m not ready to accept that everyone just hates their jobs secretly and there’s no such thing as the dream job, not really, not 100 percent.

The sincere-orphan-staring-you-down-with-eyes-the-size-of-saucers part of me is still hopeful that the dream job can be real.

I feel like I’ve spent the last three years trying to prove it to myself one way or the other. So far, I’ve had the job I loved doing but that didn’t pay me enough to survive. And I’ve had the job that paid me enough to survive but I hated to do. And I’ve had the job that paid me enough to survive but was so boring I could feel myself coagulating in my chair every day. But now…

Now I’m going to start a job that is going to pay me enough to survive (even, perhaps, a little more than just survive), that I’m pretty sure is going to challenge me regularly, and that I think (*closes eyes and holds breath*) I am going to love.

I just really, really want to love it. I want it to be everything I think it could be. I want it to be hard sometimes, but also really fun. I want it to not make me hate life. I want it to make me a better person because I’m challenged and enjoying what I’m doing.

Is that too much to ask? Maybe. But I’ll never find out for sure staying somewhere where all I know is that I’m not happy. (Although, as you may recall, there’s also a case for the concern that I will never be completely happy.)

I guess I just hope that the unhappiness, wherever it comes from, will feel worth it. That seems reasonable, right?

So. That’s a lot of feelings. But I guess the gist is that I’m still fighting for the dream. I’m still hopeful it can happen.

I start on August 27th. So I’ll let you know.

And just because I’m nosy…what do you think? Do you have your dream job? Does it come with asterisks? Are they worth it?