How Do You Remember Heartbreak?


On the drive home today, one of the many songs that sings of heartbreak, love between two drifting apart, came on. For a moment, I stopped my daughter from changing the station. The song was an old one, and it reminded me of a time past. But then, it occurred to me that, unlike the boy who'd listened to that song so long ago after a broken relationship, I was now a man with a wonderful wife.

Simply, what had made the song real for me no longer endured. That situation was over. For some reason, my mind made a connection between unhappiness at work and unhappiness in love. When many of us start a job, we start it with vigor and enthusiasm. Over time, whether through the result of failed conversations or plans, things start to change. One might realize that if there were sad songs about work, they might connect more with today's America. Allow me to illustrate this with a story I've seldom shared.

I still remember my transition from one job to another many years ago. My young family and I had moved from one city where we were very happy but where we had no extended family to help us with a baby back to San Antonio. On my first day on the job, I realized I'd made a mistake. The interview committee had lied to me about what was happening in the school district. I couldn't believe the breach in trust and my disappointment grew with each month...I was there six months.

When a job came open elsewhere, a better job than the one I had and more than I could have imagined, I applied for it. When I was selected for the new position, my new supervisor asked me, "Why did it take you so long to apply?" The truth was, I had waited until the last day to apply for a job that would change my life. I may have gotten comfortable with being powerless, with heartbreak. I played "Ain't it Awful?" with colleagues. That's when songs about heartbreak make sense...yet who wants to stay there?

Fortunately, that's not the end of the story. The experience that stirred me so powerfully didn't come until I'd been at my new job for a week. As I was helping a co-worker do something, and we were laughing at the joy of a job well done with others equally committed to excellence, bound in mutual purpose, a feeling I had for almost the entire time I worked there, I felt something funny in my heart. I'm not was like a claw had begun to release the tight grip it had on my heart. As that claw slowly loosened its grasp on my heart, my joy and happiness increased. I literally felt it.
Many become institutionalized in their jobs or circumstances. Some feel a false sense of security but they are not truly free. Andy would not allow grim circumstances keep him from hoping and following his dreams. This movie is a wonderful lesson on reaching your full potential by casting your vision and overcoming life's obstacles. Focus on your vision, don't give up hope. Get busy living or get busy dying. (read source)
It's funny that a song about heartbreak should make a connection for me about work. This past week, I had a chance to see a favorite movie of mine, Stephen King's The Shawshank Redemption. Redemption. Yes, I know what that word means. And, as tough as prison is, waits for us all, if we can only believe.

I believe. I believe. I believe!

It's just hard to believe while you're in prison, eh?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Jude said…
My favorite all-time cartoon about job interviews is this one from Savage Chickens because it summarizes what happens in most of the jobs I've had (I've given up on the job hunt; I substitute taught just enough to retire on a pittance, so now I'll have to become more creative):

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