I’m a Circle in a Square (I don’t really want to be a part of this)

This is why I’m underemployed.

Julie X
4 min readAug 25


Photo by Kinga Howard on Unsplash

6pm. Rush hour. I found myself amongst the commuters on the train home, their faces tired and blank. A lucky passenger who scored a seat was nodding away, hugging his chubby backpack. He almost missed his stop.

It brought me right back to my commuting days so many years ago, reminding me what it was that made my spirit crumble so.

It wasn’t commuting that depressed me, it was the whole idea of putting working before living and working for decades until I either got rich enough to retire or too old to be useful.

I did not want any of these. I didn’t want to be trapped in a job I don’t love because I have to finance my life.

Do we have a choice though? It does seem like we don’t. It’s not like we’re born with a trust fund. Most of us don’t anyway.

I remember staring into my future and seeing bleak repetitions of dreaded Mondays and meaningless meetings. I’d rather die, I thought. All things considered, I almost did. So I left. I left my predictable and stable life. I left home.

Was it the job that was the problem, though?

I used to think I’ll eventually land on a job that I’ll love and it’ll get easier. These days, I think the job wasn’t the problem. Jobs that don’t suit our disposition are bad for health, but jobs that do aren’t bad at all. I enjoy being productive, whether at work or at home.

I didn’t hate my 9–5 job when I had it. What I hated was the fact that for 9 hours a day, my hours were not mine. On top of that, I had to put in 4 hours more to get ready, get to work, come home, and unwind. By the time I was myself again, it was time for bed.

The prime of my days didn’t belong to me because I sold it for money.

No, I don’t hate working, I hate feeling trapped. I detest the workday’s mandatory nature. I detest being bound by a contract and confined in a cubicle. It’s stifling and unnatural.

It didn’t make sense to me to spend the best part of 40 to 50 years of our lives prioritizing work over life. I wish it did, then I could’ve been a productive, responsible contributor to…



Julie X

A minimalistic millennial trying to make her life mean something.