In a move that horrified her spiritually-minded friends, 32-year-old Kim Lewiston, who resides in New York's East Village, decided to take a crappy job in order to pay her mounting bills.
The decision did not come easily to Kim, who's always been committed to finding her true calling in life. Nevertheless, when she found herself without the means to pay her rent or her cell phone bill, Kim began exploring options she'd never theretofore considered. First, she stopped buying organic produce. Then, she decided to take a crappy job.
"I know it's materialistic," Kim admitted, "but I didn't want to be poor and broke. I wanted to wake up in the morning and know my rent was paid. I didn't want my phone to be shut off. At that point, I realized that I was willing to do anything. Even take a crappy job."
Kim hesitated to tell her idealistic friends of her decision - friends like Lisa Jones, who, in 2011, left her unfulfilling corporate job in order to participate in a full-time yoga teacher-training program. While Lisa does not intend to become a yoga teacher, she felt that the program was the best way for her to immerse herself in yoga. Since that time, Lisa has avoided taking on any crappy jobs and has stayed 100% true to her dreams.
What she has taken on, however, is nearly $38,000 in credit card debt.
"I don't view it as debt," Lisa explained. "It's an investment in me."
As Kim anticipated, Lisa was appalled at Kim's decision to take a crappy job.
"I thought Kim had more integrity," Lisa stated. "Honestly, I don't know if I can stay friends with her. Our values are just so different."
Kim's former life coach, Pete LaBree, was similarly dismayed to learn of Kim's decision to take soul-sucking job with an ethic-less corporation. Indeed, LaBree's criticism was harsh and unabated.
"Kim has all the tools she needs to manifest her dreams. Visualization techniques, personalized abundance affirmations, the unwavering emotional support of her friends and mentors. I mean, for God's sake, Tony Robbins is holding a 4-day empowerment conference right here in New York next week! Kim has SO many options, and yet she chose this. I'm disappointed. Very, very disappointed. In many ways, this feels like a personal betrayal."
Kim, on the other hand, claims she hasn't betrayed anyone, including her own dreams.
"As I see it, the spirit is like fire. As long as you manage to keep a tiny spark alive, you'll be all right in the end."
That being said, Kim is not exactly proud of her decision.
"What can I say? Tough times taught me a lot about myself. That I'm willing to forsake all my moral principles and take a crappy job at a planet-killing corporation in order to pay the rent. But I do still believe in doing work that contributes to the well-being of everyone in the universe. I haven't lost sight of that. Well, okay, maybe it's out of sight, but not out of mind."
What's life like for Kim now that she has a crappy job?
Her day begins with a 40-minute rush-hour commute to Midtown Manhattan, involving an 8-minute walk to the subway station along sidewalks crowded with frenzied New Yorkers on their way to their own crappy jobs, followed by a rather tricky train connection at Union Square Station.
The subway ride itself is no piece of cake, either.
"Sometimes, the trains are delayed," says Kim. "Usually I don't get a seat, and sometimes people jostle me. But I don't take it personally. They're all carrying their own loads."
As for the crap-work itself? Kim doesn't sugarcoat her description.
"Lots of sitting around at a computer, doing work that's kind of stupid and pointless for like 8 or 9 hours a day. With a supervisor who doesn't treat me with a ton of respect."
And the grand finale? An evening version of her morning commute.
Kim says that she gets along with her coworkers but doesn't really have much in common with them.
"It's great that they're living out their dream to work for a heartless corporation in Times Square, and that they're okay with doing meaningless work just for money. But me, I'm different. I want to do something real, something important, something that matters. Maybe something to do with writing. So I like them, but we're just different.
And yet, Kim seeks to bring a new energy to her workplace.
"I'm hoping I can serve as a power of example to the people I work with. That they'll see something in me that inspires them to think a little bigger, beyond their crappy jobs. To dream."
Clearly, Kim's spark is still alive.