And not die, but just get really badly injured so I didn't have to go to work for a really long time.
The neat little detail of being 'on the way to work' was because then I'd be able to claim under workcover, so I'd still have money coming in while I was in bed with lots of broken bones (for anyone considering the same, I'm pretty sure workcover no longer covers the commute, so please don't take this as a suggestion!).
So there I was, a 'lucky' graduate with a sought-after job in Corporate Reorganisation at one of the big four accounting firms. And I was miserable.
Within two weeks of starting the job I knew it wasn't for me.
I felt claustrophobic in my cubicle.
I hated the work -- I called it 'sifting,' and still recall the mental anguish it caused me to sift through old files to photocopy the important bits into summary files, and I couldn't see any work that I wanted to be doing. I remember sitting at my desk one afternoon, aged only 23, thinking 'it's a long life' (not even it's a long day!).
I couldn't stand the people -- one of the partners gave a lecture once on how to manipulate people (his words!) and then explained how he used these manipulation techniques to get his own way at home.
I couldn't be myself, as a laughing blonde girl doesn't get taken seriously in male-dominated corporate environments (but let's not open that can of worms right now).
So one night out in the pub, where I was spending far too much time drowning my sorrows, I revealed the bus-accident dream to a friend:
'I just want to get hit by a bus on the way to work, and not die, but get really badly injured so I don't have to go to work anymore.'
Now, I really hope you don't feel as dire as I did then!
But just in case you sometimes feel like your days are a waste of your time (and your time is your life, right?) I've got a few tips to help make your workdays better, one moment at a time.
1. Let yourself free from the cubicle.
I was stuck in the cubicle feeling miserable, and didn't feel like I'd ever get out of there.
So what action could I take? Get to the gym. Move my body each lunchtime, breaking up the day, showing myself that I could, in fact, get out of the cubicle and look after myself. Get out for a walk around the block every single afternoon. With the sky above, and if there's grass below, you're not trapped in the cubicle, even if just for those five minutes.
2. Find your people and be around them.
I spent all day with people that I didn't like. Then I took the free company drinks and spent the evenings with them as well.
But I love my friends, and the effort made to spend time with them was always worth it. So on the weekends, evening and lunches I really tried to seek them out.
Your tribe will remind you who you are, if ever you forget.
I also found a mentor in the office. Only a little bit older than me but quite a lot wiser, having someone to talk to made a big difference. So just one friend can transform the office for you.
3. Show up and do your best work, to give yourself a shot at better work.
I spent a lot of time sifting through papers that bored me. But there was one manager who I thought was alright, and he'd give me more interesting work when I asked for it. So I made sure to ask.
As the work improves, so too do your days. Do your best, even at sifting, and more interesting opportunities will start to come your way (but don't forget to ask for them!).
4. Look after yourself.
I went to Camp Good Life Project earlier this year. My favorite quote from the whole weekend was 'when the sh*t gets real, double down on the self care.' Take that attitude to enable yourself to live your best life.
Live in a way that lets you take full advantage of the time you have, and take action that supports the way you want to live and feel. Get enough sleep, eat well, exercise (refer to point 1), and try to still your mind in some way everyday.
5. Be yourself, in all your glory!
I didn't think I'd get any respect if I acted like myself and laughed too much. I felt totally stifled and didn't know back then how much people like to be around people who are authentically themselves.
You know those people with an easy, quiet confidence? They're happy with themselves, which gives you permission to be and do and say what you like.
Be like that. Be authentically you and you will become a beacon.
I know not everyone can -- or wants to -- jump ship and head off into the unknown. But there are lots of ways to escape the misery of the cubicle.
Be yourself, do your best work every day, find a mentor (or just a single friend in the office) and make time for yourself every single day.
Sam knows all too well how hard it can be to fit happiness in when you're stuck in a cubicle. Now she's a corporate refugee, helping people live awesome lives!
Find the freedom to be happy, entertain adventure while building a life you love, and connect to yourself. Be happier, have more fun. Right where you are.