This is a guest submission by Sarah from

When I used to work at my office job, I was kind of a liar.

Now before you start pointing fingers, judging me, or even banishing me from society for living a life of fiction (That still happens, right?), just try to hear me out, alright?

Okay, like I was saying, when I used to work at an office job, I was kind of a liar. (Alright, so that definitely doesn’t sound much better the second time around. I think I really need to work on this.)

I suppose there are a few obvious negative connotations attached to the word “liar.” Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, lying has got like, a really bad reputation as of late. Or maybe it hasn’t just been recently.

I mean, Medieval times people practically hated liars. With all those gruesome and painful punishments, lying was pretty much one of the most uncool things you could do back then.

But fortunately for me, people have really lightened up when it comes to disciplining liars (Now don’t you go getting any ideas, society! Those negative connotations for us liars are bad enough!)

Not Just a Little White Lie

You see, the lying I did at work was a little different.

No, it’s not like I lied about completed work hours on my weekly time sheet s (checking Facebook 30 times a day still counts as “work,” right?). Nor did I lie about my interest and dedication to the field of children with special needs (however, playing Cops and Robbers with an adorable 5 year old doesn’t really count much as “work” either…). And it’s not like I lied about what I was eating for lunch, or how many appointments I had, or even a family’s progress during our sessions.

But I know for certain that I lied about how much I wanted to be there.

I lied to my boss, I lied to my co-workers, I even lied to the woman who sold me my coffee in the morning (in my defense, she’s probably a liar too…).

But above all those other people, I was also lying to myself.

And the worst part?

I totally believed me.

I mean come on, am I really that gullible?! (Wait, please don’t answer that.)

For a brief stint in my chair-desk-office life, I actually believed that I wanted to be at a chair-desk-office job. I convinced myself that “commuting” was an absolutely mandatory step in my daily routine.

I assumed that my days should revolve around the events which occur between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. I even went so far as to assure myself that even though I felt absolutely miserable between the hours of 9 and 5 (not to mention those wretched commutes…), I was blissfully happy in my full-time employment-centered lifestyle.

I mean, this kind of life is what everybody has been yammering on about since those silly days of career fairs and resume-building workshops. This has been drilled into my brain for years. Getting an office means you’re successful. And being successful means you should be happy, right? right?!

Well, I had an office. My very own office, in fact. It had my nameplate on the door. It had a desk and a chair. It even had windows! But even with all these matching Ikea-inspired pieces of office furniture, I didn’t feel successful. Nor did I feel all that happy.

And above that, why did I feel like such a dirty liar? And worst, why did I even believe the lies I was telling myself?

Well, it probably had a little something to do with the fact that I’m actually an exceptional liar.

Getting Caught in a Lie

But 10 months into the second biggest hoax of my life (Santa Claus being the first…), a knock at my office door (you know, the one with the desk and the chair) had me questioning my own levels of deception.

The knock belonged to my boss. A patient man who probably wasn’t a liar by nature, but most definitely hated things like commuting, 9-5 timelines, and being confined to his office…all. day. long. But then again, he did have this crazy comfortable orthopedic office chair. So he probably wanted to be there, even just a little.

With my boss’ patience wavering at my office door, I quickly began to cover up any trace of the time-wasting activities I had actively delved into for the last hour.

The first course of action was to minimize all those travel sites which cluttered my taskbar. As I replaced every plane ticket pop-up with some scholarly article on parenting practices, I felt those all-too-familiar feelings of betrayal.

The fact that I continued to lie to myself as I minimized (literally and figuratively, of course) those things that I really wanted to do didn’t make me feel all that great either (See, society? I told you that being a liar was punishment enough!).

Feeling completely satisfied with my quick and efficient performance, I told my boss that it was okay to enter.

Coming Clean

What happened next was all too typical in the social work profession. There was something about budget cuts, and changing positions, and I think I even heard something about dedicating an entire floor of the office building to me. You know, to honor all of my hard work. (I don’t know though, I could be lying about that last part…).

When I first realized that my days of commuting, minimizing travel websites, and playing with adorable toddlers were over, I breathed the biggest sigh of relief (Well, except for the whole adorable toddlers thing. Frankly, the under-5 crowd is the funniest group of people I’ve ever met. Forget beauty pageants; get these kids into stand-up comedy, already!)

No longer was I worrying about getting caught for being on travel sites all day long (okay okay, and Facebook, too). No longer was I trying to convince myself that my office chair was just as comfortable as my boss’s.

No longer did I have to worry about the very possible scenario of me trying to confess to my boss that I was actually a better liar than a work employee. No longer was I lying to myself in saying that I was actually happy at work.

(So apparently in my books, getting laid off is like, the best news EVER.)

No Longer a Liar

Within days of that heart-sinking knock on my office door, everything happened. I had bags packed, a renewed passport, and a one-way plane ticket to a small island in rural South Korea.

I can’t say for certain that I will never return to the lying working world. But I know for now, I am completely happy in a life without silly things like 9-5 timelines, commutes, or you know, even desks.

And that my friends, is nothing but the truth.

After realizing she’s actually a pretty crummy liar, Sarah began entertaining children with her expert grasp of the English language in rural South Korea. All the while, she traveled within Asia and used her toothbrush as a way to personify her travels.

She is currently dragging her toothbrush along for a 6-month backpacking trip across Asia and Europe. You can read about her toothbrush’s whereabouts here or follow her on Twitter.

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