Finding Something Beautiful

I met a lot of interesting characters on my recent trip to Austin, but none quite as fascinating as my Uber driver from the airport to the hotel. Our conversation started casually with the standard questions. How was your flight? Where are you from? What do you do? 

To my surprise, in response to my standard line – I write job postings – my driver didn’t just nod or shoot me a confused look. “I have a lot of thoughts about job postings,” he announced. “Say more,” I said. After we went down all the standard reasons why most job posts suck, we talked about how he ended up in Austin driving for Uber. A few years ago, he realized he couldn’t live with the religion he was raised in. After many years living in a community surrounded by those people, he decided to leave. 

His parents weren’t very supportive of the change. I can’t imagine it was easy to not just leave a community of people who are like you, but to do it alone. The ending of that parental relationship was the beginning of his journey to exploring every forbidden fruit from his previous life. 

A few years into all this freedom, he found himself really hating life in Austin. As many of us do when we change everything, he was wondering if it was all a mistake. If he had left some important part of himself when he left everything behind. Out of curiosity, my girlfriend asked him about the turning point. “When did you start to see your life as beautiful again?”

“LSD,” he said. We laughed. He wasn’t joking, but this was not exactly the answer I was expecting. “I just remember looking around during my trip and realizing that my apartment had everything I needed. That even this tiny little place could be beautiful.” 

While I’m not a fan of psychedelics, I find myself looking around and realizing how beautiful life is all the time. Especially when I take the time to notice the cool fresh air, the smell of food in the kitchen, or the way the light shines through the leaves like a kaleidoscope. These simple beautiful things are there all the time, but all of the worries racing through my mind fill the space where gratitude could be. 

Corporate America has created this restlessness in me that makes me believe moments of silence are wasted. That peaceful moments are stolen and my time will need to be paid back into the PTO clock of life. It doesn’t take illicit drugs to see just how beautiful life can be. It takes time and going just a little slower than we’ve ever been given permission to go.

I’ve been thinking lately that this burnout I’m sensing in everyone is the consequence of working too much, sure, but also not allowing ourselves to feel the joy. It’s the belief that there’s simply not enough room for celebration. That we just have to keep going toward some imaginary finish line we’ll never cross. 

But this 20-something year old reminded me that life is meant to be lived right now. That beautiful moments aren’t destinations or a flight away. They can happen when you slow down long enough to look around. 

Weekly Letters

Kat Kibben View All →

Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.

Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster,, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.

Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.

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