A long, long time ago (when I used to semi-regularly update this blog- remember that?) I said I wouldn’t post any stories about my job. Back in the day I was super grateful to have any job after quitting law school, even more so for a job in my college major field at a New Jersey institution. I was inoculated with horror stories in law school about bosses finding your internet presence and using it against you. I also had the common sense and decency not to talk about my job since this blog uses my full name, and it’d be extremely easy to find out where I work. Google is a fun thing.
Since then I’ve slowly beaten myself into a comatose depression, driven by the difficulty of finding another better paying, less torturous position. I’m not asking for much; I realize every job comes with some level of torture. I quit law school knowing I’d be sacrificing a paycheck, but hoping I’d be making up for that at a company that would pay me in respect instead of cash. Unfortunately, working for a small nonprofit arts company pays little respect, and littler bills. Instead of using others’ success to fuel my own, I beat myself up when I saw jerkoffs in high school getting prime, well-paying jobs because they “chose the right majors” in college. I sunk under the weight of my own ego, desperate to know why Miss Most Likely to Succeed was now Miss Most Likely to Hang Herself with a Chain of Office Depot Paper Clips.
I went to see Les Miserables with my friend Dale the other night. I’m not gonna bore you with the details- I cried all the way to the bar post-viewing. The funny thing is, despite the general awesomeness of the movie, what really stood out to me was a quote from one of the previews. James Franco in Oz, The Great and Powerful, cries something as he’s about to be sucked off into a Kansas tornado traveling towards certain doom (or certain yellow brick-roaded little people lands): “I don’t wanna die, I haven’t accomplished anything yet!” As I watched three hours of torture and redemption and singing- you bet your ass I heard those people singing, all I could think about was that line from the preview. How I wasn’t exactly miserables, just unhappy. Bored. Fucking complacent. I’m not really sure if anyone else has had a revelation in a move theater before, but all I’m saying is God (fate and God? God with fate?) gives you a nice big slap in the face when you’re acting like a royal shit.
I have an okay life. I’m 24, and I live with my parents. That sucks. I’ll be 25 in October, and I’ve always wanted to be out of the casa before my quarter century crisis. Still, I have tons of friends in the same situation as me, and they’re older. Is it an excuse to settle? No chance. It’s an excuse to stop taking a mental dump on my life status.
I have a good job. Sure, it’s not great, but it’s definitely good. I got a promotion less than three months after I started working. I work at a popular, respected company. I practically run my own department during the season. Most importantly, I’m damn good at my job. I make mistakes all the time. I never make the same mistake twice. I love my friends at work, and I love knowing that we’re the ones who sold the highest grossing show in the history of my theatre. We’re the ones who survived the financial and physical devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and opened our doors to patrons seeking heat and a moment of respite from tragedy. No, I’m not the one who gets a six figure paycheck, but I’m the one who patrons come to when our staff does a fantastic job. I’m the one who gets to hear them wretch and see them smile. And even though some days are worse than others, the smiling always beats out the wretching, any day.
Right now for people our age in 2013, life generally sucks and is pretty scary. It’s taking us longer to build our dreams and pay off our debts. It’s hard- there’s absolutely no denying it. About a month ago I complained about my job to someone who told me I was lucky to be employed. I am lucky. So many have it worse off. Being lucky in no way means I should be complacent, or less ambitious, or less hungry. I’m fucking starving for excitement. I’m raring for adventure. I’m ready to embrace the fact that maybe I was never meant to follow the monotony of the job application cycle. Maybe doing my own thing is just what I need to kick my ass out of the self-induced doldrums.
My 2013 resolution is all encompassing- body, mind, spirit- get rid of the crap in my life and stop being such a lazy, whiny, miserable couch potato with no clear goals and hazy ambition. I’m still allowed to complain. It’s definitely gonna happen all the time. I just have to get off my ass and do something about it.