When you are using blogspot and you decide you want to write a new blog post, you sign in and press the button: "New Post."
And then a white box appears and you are expected to fill it with letters that supposedly string together to form sentences that have some kind of meaning. Sometimes it's a lot to expect, frankly!
I've been thinking a lot about my old job. And actually, about everyone's jobs. Your job. My husband's job. Jobs are kind of bull shit. There're always managers expecting you to show up on time and complete various unsavory tasks. They're always wanting to schedule quarterly reviews and create new goals. The whole eight hours a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year thing: I'm convinced it's pure sadism.
On days like today, in this perfect weather, I used to sit in my cubicle, far, far away from the windows, and stare longingly through the venetian blinds. It's torture for humans to have to sit in fluorescent lighting on days like today. For us to have to stare at computer screens, and, God forbid, spreadsheets.
But as it happens, I am quite happily unemployed and be-boppin' my way around town to do this and that. Today I had lunch with an old work friend who I used to sit next to. Her stories assure me nothing has changed at the office. Yesterday I got an itch to plant some flowers and herbs, be-bopped on over to a nursery, bought a couple things, and successfully dug in the dirt for a few hours. The sun was shining on me, and I was breathing fresh air and getting dirty and tired, and it was great. At no time did my butt fall asleep from sitting in a chair, nor did my eyes start to cross from staring at a computer screen for too long.
But yes, I've been thinking about jobs, and how I can't believe I ever had one. I can't believe anyone has one. When I be-bop around town, I can tell who's employed and who's not, because the employed ones are pissed off and in a hurry. Sometimes I feel guilty that I don't get up and go sit in an office all day like everyone else, but never guilty enough that I would return to doing that. Unless it was, like, a really sweet job reading submissions from hopeful novelists or something.
Yesterday I told my neighbor that I quit my job, and his reaction was similar to most people's: In this economy?!
Yes, I suppose I should be scared, just like they wanted me to be at my old job. I was told I should be thankful to even have a job. Oh thank you! Thank you so much for this job! Every night I go home and want to kill myself, but thank you SO MUCH for the job and the money.
All I know is I have a certain amount of time to enjoy myself on Earth, and I've already wasted too many years of it with my butt falling asleep in a chair under fluorescent lights. When people finally get it -- get the reason why I'm not sitting in an office all day -- they say, That's great. Life's too short.
And here's the thing. That cliche? Life's too short? That cliche exists for a reason. Life IS too short. Life is so short, you roll over a couple times in bed, and suddenly you need someone's help to tie your shoes and cut your meat for you. You can spend the majority of your life doing something you don't like in order to make enough money, but what is enough? You'll never have enough. Or you can spend your time doing something you actually enjoy. You can spend the precious few remaining years of your healthy adult life enjoying yourself. You're not responsible for leaving behind a legacy or money to your heirs.
I hear there are jobs out there people actually enjoy. Maybe you even already have one of those. Enjoyable jobs don't usually equal a lot of money. Often it's just enough to pay your heating bill and keep you fed.
I didn't know this was going to turn into that kind of post. That kind of obnoxious live your dreams post that you see from people who are always telling you Life is too short to keep doing something you don't want to do. People who obviously don't understand mortgages and children and other responsibilities that require money. One simply cannot live happily in a cardboard box on the sidewalk.
And I know this. I empathize. But what can I say? I've been getting a creeping feeling of inspiration. Can you believe I had forgotten my own motto for 2010? Clean Slate. It turned out to be all too appropriate. Also, coming later in the year: Angry Determination. I still have many dreams for 2010. It is a good year, even when shitty things happen.
I started this year with 42 goals. And currently, I have met seven of those goals, not the least of which was to quit my job. Normally, I don't meet any goals. Well, normally I don't set more than 10 goals, but as I mentioned, I have a very good feeling about 2010, and was feeling very optimistic while writing that list.
Going back to see why and how I was feeling so optimistic, I remember now, and I like it. I'd finally had enough of my own excuses. I was wearing even myself out with my constant promise-making and promise-breaking. Allowing negative influences to derail me off my goals had finally frustrated me to the point where I said Enough, and, surprisingly, meant it.