Five Days Out

As I sit in a cafe waiting for the smog check to finish on my car, I'm coming to realize that I'm returning to the person I used to be, in some senses. After being on the "cut list" with an employer, you'd expect to take a hit to your esteem, despite the circumstances surrounding the cut. But I can honestly say, and not in an attempt to coat over feelings of inadequacy, that I am feeling almost the exact opposite. I am still working through the reality of being unemployed, but I feel as if the person that I truly am is returning.

I'm just about finished reading Mark Oliver Everett's sensational memoir, Things the Grandchildren Should Know, and it's strange how much Everett's thinking with respect to work, success, culture, self-awareness and integrity, seem to match exactly what I feel is finally being returned to me. It's almost as if I was running at about 75% of myself, letting a bit over half of myself out, while playing the game with the remaining 25%. This isn't to say that I don't fully understand that in the workforce we can't always live by our standards in many facets, but it's like that 25% that I've missed and put on hold, is back. Without even thinking, I've found myself reaching out to the people who shaped the person I am now, and not in an effort to find work, but rather in a natural extension of who I was and who I now see returning.

All in all, there are certain things we do in work that we think compromise who we are and what we hold dear. Again, this is obviously a part of working for someone else, and I'm fairly certain that I'll hold a job in the future that elicits a similar, almost intangible, reality. And this doesn't and shouldn't cause us to work any less hard. I mean, finding a job that aligns 100% with one's self is basically a pipe dream. But when you're able to, once again, be true to yourself and what you hold dear, it's a pretty great feeling, especially when you weren't even 100% conscious of the fact that it was missing.

This is how feel today. Tomorrow could be totally different. And god, if this cafe doesn't turn off Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fuckin' Fire" asap, my mood will sour fast.


Fred said...

The second and third paragraphs make me think you should use this moment of unemployment and take a shot at writing the "Great American Novel"

The last paragraph makes me think you should get your ass back on postcard and fritter the time away with serial posting.

You pick

Campbell said...

or move down to MS and steal all of Courtney's CDs. and his dog.

Fred said...

If you decide on that, stop by and grab me. I'll pack sandwiches, a leash and some bags to pick up after the dog.