Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Becky Gets a Job and Then Writes Exactly the Blog Entry You'd Expect Her To About It

Your author, an enviable human being who's never met a Maybelline mascara tube she couldn't tame, has done some staggeringly amazing things in the past four years - not the least of which was to verify the authenticity of every single item on this list.

One thing she has not been doing with her time, however, is working a standard full-time job.  Jobs ("jobs"), with their "benefits" and "vacation time" and "salaries that allow one to live above subsistence level," seemed like such a pathetically common and ordinary thing for someone like her.  Where was the fun in stability and security?  No, no, fun is pouring your very soul into a book that so many of your friends just never got around to reading.  Fun is sobbing on your kitchen floor because you've backed yourself into a marketing corner and the thought of pretending to like Jake Gyllenhaal for one more second is enough to crack your psyche.  FUN is running out of unemployment benefits and taking a job in an industry you swore you'd never go back to...but it's the only job you can find...and it's only part-time...

Fun is dealing with people who keep "forgetting" to pay for the freelance work, and being told to write for free because "exposure" is worth "more" than money (no).  Fun is not traveling and never buying new clothes.  Fun is doing without.  Fun is watching yourself fall flat on your face - I mean, forehead to the fucking ground - and realizing that not only were you solely responsible for ending up in that position but that no one is going to come over and help you back up.

These have been the most difficult four years of my life, not just for the above reasons, but a host of others as well.  They have also been the four years when I experienced many of my happiest moments, when I became more comfortable with myself than ever before, and when I stopped giving a shit about a lot of things that used to seem important. 

The Me of College had tragic taste - in clothes and in life goals.
Right before I graduated from college, I uttered an infamous quote, one that was preserved on a quoteboard my friends and I kept, regarding my goals for our ten-year reunion:  "I'm going to be ridiculously successful, filthy rich, and dating someone famous," I said.  That ten-year reunion is now eight months away and no one reading this is under any delusion I'm going to live up to my own expectations.  More importantly, I don't want to.  None of that is impressive or desirable to me anymore.  My entire worldview has changed since then, and my priorities along with it, and thank God.

Thank God I'll never wake up at fifty years old and wonder if I should have chucked it all in and put everything I had into trying to be an author.  Thank God I'll never regret not chasing after my celebrity crush.  Thank God I had the time that I needed to be sad when all the sad things happened these past four years. 

Thank God I acknowledged to myself that I always felt I missed out on something in college (and I did because I went to a very studious school and hung around very studious people) and corrected that by spending a few years partying.  Just fucking partying my ass off for no other reason than I always wanted to do that.  Thank God I had the opportunity to be there for all of those runs.  Thank God I had the space I needed to be unbelievably selfish when, after turning thirty, I suddenly decided I wanted to "work on myself."  Thank God I'll never wonder if I should have made a serious effort to return to the industry I happened to fall into at the age of twenty-three.  And thank God I didn't settle for staying there.  Thank God I kept moving forward. 

A week from Monday, I start a new job.  One I'm really excited about.  One that will allow me the luxury of enjoying actual hamburger with my Hamburger Helper again (ground turkey never quite did the trick).

It'll be an adjustment in ways I know I can't predict yet, but I am so ready.  In high school, in college, and in my last full-time job, I spent so much of my time wanting to be somewhere else.  Not in a sweeping I-don't-belong-here sense, but in simple ways.  I wanted the freedom to be able to sit outside and read away a sunny afternoon, or to go to a movie by myself on a rainy Wednesday, or to rush out and buy another goldfish after breakfast simply because it seemed like a good idea.

And now I know exactly how all of those things feel because I had the opportunity to do them.

None of this was bravery on my part; I didn't choose to get laid off early in 2010, nor did I choose for my first book to flop, and I certainly never thought it would take as long as it did to find another [full-time] job.  As indicated above, there were a lot of low points...but I can't fault myself for not making the most of the situation I found myself in.  Life is full of "what ifs," and it was worth all the ramen noodles and then some to be able to cross so many of mine off this early in my life.

Consider this my press release:  As of February 24, Becky is Resuming Normal Civilian Life.  One of the things I'm most interested in is (perhaps obviously) what this will mean for the bigger picture.  After all, I've done all of my best dreaming and plotting in life thus far when I've had a regular schedule.  We'll just have to see...and of course I'll be right here, recording it all as it happens...  

13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. :D I don't want to say specifically (at least not yet)! But it involves writing and it will be for a big company. So I'm happy. :)

      Delete
  2. I'm so sorry - I hope I didn't jinx it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not at all! I just didn't want to make a big announcement since it's a very well-known name and, having not started yet, I'm not sure where the privacy lines are. I sent you an e-mail. ;)

      Delete
  3. Hooray! Congratulations!

    - jst

    ReplyDelete
  4. Um I also need an email... My only concern is this will mean not holidays for a year, in which case timing SUCKS

    ReplyDelete
  5. That was very negative. I am very excited for u honestly. It sounds very superhero like? Superman??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. E-mail sent!! (Or, rather, Facebook message.) :D

      Delete
  6. Congratulations, and well done! True believer in everything happens for a reason, and love that you can see the positive in past situations that may not have felt so positive at the time. Onwards and upwards :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Clarabel! I'm two days in and feeling, um, a tad overwhelmed...but (if you can believe it) I feel like at long last, all those years of tweaking MySpace profiles and revising blog entries just might finally being pay off. :) So there you go - another case of frustration at the time paying off in the long run. :)

      Hope all is well with you, my friend!!

      Delete
  7. Well done you. All that hard work is finally paying dividends I hope!

    I'm good thanks, moved house before Christmas and had an enforced 2 month internet exile whilst my internet connection was being sorted (felt like my right arm had been cut off!), so finally catching up on www life, glad to hear things are going so well for you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AHHHH, 2 months! I think I would die! Kudos to you for surviving with your sanity intact. :)

      Delete