Ever since I got my final graduate school MFA rejection letter last month, I’ve been in an on and off again relationship with an angry malaise. The kind that sits still within me for awhile, and then creeps up and takes me by force and I want to punch walls. I know that perhaps those two words are incongruous, an angry malaise, but that’s how it feels. While I’m thankful for my job, it’s become a dead end. With the exception of teaching screenwriting, which has been an amazing opportunity. I wish I could do more of it! One day.
I feel a bit the way I did when I first graduated college, confused. Now, I just feel like I have nothing to show for any of my years in the working world. In my personal world, I’ve written a great deal and that’s exciting. But the jobs that live on my resume seem to have amounted to nothing that anyone will hire me for.
Is writing this blog post perhaps not helping my cause? Well, if future employers are reading this blog, I can guarantee you I will do a kick ass job doing whatever you need. (And I like to bring in cookies to share.)
Anyhow. I have been reading Jennifer Egan’s “A Visit from the Goon Squad” and yes, it lives up to the hype and the accolades. There was a section I read this past weekend that really resonated with me. It was about jobs.
“Things had gotten — what’s the word? Dry. Things had gotten sort of dry for me. I was working as a city janitor in a neighborhood elementary school and, in summers, collecting litter in the park alongside the East River near the WIlliamsburg Bridge. I felt no shame whatsoever in these activities, because I understood what almost no one else seemed to grasp: that there was only an infinitesimal difference, a difference so small that it barely existed except as a figment of the human imagination, between working in a tall green glass building on Park Avenue and collecting litter in a park. In fact, there may have been no difference at all.”
— Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
I have this sensation a lot. I’d like to think it’s not true. But then, I would like to think it’s true.