Yesterday marked my third month anniversary at my new job. I have been debating whether or not to write much about it, but a consistent comment I get on this blog is: “be more personal.” So, here it goes.
I left a cozy job at a film school where I felt familial vibes and a happiness that is hard to come by in a job. I stayed there for about four years. There was not really a lot of growth opportunity, and I wanted to be challenged, so I began a job hunt.
And I landed here. I’ll keep mum on the details, but the biggest concern is that I was promised healthcare, and I didn’t get it. And still haven’t gotten it. Had I known there was no healthcare up front, I wouldn’t have taken the job. They keep promising me, “it’s coming” but it’s been three months…I am beginning to lose hope.
All of this has me thinking about gratefulness. How lucky I was to work at the film school, to have people who cared about me and for whom I cared. How I worked with people who knew I was a playwright and cared about that side of my life. How I felt really at peace, especially being an only child with no extended family – to have this group of people to see everyday.
I remind myself that at least I know it exists. There are jobs out there like the one I had.
Here’s an excerpt:
I’m all for us. I’m all for those of us who are only completely alive when alone in a room putting words together in ways that have never been done that way before.
I’m all for those of us who are courageously fulfilling a whispered instruction to go forth and create.
I’m all for those of us who are different, those of us who believe things that might sound crazy, things we can’t explain yet believe to be true and which we continue to see in our dreams. I’m all for those of us who will no longer apologize for being beautiful and true. I’m all on the side of the strangely deranged, the misguided and quietly stubborn defenders of obscure happiness.
I’ve made my compromises too. I worked at Chevron for five years to pay the rent. It wasn’t anybody forcing me to do that. It was my big idea to make peace with The Man, my big idea to try to do everything, have a marriage, have dogs, have a job, have a house, make prose and poems, live at the beach, all this of which I complain bitterly from time to time, this was all my idea. So I make my angry peace with it. I make my peace but I salute those who protest, and I will be joining them as soon as I am able.
So how long can you go at this pace before you break something? In my experience, when you start asking how long can you go it’s time to pull over for a nap so you can keep your eyes open and don’t run into the back of a truck.
Artistic ambition should come in a bottle with a warning label: Do not exceed recommended dosage. Side effects include distorted perception, melancholia, sudden rage and smudged eye shadow.
Or, in the immortal words of Pete Seeger, “Take it easy. But take it.”