October 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
As I was driving home from a soul-uplifting (and you know cheap) dinner date in Georgetown, I was privy to this story on NPR about me. And by me I of course mean all the mes in this country from the age of 17-32 who are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.
What struck me the most was the story after story of callers who are stuck in dead end jobs that don’t pay well, or can’t find work to begin with, coupled with when the conversation steered toward whether or not this generation was harmed by the “do what feels good” mantra of our 90s childhoods.
I was underpaid at a dead end job that I couldn’t stand. I didn’t have to struggle to make ends meet financially, but I wasn’t going anywhere within the company and I was constantly struggling to balance the 40-50 hour work week with the generally small-time theater gigs I could manage with the schedule I had. NPR was becoming grimmer and grimmer and the House was doing everything in its power to make the rest of the country hate us DelMarVans even more, and I had begun to think I was never going to get out.
That was when I realized that this economic and political climate might last for the next decade. I might be 35 by the time anything begins to settle down, barring a full-on Hunger Games/Wizard War/other YA novel-envisioned apocalypse and dystopian future. I can’t spend my youth waiting for the world to change, John Mayer. I need to do my shiz now and do it the way I want, lest I set myself on a rocket aimed straight for midlife crisis.
In this story they touch on the “optimism” of this generation, which apparently covers over two decades of births and has a whole hell of a lot of people in it, where we emerged from all our extra super* higher educations all bright eyed and bushy tailed, full of creativity and spunk and new ideas, and the world pulled a great big EFF YOU GUYS and punched us in the face for about four years. But now I guess we’re starting to realize that just hanging out and waiting for the world to get tired of punching us in the face isn’t really working, and that we should maybe use that optimism in a more proactive way than, “well I mean it was awesome when we were kids so it’ll get awesome again probably…”
It has been really encouraging to see positive stories about my generation finally coming to light. This newscast, stories of protesters, a book I’m reading**. Finally, to see that there is hope and we’re not all doomed, specifically because this generation is different. I like the idea that we actually could be the hope of the future someday maybe***.
It’s just, I don’t know, comforting.
**Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott. Y’all should give it a read, and big ups to my friend Carrie for shoving it in my hands and recommending it so enthusiastically.
***though possibly in a galaxy far far away
September 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
Hi, hello. I know, and I’m sorry.
In the past four weeks or so my life has changed dramatically in exactly the way that this blog was set up to capture, so obviously I did nothing to actually capture it as such. In a burst of can-do energy, I applied to a part time house management position at a local theater, and got it. Still not planning on actually quitting the hated/loved/hated day job, I had to be convinced that this was, in fact, a sign that I am, in fact, ready to move on and actually pursue my dreams (thanks boyfriend.) So I did it.
My team lead generally came in several hours after I did, so I had to sit there for most of the day while my heart raced along. My work girlfriends did what they could to keep me calm, but I was still not totally convinced quitting now was the right choice, and also holy crap I was about to just walk out on two years at my first “real” job. He finally came in; I asked to speak with him privately. I skittered to a conference room, whirled around to face him with my shaking, sweating, beet red self, and stammered that I had been offered a job at a theater. I shoved my two weeks’ notice at him and waited for his response.
I don’t know what I expected. He didn’t slap me. He didn’t rip up my resignation. He didn’t say, “You can’t quit YOU’RE FIRED.” He was super nice, and said I would be missed. Then we went back to our desks, probably because he could see that my knees were about three words from buckling. My heart raced for the rest of the day.
Two weeks flew by, in which I was trained in my new job and wrapped up my old. My work friends took me out to celebrate my departure, and I acted the requisite hot mess. On my last day, I spent about an hour fighting back a panic attack, and ultimately had to run out the door so I wouldn’t burst into tears and be all the wrong kinds of hot mess. And then it was September, and oh yeah we didn’t mention the fact that the new part time job is between shows so I had four shifts this month.
Oh. My b. But I decided it was a good thing (I had to) and decided to finish and put up all my shiz I’ve been trying to get started (website, etsy store, sending resumes out for overhire, etc.) for a year and just never did it. And I was really really good for the first day or so.
And then I got used to sleeping in, WAY too quickly. And the boyfriend works 3-11p so it actually takes effort to make myself work when he and Mad Men on Netflix Watch Instantly are so tantalizingly close by. And so I floundered in the motivation department, and gained 8 pounds, which pretty much brings us to today.
For example, it is 2:25pm on Monday and I have not yet put on a bra. I have an excuse, but it makes me look worse: I am waiting for the laundry cycle to finish because I am completely out of clean underwear. So yeah. I need a schedule. I am what they say, a great boss and a terrible employee.
So that’s my goal this week: make myself a schedule, and actually stick with it. Blogging will be part of this schedule, because it’s important. Not only to you, my zero readers, but to me, because I am the kind of person who has to express herself or she gets all jumbled inside and then REALLY nothing gets done.
First thing’s first, I’ve got to go see a man about a bra.