Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Some Jobs Are Like Bad Boyfriends

Some jobs are like bad boyfriends: they never truly go away. Or they go away at the wrong time and then pounce when you're weak. Having been almost entirely dumped by my job last September and then attempting to cut the remaining strings in January, somehow I managed to find myself in the office working for the better part of the day. And loving it. Missing it. Remembering only the good times. The complimentary cupcakes. The witty office banter. The escape from the feverish den of my home currently housing a sick child, a semi-employed man that loves to talk about wire and H-cats (am I making that up? I'm sure I am) in a space roughly equivalent to a rich man's closet. I love my house, don't get me wrong, especially on the days I think we're gonna lose it. But today, it was nice to be gone.

Packing up my massive stack of papers from the ice-hockey table (I don't exactly have a desk anymore) I felt the satisfaction of accomplishment. A job well done- or at least done. I didn't wonder if I should continue to revise (OK, I did) or if I should start a whole new draft or chuck the whole damn thing in the already overflowing recycle bin. There was a start line and a finish line and I made it from one to the other, from A to B-- zip zip zap. Not so easily done in "real life" anymore.

A decade ago, in my first months home off of the boat in Alaska I felt utterly lost, directionless and adrift. I felt that I had to have a job to stand and be counted but during that time I wasn't exactly employable. My mother, the artist, pointed to the cat lounging luxuriously on the bed by my side. "Does Felicia have a job?" she asked. "No," I said. "And she's perfect just the way she is," said my mother.

And I got it. It wasn’t about numbers or things but the quality of my ability to simply be. Something I’m still not good at. The minute I start to meditate I think of an email that must be sent IMMEDIATELY. If I don’t have specific plans, I’m restless, moody, pacing, trying to stalk down everything contained within the moment that I should be seizing. When I sit down to write, I wish I were writing something different. It’s why I couldn’t stand to live in New York. The constant influx of choices at every moment. Each street, each alley, each job, each bad boyfriend calling my name.