In college you know who you are;
You sit in The Quad, and you think, "Oh my God,
I am totally gonna go far!"
So, since moving to Chicago almost two years ago, I have, among many other things:
- Held two regular jobs, neither of which was at all as it was represented;
- Gotten my real-estate license and decided that while I liked the learning and the testing, and yes, being one of those bully-attracting nerds who actually LIKE to calculate the acreage of a half of a quarter of a third of a Township Square, found the actual selling of real estate tedious in the extreme;
- Completed all five levels of The Second City Training Center's Beginning Improv program;
- Had an art studio and twice showed my work in Andersonville;
- Worked at a farmer's market;
- Camped in Wisconsin;
- Performed an actual improv show at Concordia College to rave responses;
- Peed in Bo Diddley's former bathroom;
- Been pulled over by a crazy Chicago cop;
- Performed at Donny's Skybox;
- Served as a Cook County juror;
- Eaten in more fabulous restaurants than I can count;
- Met Wanda Jackson;
- Argued with Russian immigrants over the cost of blueberries;
- Been mugged;
- Temp-ed all over town (which is a great way to learn a new city).
After the real-estate debacle I was burnt out, and allowed myself to coast for a couple of months, but now I'm ready for a change. Maybe it's the feel of spring in the air, maybe it's the mind-numbing assignment I'm on, or maybe I'm just tired of making the money I made ten years ago (NOT adjusted for inflation), but I've decided to look for a permanent job, before my current assignment ends. I don't want to tough it out for another three months. If that means I bail on my current assignment, so be it -- it's not as if I do anything meaningful: most of what I do is simply making sure that nobody in my department ever has to do a single thing for himself (highlights so far include the twentysomething analyst walking out of a vendor meeting she scheduled, expecting me to pick up all the coffee cups left behind -- without it ever crossing her mind to offer a hand; and having the other, equally devoid-of-personality analyst hand me three receipts so that I could put together his expense report.)
I am a person of wide and varied interests; my brain is hungry and I like to broaden my horizons and challenge myself. In the last week I have seen several classes/workshops I'd like to take, ranging from wheelthrowing to painting to designing a community urban garden, but lack of funds prevents me. The thing is, my normal earning range would allow me to take these classes without a second thought, not because I can earn an obscene bundle, but because I live simply, and also because I make so damn little right now by comparison. And I have no one to point to but myself.
Yes, I'd like to do something good for people, animals, the environment. But more and more it seems that that impulse will be satisfied through my endeavors as a private citizen, not through my job, not to mention being able to give regularly to charities I care about and being able to see Sven more regularly.
I've stopped agonizing over My Purpose In Life, and have realized that what I want right now more than anything is a decently paying job working for someone who's not crazy, with co-workers who have goals in life beyond getting hammered and pregnant, and all I ask is that I get to think, and not have to wear a suit or make anyone's travel arrangements. Ever.
Oh, and being able to ride my bike to work would also rock.