Confessions of the Divine Miss K

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Words of Comfort from U2

So in the words of that great singer Bono, it seems that I’m “stuck in a moment” just like Tam was back in grad school. My problem is that I’m not quite sure how to unstick myself. I’m still unemployed and what with the economy being the way it is, there just aren’t that many job opportunities. But then I wonder if that even makes a difference. I mean, do I really just want a job? Some place to whittle away the hours between 9am and 5pm so that I can simply collect a pay cheque with which to pay down our mortgage faster, buy a new car sooner, get a trailer this summer instead of next?

There are those people who are content to just work at some hohum place of employment and are happy enough because yeah, while being a legal secretary might not knock their socks off each day, it helps achieve a certain lifestyle that they enjoy. And I get that and accept that and God bless us, we all just have to suck up the fact that sometimes life is about doing things we don’t want to, and that includes getting up every day and going to a job that we may not love.

I’ve done that. I’ve done that for nearly seven years, always hoping that this path of mediocre employment was leading to an amazing opportunity that would be my career. For nearly seven years I have sat in front of a computer, Monday to Friday, looking up People magazine online, reading about other people’s lives on blogs and half-heartedly researching online Master’s programs, all the while hoping that I was getting somewhat closer to figuring out what I’m supposed to do with my life.

It’s funny – I’ve had to make some consequential decisions in my lifetime, many of them with irrevocable destinies – where to go to university, whether I should move back to Crannie, if Adam and I should marry, when to have kids, should Charkins and I prostitute ourselves to pay for the next leg of our European tour. But I haven’t agonized over any of those decisions the way I have over my career, or what I grandly call “my purpose in life.”

I want to write for a living but I don’t even keep a diary anymore or hell, update my blog! I want to edit books but am stuck in a small-town with little opportunity to do that. I want to go get my Master’s but what I’m interested in isn’t offered online and I don’t want to leave my husband and home for weeks at a time to go study elsewhere. I’m stuck. So very stuck.

Maybe I’m so fixated on this concept of a career that challenges and inspires me because nothing else does. I told Adders the other day that I feel passionless. And I feel so alone in that. Take my husband – while he doesn’t LOVE love his job, he loves enough other things about his life that make his job and the subsequent paycheque worth it. He loves fishing and quadding and hunting with his dad. He loves golfing and watching TV. He loves hiking and building things and working with his hands.

I love … cuddling with Lucy. I love … going for walks with my mom. I love … watching a few select TV shows but if I watch too much TV in a given day, I’ll probably start to feel guilty and lazy and I’ll wonder what we’re doing with our lives. I love … reading a really good book but those are hard to come by. I love … going to the movies, until I’m actually in the theatre and there is a fat guy munching on his popcorn too loud and a group of teenagers laughing too loudly at the jokes and some 13 year old texting in the middle of the goddamn show. So truthfully, I don’t love much.

Which leads me to the biggest piece of bull shit advice I have heard: determine what you love to do and find a way to make money at it. Yeah, let me just sit here and ponder how rubbing my dog’s silky blonde ears is going to be a good career move and make me into a millionaire. It’s not. Because I love nothing! And am clearly good for nothing but a job full of mediocrity and boredom.

I was thinking about that last post of mine, where I wrote that if I could have a do-over, I’d change my undergraduate degree. I don’t even think I believe that. Because what else would I have studied? What else would I have become? Some marketing asshole? A clothing store owner? Even with any other degree, I think I’d still be sitting here wondering what the next step is, what the answer is, where I’m headed.

A friend of my family’s once said that she got pregnant with her baby because she and her husband were tired of sitting around on the weekends, trying to think of something to do. At 21 I thought that was a depressing reason to have a baby. Now I think it’s pretty much a conclusion.

I don’t have a pithy ending for this post. Just a reiteration that 27 really sucks. And while I’m grateful for so many things – a husband who tries not to be insensitive, a mother who knows exactly what I’m struggling with, a best friend who texts me words of encouragement, and a puppy dog that fills my heart with joy every single day – I still feel mired in a wash of disappointment, frustration and angst.

However Bono’s song doesn’t leave you directionless. He gives out some instructions that seem downright spiritual right now: “I never thought you were a fool. But darling look at you. You gotta stand up straight, carry your own weight. These tears are going no where […] You are such a fool to worry like you do. Oh, I know it’s tough. And you can never get enough of what you don’t really need now. My oh my. You’ve got to get yourself together. You’ve got stuck in a moment […]”


  • At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very true. 27 is hard and well, being 28 is harder because nothing is sorted yet you're a year older. I hope it's not that way for you but I have to say that boy'oh boy it's about cotton pickin time that someone threw me a bone!

    Seriously? What is the meaning of life? I always thought that I would figure it out but it's just got more and more difficult as we go on. The only thing that makes life any easier is that our skin gets thicker so things don't hurt as much as they used to...

    Music has a funny way of speaking to us (you and I in particular). The other day I was listening to Moulin Rouge on CD and of course turned it to "Come What May". I mean that song makes me cry every time I hear it. Because that is what it's all about itsn't it? Relationships. "Suddenly my life doesn't seem such a waste, it all revolves arround you." Whether it be your family, your partner, your friends or your dog--the greatest thing you'll ever learn is to be loved and to love in return.

    So yes, we want work, and we want to be recognized and we want to have meaning but when it's all said and done, I won't remember my menial job but I will remember you and the others that touch my life. To me it's either that or go work at an orphanage in China and frankly I don't like rice all that much.

    Love ya, honey.


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