Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Am Not-Working

I've been in a pretty heavy existential crisis since late April, when I visited Death Valley. I realized I was tired of being surrounded by mediocrity, and really wanted to do something bigger with my life.

In October, when a new boss had been hired above me, I was in a difficult meeting with her when she said, "Come on, we're all marketers here..." and I thought, "I'm not a marketer." Sure, my title was Vice President of Marketing and was the de facto head of the two-person department, but I didn't define myself by the marketing I executed.

Now that I'm unemployed, I've had to face the ever-present question, "What do you do for a living?" which we all know really means "Who are you?" So without a job, who am I?

While on vacation in Joshua Tree, I realized that I am now defined by what I do (not necessarily for a living) rather than what my job is. At The Desert Lily, I was a writer, both to Carrie and Bob who run the place, and to the other visitors staying there. A writer, and a traveller. And maybe that's what I really am, and what I should be. It's far more interesting than working for this-or-that company marketing this-or-that music and no I don't really meet any famous people and no I don't get invited to very many parties anymore.

I think that not-working will give me a good chance to figure out who I am and who I want to be. And maybe that means I'll figure out my next career move. In the meantime, I'm really enjoying the various odd jobs that I've taken on to make ends meet while I figure things out.