Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Kick in the Pants

My former boss took me to lunch this week to catch up with me, and probably to take pity on me and feed me.

She also took the opportunity to yell at me.

After all this time of waiting for signs from the Universe, it's been nearly a year since I left the job for which she'd hired me. And I haven't really gotten anywhere. I haven't figured anything out.

Fortunately, I am working right now. I'm not making enough to live on, but I'm proud of what I'm doing. But the six month gig is halfway over, and by the end of July, I've got to figure something else out.

I don't know what I'm going to do the rest of this year, and she's asking me what my five year plan is, what my ten year plan is.

What do I want to be doing?

Because apparently, it's not this.

I told her, "I'd like to write."

"SO WRITE!" she yelled. "Write a book! Don't waste your time on a fulltime job you're going to quit! Get a book deal!"

I shrank in my seat. I nodded. I just agreed with everything she said. I chose the path of least resistance.

I don't have enough money to live on now or enough time to write. I don't know how she expects me to do that, without help of some kind of benefactor or windfall.

I know she loves me. I know she was only yelling because she cares about me. But when someone yells, "YOU HAVE SO MUCH POTENTIAL!" at you, it doesn't feel flattering. It still feels like you're being yelled at.

I know she's right. I know I'm just treading water. I know I'm going nowhere.

But I refuse to worry.

I write all the time. I find ways to make money. I usually choose to work. I can still pay my rent - for now.

Maybe there's something lackadaisical about California that permits its residents to float on by, to not settle down, to rebuke the five year plan. Forty-somethings sleep on mattresses on the floor and board up with roommates. Travelers car-camp instead of forking over $50 for a night in a motel. Starlets couch-surf and sleep their way into their star-making role.

I'm worried that I'm going to lose my apartment soon. I desperately need a new mattress that I can't afford. I don't want to commit to a full size (the only size my murphy bed will hold), but I'm worried I'll never need a Queen or King size.

I'm worried that I've been out of the game too long.

I'm worried that I'll never be happy in an office again. That I'll never be able to respect authority again.

I worry that my time is up.

So what's my five year plan? My ten year plan? I can only imagine that my attractiveness will continue to wane (having peaked two and a half years ago), my loneliness will worsen, my 401K will disappear entirely, and infertility will finally set in.

Then again, magic may happen. As my own beauty dies, the beauty that surrounds me may persist. Someone may someday love me, even if I don't love them back. Fortune may befall me.

After all, I now live in the Land of Opportunity. Anything can happen.

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