December 16, 2009

The End of the Semester

Since I quit my job last January, I've found myself back on a schedule reminiscent of my college days, indexing the year into three, four, five, or six month increments much like a school semester or a summer break. My consulting gigs have sliced up my year - normally an indigestible twelve months of non-stop work - into tasty little bite-sized pieces that are somehow more palatable.

As much as I complain - "work" has such negative connotations for me since my last job, which damaged me deeply to the core - I choose my projects carefully, and am proud of every single one of them. I was downright giddy to see Ziggy Marley on the Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, and thrilled to hear of his Grammy nomination, both of which were absolutely goals we were working towards over the summer. I feel a personal investment in every crazy classical project I write a press release for, no matter how esoteric or "out there" it may be. Understandably, it's a little hard for me to leave behind three months' of work on my recent dance music projects, when I felt like I was just getting started. I never got the chance to really own any of them, from beginning to end. I was the stepmother or the surrogate or maybe, at the most, the nanny. Perhaps like my time spent in Joshua Tree this summer, maybe I was just a glorified housesitter.

But, whatever it was, my time is up and it is time to move on. I'm returning the projects to the hands of their capable former guardian.

I'd like to think I helped. I tried not to screw anything up.

Nevertheless, I'm sure some people will be glad to see me go. In an industry of strong personalities, creative differences, and easily bruised egos, it's hard not to step on some toes when you're trying to do good things for projects that deserve attention. If I didn't care, I would've ended up being the 20-hour-a-week employee I intended to be when I signed up for the gig. Instead, I've answered calls late at night, checked emails early in the morning, and written press releases while bedridden with the flu. I've gone to shows where the artist practically spits in my face, I've given everyone my cell phone number, and I've learned to do things I've never done before ("Look! I made this article happen! That was me!").

For months since I started, people who have encountered me in my current position have been asking, "So what's next?" I thought I had plenty of time to figure that out, but next week is Christmas, and the week after that is New Year's. Then, the entire year of 2010 is wide open for me, waiting for me to figure out what to do with it.

But sometimes you don't want a whole year. You just want a couple of months...

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