Over the weekend I saw Up in The Air, a film that centers on the recent economic plunge this country has taken. Plot-wise, while I’ve been going back and forth in my mind whether or not I loved it, there is one thing I’m certain of: HOT-wise, George Clooney is still very much number 1 on my list. Having said that (hello Larry David), no amount of his perfectly salt and peppered hair could have taken the depression away that lingered from watching his character Ryan and his company lay off thousands of people from their jobs each day….
Considering that I too am currently unemployed (i.e. devoid of a “real” job and “real” work and certainly devoid of the income that comes along with those “real” things), I felt the fear during those scenes. Not knowing where my next check is going to come from has definitely made me feel a little sorry for myself… If I don’t have a “real” paying job, and don’t get paid for what I love to do (write!) then how do I measure my success?
Today I literally called three different retailers nearby to see if they needed extra help during the holidays with gift wrapping (they’re not hiring. Go figure). But, I mean… Really?! That’s what it’s come to? Gift wrapping?! Like in the stock room with the teenagers picking up extra money during Winter Break?! (BTW, you can thank the job I had at Williams Sonoma during high school doing the exact same thing for my appreciation of copper cookware. Nerd.) The point is, What’s next?? Becoming a cashier at Hot Dog on a Stick??? I mean, my life seems to be working in reverse and I feel like with each and every day (that I don’t get “the job”) I lose the ability to go after what I really want… Will I ever have “the job”? Will I ever do something worthy? Something good? Something that gets on the map? Something that puts me across from Barbara Goddamn Walters?!?!?
(Not so) Ironically, it is my 2 year old who continues to talk me off the ledge and calm my fears. This morning, chasing him down the block as he stomped and crunched leaves in his big boy rain boots, he came to a complete halt. Turning the corner, was what seemed like the most massive garbage truck I have ever seen.
“Whoah, Baby-Ko. Look at the garbage truck!” I said.
His eyes lit up.
Slowly, the Garbage Truck drove up the block towards us.
Baby-Ko started to wave. “Hiiii Garbage Truck! Hiiii!”
As it pulled up along side of us, the window rolled down: Two Garbage Men with the biggest smiles you’ve ever seen leaned in and waved back. “Hiiii!” They said as they honked their horn.
“Byeee Garbage Man!!” Baby-Ko shouted back and sort of leaped in delight, “Byeee!”
My heart was warmed and in that moment I knew that it doesn’t matter who I become…. That no matter where I end up, what I end up doing, and whether or not it’s where I thought I would be, somehow in some way, I will (hopefully) put a smile on someone’s face….
I just hope it’s not bagging groceries at Trader Joe’s. Because between the Ginger Snaps and Pita Chips, I could get very fat working there very easily…
FILED UNDER: A Little Life

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  1. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    How funny that I just wrote about work, too...well, quitting my job.

    Together, you & I could quite possibly rule the world. And, I'm not opposed to working with you at TJ's bagging groceries. I would totally be there scarfing down goodies with you. It's all about accountability. ;)

    Seriously, though, it's amazing how grounded our kids keep us...even though we're pretty scared & confused on the inside.
  2. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Something my co-workers and I talked about today was perspective. We just found out that two women from past jobs were diagnosed with brain cancer and have been given the message that they only have months left. Both have young children. Made us realize that no matter what happens at work, there's no comparison to losing a mom!
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