Friday, May 14, 2010

Depression is Going to Be a Theme Here...

at least until I'm certain that I don't have to choose between going on a bloody rampage & living in some state that makes Russia look more favorable. A sorority sister of mine went to Russia one summer w/her fiance & after that, the engagement was off. I'd had a bad summer but hers consisted of the guy's family taking her possessions & being the victim of false accusations to law enforcement. I told her "You win."

Sometimes you have to wonder whether it's worse to be in your own shoes or somebody else's. People are getting laid off from this library who've been working there for 10 years & have very limited education. My husband has one co-worker who is from Texas & will have to go back if she can't find work in NYC.

So what conundrum is worse? Is it worse to have so much education people deem you overqualified or tons of experience doing something but no education? A few observations here:

1. My husband is embracing this news with grace & realism. He's happy to get away from the politics, the "will I or won't I have a job" anxiety & the inability to ever get meaningful holiday time off. We might FINALLY get to go to NC this year as a married couple. I don't think we've actually done that. He's never gotten to spend Christmas or Thanksgiving w/my family because of the seniority scheme at his job & the old dinosaurs refusing to acknowledge that other people have families out of town they'd like to see sometime. He was stagnating & bored so he thinks this might be his kick in the pants to do something else.

2. A co-worker of my husband's deserves special recognition for how she handled the news of being laid off: she told the HR person handling it that they were laying everyone off "so they can just keep the old farts who will retire in 10 years & then no one will be available when they need people." I couldn't have said it better myself; I wish I'd been there to hear it.

3. You learn who your friends & supporters are in a crisis. The people who reach out to you (or don't) can be surprising. As always, I have been impressed with the outpouring of kindness & empathy shown to me & my husband this week. I have to make some phone calls soon since I finished my last article for my assignment. Now I'll have to proofread before turning it in on Monday.

I get very defensive & fully admit to being distrustful of people on the whole. I've seen so much negativity and nastiness (especially in the legal field) that it always warms my heart just a little to be treated with kindness. I like to hope I offer that comfort to others when they're in a crisis or having a problem I can relate to.

4. The people w/experience get a lot of flack over limited education. In fact, they feel the same way about it as lawyers who are unemployed & unable to find non-legal work. I notice this with age too. My mother has talked about age being a problem for people in getting jobs; I complained about no one taking me seriously b/c of being too young.

So, is there an answer? I'm not sure. For me, at least the answer is to do something you love. Something you're passionate about that you'd keep doing even if you made millions of dollars & didn't have to work. Life is very short & you can't spend it being miserable unless you want years of regret. I figured out that not being creative or not working in entertainment in some form simply isn't an option for me. It would kill my soul not to use those talents.

Now I need to start making some phone calls. Some will be informative, others will be fire & brimstone tirades that rival those of Julia Sugarbaker (the lead on Designing Women for men & those who've never seen it).

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