Monday, March 05, 2007

FULL-TIME

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/49/Jersey-city-exchange-place-platform.jpg/300px-Jersey-city-exchange-place-platform.jpg

Barry calls subways "metal coffins," and this morning, I know exactly what he means. On my way to my first full-time job in over five years, I look around at my fellow passengers and their depressed expressions feel contagious to me, and so I begin to frown. Even though I would be getting paid well, their tired, reluctant eyes suggest that perhaps a full-time job and the accompanying stability were both overrated. And with every stop the subway makes, I consider that I'm getting a final chance to run before my idealistic soul accuses me of attempted murder.

Corporate America, man. Total bummer. I don't think I'm wrong in assuming that for the most part, no one truly wants to go to work and that just about every job is a compromise somewhat. And I acknowledge the fortune that I was able to work from home as a freelancer for half-a-decade. Most people don't get to experience that luxury because reality is a mortgage, credit card bill, or a college loan that comes to their mailbox every month and not everyone can make ends meet simply by sitting at home in front of their computer and writing.

But...only recently, I found out that making ends meet wasn't really enough. The anxiety I felt from my less-than-modest income forced me to second guess whether my flexibility, or the quality of life was actually worth having. I resented my art for short-changing me. Something had to give. Anxiety trumps freedom every time.

So, now I'm on a subway on my way to a well-paying job because I want more than making ends meet. It's my first day of work, the first of who knows how many days. I'll get a chair, probably a Hermann Miller, and I'll get a desk and a computer and I will sit there every day five days-a-week. This depresses me not because I'm taking a job for a corporation doing something that I wouldn't necessarily consider my dream job (a copywriter in an interactive advertising agency) but rather, I feel like I'm giving up on what I thought I would be (even though I'll still continue as a music journalist and a magazine editor on the side).

I walk into the building, get into the elevator and realize that this is for real and I feel a sharp pang in my chest. For a millisecond, I actually feel like I could cry and this over-reaction surprises me. The jarring juxtaposition of having not done this for so long finally hits me. I push the floor button and wait. Moments later, the doors open and I take a deep breathe.

I'm full-time now. So weird.

"Roll On" - Dntel featuring Jenny Lewis

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the fact that you can even blog from your new job makes me think that you're not in real Corporate America.

welcome to real life.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Geoff said...

Dude, it ain't as bad as you think.

We're pulling for ya!

Consider the Talmudic addage: A man’s feet are his own guarantors; where it is he’s supposed to be, that’s where they lead him.

You'll get to where you need to be.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Abbi said...

Wow, Arye it's been about ten years since I've bumped into you, but you sound exactly the same.

I have to agree with anon. Better late then never, but welcome to the world of adult responsibility.

3:29 PM  

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