Monday, March 05, 2007


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


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 Anonymous 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 Commenter 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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