Before I begin… the jury’s still out as to whether or not I’m a big goober for pretty much mourning Mr. Rogers. When the general sadness stretches to a second day, I think it qualifies as mourning. I think his passing reawakened the memories of my early childhood, when things were simple and I knew all the words to every one of Mr. Rogers’ songs and Daniel Striped Tiger was the sweetest thing on TV. Maybe I realized what I’d forgotten since then. Maybe I realized… I don’t know. What’s important, maybe. And that even amongst my friends, I don’t think I would be so thanked and loved and missed. Even when he was alive, Fred Rogers got “Thank You”s on the street from grown-ups who loved him as children, and appreciated him even more as adults with perspective.
But that’s neither here nor there. On to my intended topic.
A, my co-worker at Sky Bank, graduated with an art degree almost a year ago now. Naturally, she’s peeved at having to work a job that gives her no satisfaction and no personal reward. She’s on the lookout for a job in California, so she can move out to where the proverbial “action” is. And every single day, she never tires of telling me and/or my other co-workers how much she dislikes her job. — Well, maybe “dislikes” isn’t the right word for it. Well, maybe it is, at that. She’s disappointed in the fact that she has to work an unfulfilling job that is unrelated to her degree field, just to pay the bills. She’s frustrated that she was unable to land a job that is rewarding to her and for her, and takes that as some sort of personal failure, I think.
…Is this sounding familiar to anyone yet? Like, how I felt about six months ago? When I was in precisely her situation? That being: working as a temp, wanting to be hired on permanently for security’s sake, yet still frustrated at the scope of my job position and its irrelevancy to anything I really intend to do for the rest of my life.
Thinking on this makes me face a tough question: Am I “at peace” with my station in life now? Or, does the fact that I have ceased to struggle (for now, at least) make me a weaker person?
I haven’t seriously thought about finding a new job for a few months now. When Aaron and I went in for the credit check before we bought our new car, I was told that my nine months at Manpower didn’t bode well for my car credit, since it’s a temp agency. Also, since I’d only been working at my current job for three months at the time (now five), the short timespan hurt my credit, as well. That really shot any ideas I’d had of changing jobs. Even if I could find one. I’m currently rebuilding my poor, shoddy credit, and I need all the help I can get, so staying at Sky made sense.
Now, though… I find I’m just running on momentum. Doing a day’s work, just like every other day. I try not to complain, since it just wastes energy and ticks off everyone around me. Brings them down. One of my co-workers calls me “the perfect worker,” and I think I resent that, but I’m not sure. Conscientious, sure. Dedicated… maybe on the surface. But mainly just doing my job. Doing what needs to be done, just because it’s there.
A’s rebellious nature is awakening something in me that has lain dormant for a few months, though. A desire to fulfill myself. To remember, as my mother used to say, who I am and where I come from.
To go off on a brief tangent (it’s really related, trust me)… Back in SOC 101, the graduate student teaching the class told us about Roles. I forget if that’s the correct terminology, but it serves the purpose. Since the human race is, at its core, a race of social beings (though some of us might not want to admit it), each of us is defined by our roles in society. There are minor roles and there are major, defining roles. To find out who you are, you must define yourself in respect to others, and the activities you engage in with others. For example:
+ I am a fianceé.
+ I am a daughter.
+ I am a grand-daughter.
+ I am a Sky Bank employee.
+ I am a web designer.
+ I am a drumcorps alumna.
And so on. These all define me in relation to others. But one of these (listed or not) is my major role in life. For parents, it’s usually their parental role. For corporate CEO’s and upper management, maybe their job position is their major role. For me… I’m not sure anymore. When I was a music major, and even before that, in high school, I could say unequivocally that my major role was that of Musician. When I changed majors, I changed who I was intrinsically. For a while, I almost made myself believe that my main role was that of web designer… but I still maintain that my design skills are mediocre at best. Within the design industry, at least. (Doesn’t stop me from trying.)
Finding a wedding photographer who has a day job has made me see things a little differently, though. It’s obvious to me that she defines herself as a portrait photographer. But… she works 9-to-5 (or thereabouts) in an unrelated corporate setting, where she has a 401(k) and five weeks vacation. She only does photography on evenings and weekends. And she has a decent-sized studio and an impressive body of work. She’s a photographer with a day job.
I need to seek out who I am again. I need to go out and do the things I love in my spare time. I need… I need.
And when I figure it out, I need to dive into what I love and immerse myself in it for a time. Think about it while I’m processing checks and invoices at Sky. Think about it during lunch. Think about getting home to it and doing what I want to do, instead of what I have to do. It doesn’t have to be my full-time job. I am not my job. I am me.
Whoever that is…
P.S. – To anyone who ever said to me, “we should start a business…” I’m currently considering it. I have no client base. I intend to enter the web design foray by donating my design time to local non-profit organizations. I have no immediate business plan. I need friends. If you were ever serious, let me know. I’ll do it on my own if I must. It won’t be instantaneous profit. But if you’re looking for something that may fulfill your need for accomplishment, let’s talk.
P.P.S. – If you ever read my blog, A: I’m sorry, but I found your LiveJournal a couple months back, and never told you. I’ve been reading your blog without you knowing, and I apologize for the intrusion. If you read mine without my knowing… I guess we’re even. 🙂