So much of who we are lies in what we do for a living. There is prestige that comes with a title or an affiliation with a well-known company. Being able to say you work for yourself is great, too, but only if the money is right. A small business owner with a comfortable salary can say she is self employed. But so can the homeless gentleman around the corner from your apartment.
Currently I say I'm unemployed, even though it's not technically true. I have a part time job. I'm constantly writing and submitting articles. I am working. And hard. But in my mind having no office, having no steady income, hell, having hardly enough income to put gas in my car in order to drive to the interviews I'm not getting does not constitute employment.
Enough of the pity party, let's get down to business. Could it be time to change my perception of what having a "real job" means? If I sit quietly, push myself pass the worry, the fears, and the moments of hysteria, I realize that I would be so content working two part time jobs and pulling in money from writing. It would be a dream to teach yoga and write for a handful of online and/or printed publications. When I'm honest with myself I learn that I don't WANT to punch into an office everyday. Not the traditional office, anyway. I don't desire a lofty title. I've had one and it's not all it's cracked up to be. I want to live a life that I command, but holding it all together while I work to gain momentum becomes more difficult everyday.
So when people ask what I do, I could say I'm a writer. But I don't write for anyone of note currently. So there's nothing there.
I can bring up accolades from my past, but they are in the past. Each time I bring them up I'm reminded of failure. Of not being quite good enough. Or of jobs where I was underpaid and under appreciated. So that's no good.
So I say I'm unemployed. Then go into the type of position I'm looking for. Then fold into confusion because, at 29, I'm not exactly sure what I want to do.
I'm tired of lying to potential employers, telling them what I think they want to hear "Yes, I love marketing. Crunching numbers is my favorite. My greatest joy is developing and launching marketing campaigns." Sure, I can do all of those things, and do them well. But they aren't what I want to do. But people do things they don't want to do everyday because what they really want is to eat. To live comfortably.
I gave the dream a shot. Perhaps it's time to say "Oh well" and go back to the bread and butter.
At least until dreams can buy groceries.