Monday, August 18, 2008

Angst in a Short Skirt and Long Jacket

Today I found out that I didn't get a job that I didn't apply for, and didn't want. And I feel really bad about it. You see, I should have wanted this job. It would have been a step up (a management position), and it would have been more money. It also would have meant seeing my husband less due to horrible hours, dealing with matters I have no interest in dealing with, and increasing the number of meetings in my daily life by tenfold. I hate meetings with a red hot passion that burns like the sun. I have no doubt that if I gotten said position I would become an even bigger misanthropic nightmare of a person than I currently am, and would begin to hate a job I really love. Yet, I feel like a failure for not going for it. I blame Lee Iacoca.

Well, not Lee Iacoca, but what I have always thought he represented (I don't know him personally). You know, you always have to want to move forward, want more money and more responsibility, want to be a part of the all American corporate ladder dream, with all of the business suits and corporate expense accounts that come with it. I could not want anything less, but I feel bad for not wanting it.

I guess it would be better if I hadn't chosen to be in a corporate environment. If I had chosen to be involved in holistic medicine or something that blatantly eschews the typical American business structure. But I didn't. So, if I chose to be a part of the corporate jungle, shouldn't I want to be the top lion? Or does being happy as a monkey in a tree make me something less? I know Ayn Rand would be disappointed.

I think beyond the "American Ideal" problem is the fact that I have always wanted to be recognized as being among the best at something, and that has never really happened. Part of the reason is that I don't think I've found the thing that would really make me want to be the best, and part of me thinks I quit too easily when things get difficult. By not applying for this job (which I do not even know if I would have gotten) am I just thwarting myself because it might have been a bit harder than my current job? Actually, scratch this entire argument. I mean, it's a valid argument and it's something I think about all the time, but if television news turned out to be what I am really good at, my raison d’ĂȘtre
, I would have to shoot myself.

Maybe it's not too late to go to clown college. I bet their management meetings are at least interesting...


Ellen said...

mmmmmm... cake.

i SO feel your angst.

after years and years of working on "my career"... i decided family was more important. that was before i'd even met paul! but at 28 i finally decided that i wanted to get married and have a baby and i knew that that wouldn't happen if i stayed on the path i was on. so i dropped everything and moved home.

and i still feel a bit humiliated when i think about what i COULD be doing... versus what i AM doing. especially when i have to tell people what i do. ugh.

but i KNOW i am happier. poorer... but happier. and when i'm at home with my boys, all the angst and humiliation of not "making more of myself"... it just fades away. because when it comes down to it... THEY (the people i care about most) don't care about my career. (as long as it's enough to put food into their mouths.) they want to spend TIME with me. and that's something i couldn't do as often... if i was an EP or ND somewhere.

ps... lee iacoca's daugther used to babysit me when my family lived in vermont and she was going to college there. although, i have no recollection of it.

L@pterces said...

Now you KNOW you don't want to go back on the morning show! Just like I don't want to be Art Director... except that I do because it would mean more money, the prestige of the title, etc., but I hate meetings almost as much as you do, and I know there would be a lot more of those, plus I'd have to make sure my socks matched and I was wearing my shirt frontwards every day, and is it really worth it?

Emily-Ione said...

So I usually make silly comments aimed at making your sister blush - and I may figure out a way to do that in this some how.... Hmmmmm....

Anywho, here I am at 35 after years of to much eyeliner and bad clothes- I finally have a vague inkling of what I want to do with myself. I may be in a career with little to no room for advancement but, I like what I do and I appear to be pretty damn good at it. I could go the corporate route too, but like you I can't see myself sitting in endless meetings working longer hours for more money but not enjoying WHAT I do.

I see my husband on a regular basis, I have a decent income, and I feel mostly satisfied with a good portion of "HOLY CRAP WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT BS!" thrown in just for fun.
I think you have to look at what you REALLY want with what you think society has taught you what you are supposed to want. Do the people you love ( and who love you) care if you go to work in a suit with "sensible heels" and a power bow- probably not - and honestly do YOU want to wear a power bow?? I'd say no - and Mandy and I would have to tease you endlessly.. so would Cate, so would your mom.

Nope... I couldn't work in a dig at Mandy. Sorry.

Amanda said...

Clown college would just lead to another round of student loans.