Today marks the first day of my second year without a job. I don’t get tired of saying that it’s not so bad — every day is like that laundry day you add to the end of a long vacation. The biggest hit has been to my savings, but I figure that if the period spent rescuing my self-esteem while mourning my father wasn’t a “rainy day,” I’d never save enough for a real downpour.
Back in the dark days, coming home from another unrewarding day at the office, that Bright Eyes song would always drift into my head. Especially, the verse that goes:
Now and again it seems worse than it is
But mostly the view is accurate
You see your breath in the air as you climb up the stairs
To that coffin you call your apartment
And you sink in the chair, brush the snow from your hair
And drink the cold away
And you’re not really sure what you’re doin’ this for
But you need something to fill up the days
A few more hours. . .
My Dad, who worked hard, never understood watching the clock, knowing that your life includes those same hours you can’t wait to see pass. He never had a job in which the ideas and energy you offered were refused. He was made happy by working and passed that trait down to his bratty kid — who unfortunately chose to work in an industry in which The Office doesn’t seem like a fictional place.
A full year has passed now, and there have certainly been doubts that I’d ever work again, and days when things didn’t go right, but there has never been a day as miserable as the average day in that office. Every day since walking out of that slowly sinking, drain-circling pool of poisoned dreams has been a stroll through a world of possibilities. I’m not going to join the circus as it passes through town, but I could. I’m not going to pursue my dream as Super Bowl-winning quarterback at this stage. But I’ve decided that I’m going to be happy, somehow, doing something.