Monday, February 06, 2012

Finding new pavement

In all my years growing up in New Orleans and suburban Houston, I can count on one hand how many people I knew who lost their jobs. Since I was in college, it seems like everyone I've met has either lost a job themselves or is close with someone who has.

I distinctly recall a classmate in elementary school whose father couldn't hold down a job. Driving around in an expensive car and sending his children to a private school weren't the best budgetary decisions, but that's what he chose. There was plenty of dysfunction within the family and him, so I thought only the unstable and wasteful had employment issues.

I had a lot of friends who had parents that survived the Great Depression. The kinds of tactics they took to scrape by stayed with them (like, don't leave the back door open because cold air was getting out), even if they owned a lakehouse and a couple of boats later in life.

College was when I heard about friends' parents losing jobs. In my ten years after, I realized there is no stigma to getting laid off. And a great result is the chance to try something else. As scary as that may be, finding new pavement is much more appealing than going in circles around on broken pavement.

In my case, as much as I love the productivity that comes with part-time freelance writing, I have the itch to do something more with my time, like a full-time job. I'm nearing the finish line with a (hopefully) final draft of When We Were the Kids and I'm about to turn in a feature for the Observer. Along with playing golf every few weeks and reading every single day, this keeps me at sanity's bay.

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