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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When You Really Hate Your Job Series - Second Installment

This is the second installment in my series "When You Really Hate Your Job". First I would like to respond to the comments left on my last post.

Firstly, Ty, these postings are absolutely directed at you and everyone else that we know, ahum ahum, that is stuck in a job they hate OR has quit a job they hate. Unlike the Fairy Godmother, I lack the ability to proactively solve problems; I can only complain to anyone who will listen! It would seem that the Turkey Extravaganza on Saturday is reserved for those who are either Employmently Challenged or too heavily medicated to care, so your attendance is required.

Secondly, Ashley, writing has been both a life long hobby that I adore AND something in which I have training. My passion started before I was even able to write and manifested itself in two ways that I remember. The first was when I was still in the Crayola stage of expression and I colored a picture of a cemetery. I then proceeded to make my poor mother (Mom, do you even remember this?) write out the story that I had concocted onto my little work of art. I guess I just wanted to see the words on the page, even though I was too little to read them.

The second way my passion manifested itself at an early age was on the front porch of my family's cabin in the Daniel Boone National Forest. I would force my poor family to endure these long, erratic, incomprehensible stories, which would sometimes require us all to break for lunch, before returning for a finale that never came. I am happy to say that my niece, Little Ann, has inherited this ability for the spoken word. It seems that everyone thinks it's cuter when she does it, but whatever.

In elementary school I continued my writing career and was the recipient of the Young Author's Award in the first grade for my epic tale, "The Little Green Woman." While I did not win the Young Author's Award in the fifth grade for my book "Star," it did precipitate a call home from my teacher who was concerned about the content, which consisted of a young girl being abused by her alcoholic father before running away to live in the woods. Sorry, Dad. lol

I was a creative writing major in the School for the Creative and Performing Arts in high school, and was active in the Poetry Slam Community. For those of you who are not familiar with poetry slamming, it is an artform that allowed beatniks and hippies and otherwise inspired writers to express their political, social, and religious views through the spoken word. It has since been hijacked by a bunch of angst-filled, whiny teenagers who want to make adults uncomfortable with foul language and a mysterious Brooklyn accent that only crops up at these events. I don't know. Guilty as charged.

I was an English major in college and received my Bachelor's Degree in English literature. I had my station in life clarified for me by one of my favorite professors during an Adolescent Literature class. She said, "I see that you all have self segregated. Education majors on this side of the room; English majors on this side of the room. It's just as well. Here are the people who will one day nurture the minds of children, and here are the people who will one day corrupt them."

I have nearly had the love for creative writing crushed out of me by over exposure to dead white sonneteers and professional writing, but I still maintain my love. I have two very special grandmothers to thank for that. My mom's mother, Thelma, was a teacher in a one room school house and taught my sister and me the love of reading and an appreciation for different dialects and ways of speaking. My dad's mother, Dot, was a master story teller and used to thrill and terrify us with ghost stories. She caused a scandal at my elementary school when she was invited to tell ghost stories at Halloween and, gasp!, they were ACTUALLY scary! She concluded her storytelling by passing around a corpse's hand to all of the second graders. Oddly, she was not invited back for a second performance.

So there you have it. My long winded explanation of why I love to write, and why I would feel extremely blessed if I were ever able to do it full time. I think everyone has that thing that makes them want to get up in the morning. For me it's writing. I'm pretty sure that is like a boa constrictor with a love for finger painting, but I don't inflict my hobby on too many people. Give me a break.

On to our second installment of the "When You Really Hate Your Job" series.

NUMBER 2 - Create an image that describes you in your job. Are you on a riverbank with no way to get to the other side? Lost in a jungle? Poking through a thorny hedge? When you get comfortable with the image, begin visualizing a change in the obstacle. Imagine building a bridge across the river or finding a path in the forest. Don't force the image or the change. When you're ready it will come.

I find it hard to pin-point just one image to describe how I feel on those days when I really hate my job. I keep coming back to these recurring dreams I have sometimes where I am being attacked on all sides by people. Every time I take a swing at one of them, it's like trying to punch someone under water. Gravity seems to keep my limbs limp, and all the while my opponents are pursuing me and laughing at me. Laughing at my ineffectual, limp fists.

Okay I am imaging my fists making contact. My pursuers are bloody and defeated and limping away. I am victorious!!!

Okay, this is stupid. Sorry, this one is a little too New Agey for me. I didn't write them, I'm just passing them along.

I'll work on my image. What is your image?


FrassyMommy said...

Before I quit my sometimes 52 hour-a-week-plus job in the Neonatal ICU, my image was of myself as a premature infant. Trapped in a clear box with crash, loud people constantly surrounding my bed with lights and constant noise. Then cold hands would enter the clear box and inflict pain on my with various kinds of needles and tubes. Being non-verbal and immobile, I couldn't escape or tell them they were bothering me. I never was able to visualize an escape from my mental isolette, but I did visualize things I enjoyed like Frassy, David, and riding lessons.

~Ashley said...

I guess this is more an image regarding my education/job? Being educated is my job right now, afterall. Anyhow, I've had this image for a while now that I'm in a canoe without a paddle floating along this river. I kinda watch things float past...gaze longingly at the shores, and occasionally wonder if I have really made any decisions regarding the path of my canoe. The floating doesn't end and the river determines my path.