Tuesday, August 27, 2013

life lately

We're nearing the end of August but it's still a hot, Carolina summer here. I get a sunburn just walking to the pool. But as soon as night falls it gets so deliciously cool that it becomes a little easier to imagine long sleeves and boots and socks (socks! I've all but forgotten about the things.)

I am unemployed, still. Well meaning people at church, upon finding this out, ask what I do, what kind of work I'm looking for. "Uh, well." The heck if I know. Truly, the heck. Normally it suffices to simply shrug and say, "I was, like, an English major..."

I don't know what I want to do. This is disappointing, for an instrospective person who has a tendency to overthink things. I should at least have some sort of inkling. But I'm learning that, so far, all I really know what I don't want to do.

After months of working in a professional setting at the college nearby, I'm finding that it's starting to matter less and less, this whole question of what I should do. It's becoming less of a big deal as I accept that I am probably not missing out on some cosmic calling, at least not concerning a job.

I used to get so angry scanning job websites. "I am way too qualified to file papers and answer phones; I'm smart!" And then I would look over to Trevor. "Right? Aren't I smart?"

But God (I guess it was God? who else?) reminded me, yet again, that I was being prideful. And was that what I was really after in life, anyway? A swanky, suit-wearing career? No. I've never been that girl. I'm an artist. Who cares what I do for work as long as I'm making time for writing, for my "life's work" as they say.

So yesterday, after perusing jobs online until my eyeballs practically bled, I applied at a grocery store. Whole Foods, but still. Bagging groceries would have been so beneath me even in high school, but now? Now I am a married woman, involved in a church I love, writing a book I actually like, and on top of all that my bangs are finally starting to grow out. My life is not perfect, but it's so full that I don't need to find my identity or purpose in a job. Who cares?

Okay, a part of me will always care. A part of me will always loathe working entry level jobs to pay off debt for a college degree. But I'm making peace with that.

Anyway. So for now I'm waiting. I'm writing like a mad woman, punching away at the keyboard, high on caffeiene and life. Coming home from the libary with stacks of books I've never heard of. Having long chats on the phone with people I love. Being a housewife and, yes, even making dinner on occasion. Life is good. And no matter what happens next, I believe it will continue to be good.

So if you see me around town wearing a visor and nametag, well, you'll understand.


  1. ahhhh... i can't wait till i'm a housewife! <3 that's all i want to do!

  2. Awe Heather, you are doing what you are supposed to be doing. You sound so happy right now! That is so great. Screw working to fit in with the masses. I'm a nanny, blogger, planning a wedding, and I will be working on a childrens book next year once the wedding ends. That's awesome that you are writing a book too. It's very self rewarding. Writing is something I never thought I enjoyed but I can't live without it now that I'm blogging. It's awesome and it is a great creative outlet.

    I went to nursing school, failed, and you know what? It's okay. I hated it so much. So I'm where I'm supposed to be.

    You seem to have found a great spot. And Who cares if you end up at Whole Foods for a while. It's just a job. It pays the bills. It doesn't define who you are.

    As I get older I just look at jobs as a means to put food on the table. Everyone around me is struggling to make ends meet so I don't feel the need to impress people as others do. If you have a job, consider yourself lucky. Everything outside of work is what truly matters.

    Life doesn't always go the way you plan, but sometimes it works out to be BETTER than you planned.

    Always focus on being HAPPY <3

  3. Wow! So perfectly what I needed to hear today...

    I too am an artist...the graphic arts and photography kind. I have been working at what I see to be a "beneath me" position doing data entry, hardly using my brain, and definitely not using the skills that I want to be using right now. But I have a successful freelance business (where I get to use that creative juice), a wonderful home, a darling husband, and those nasty student loans to pay off. I applied, over a month ago, for a creative position. After several rounds of interviews, here I am still waiting to hear (the follow up response was that I am still a candidate and will be updated as to the status as the hiring process continues) and questioning why I haven't landed a full-time job "in my field".

    So, thank you for pointing out that "I don't need to find my identity or purpose in a job".

    Love your blog! Can't wait to read that book you're writing! :)


  4. Loved this, so perfect. I cannot wait to be a housewife! Good luck on the job hunt and the book! <3

  5. I get frustrated when the second question I'm asked (after my name) when meeting someone is "What do you do?" And by that they mean, what is your job title? As if that's the most important thing . . . instead of, say, "What are you passionate about?" Why do we define one another by where we work?

    Neither, though, do I look at jobs as merely a way to put food on the table. Some of the most interesting people I've ever met were while working a fast food job one summer in college.

    Not that you're looking for advice, but . . Think of your encounters at Whole Foods as character studies for your story, while simultaneously as real human beings whose lives you can touch and who may touch yours. And always remember that your coworkers, like you, are so much more than their job description.

  6. Oh, haven't we all been there? I just started rereading Walking on Water, and I'm madly in love with this line on page 1: "In summer, I seem to spend my days between the stove and the typewriter . . ."

    That's just how I want to think about my life. When people as what I do, I no longer want to stutter on about how I kinda sorta have a freelance business. I want to say "I'm Ashley, and I spend my life between manuscript pages and red pens, knitting needles and yarn, on Adirondack chairs with my husband and an iced coffee."

    It's so much nicer thinking of life like that than thinking the be-all end-all is your job. In all honesty, you'll probably enjoy working at Whole Foods way more than being a corporate drone, trapped under fluorescent lights all day. I love that you take life as it comes. Keep on keepin' on!

  7. Girl i'm with you.
    I HAVE a job and keep finding myself thinking "the eff if i know what i want to do with my life..."
    After going to school and being passionate about my major, having that passionate job flushed down the toilet, and grasping at straws to find my current job...i'm fearful to step out, and i have no idea WHERE to step out. I'm thinking about going back to school...but for what? and why?!
    Ok emotional word vomit there, my apologies.
    All of that ranting to say...i get you. I know what you mean. I hear what you're going through. & I raise my glass of chai tea to your mug *clink*...you're not alone.

  8. I feel exactly the same way. I feel so much pressure to find a job before these last 3 months of college are up and I have to have a job. But like you, I only know all the things I don't want to do. Thinking about working all the time bores me. I don't want the fancy job and all the health benefits and stuffy cubicle, etc. Lately, I've been leaning more towards just going freelance after I graduate.

    Anyway, yesterday I found a speech by Neil Gaiman (a successful writer who never went to college) about being creative and successful. It was really inspiring and I highly recommend it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAb-NYkseI

  9. I really love this. And your timing is so perfect....I'm a classical pianist (and teach lessons) and a writer, and also consider myself an artist, and have to fight hard not to fall into the trap of thinking I'm "overqualified" or "too creative" for certain jobs. Since we've been married I've been able to just write (without making any money from it so far) and teach lessons (I make a little money). But my husband is going to be heading into a really exciting career change which requires him to go back to school for a few years, and so we may be in a position for a little while where I have to get a job just to make money. I've always felt like I shouldn't take a job that I'm not passionate about or that isn't stimulating, but I think that when you begin to grow up and take on more and more responsibility, it's not always that simple. I'm trying to see the honor in working simply to help support my family, at least for a few years (will stay home once we have children).

    That said, I've been thinking of jobs that might actually be fun and different, if not necessarily stimulating. Like working in a wine shop or a small bookstore, or learning how to make pastries in a bakery. We'll see.

    Been loving your posts recently. :)


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