Wednesday, July 12, 2006

and now for something completely different

So, I quit my job today. The environmental one that I've only been at three days. "Never work on commission, Andy" my dad told me, and he ought to know, having held a couple door-to-door type jobs himself. I need a more regular, more immediate pay than this can give me. It sucks because I really believe in this organization and their mission, and it felt so good to be doing something relatively proactive about global warming, but nobility won't pay my bills. Especially since I suck at it. I'm not aggressive enough; I'm not a salesman. I worked from 2-10 yesterday and raised $0. Which means I get paid $0. It's all based on quotas and percentages and it's a great job for a college student living with their parents over the summer. Which I am not.

And the thing is, I'm not gonna be around long enough for this position to pay off. I'm going to Arizona in a month or so. I know, what happened to Chicago? Well, Chicago doesn't have the program I'm looking for. I'm going to do a massage therapy program, and there's a great school in Arizona that's pretty much perfect.

It's all very sudden and out of left field, or so it seems, but the more I think about it, I can see that this has been developing for a long time now. There are a million reasons why I should do it: nearly everybody in my Big Fat Catholic Family is involved in healthcare in some way, it gives me a skill, flexibility, and independence, I can do something positive, etc etc. All my friends and family think it's something I'd be good at. I found a program that would train me in things like shiatsu, tai chi, qi gong, and herbalism, which is stuff I'd be trying to learn about anyway. It's a good balance of Western medicine and alternative healing. And my tarot cards have been banging me in the head for the last three months with Pentacles (money, business, material matters) and big Major Arcana like Judgement and The Tower and The Star, basically saying "Quit fucking around trying to get a 'real' 'normal' job and go for what you care about, dummy" and, as usual, I haven't been listening. I've got interpretation down pretty solid, it's the paying attention bit I don't manage. I'll do a spread, journal my thoughts, and then forget all about it.

The Judgement card is about rebirth, renewal, letting hidden or supressed parts of yourself come to life and develop, aspects you may not have even been aware of. And for me, it's not the mundane worries--financing, finding a job, getting roomates, etc--that I find difficult to handle. After all, I did all that in France, and at least here I don't have a language barrier. What's scary is adjusting how I see myself. I've always been a brain-on-a-stick, a creature of the mind, living purely in my head, and that's how I've always viewed myself. I thought I'd end up doing something intellectual--teaching, researching, writing, something brainiac. And I found that I can do all those things, and do them well, but they don't fit me. When I got my cards read in Glastonbury, the woman kept telling me, "You're a healer, that's your work." Over and over, which completely floored me. I was like, "Um, I'm not a healer. I'm a bookworm. I read. And think. That's pretty much it." Not that I'm saying I get my career advice from random old ladies in southern England (with all due respect to old ladies), but it kind of woke me up, shook me out of the stagnant pattern I was in. If I was willing to think outside the box in my private life, why wasn't I doing it in my professional life?

So I've been researching and talking on the phone with people and I'm going to apply tomorrow, and with any luck I'll be moving to Arizona by the beginning of September. Going from one Red state to another (especially one represented by McCain, ugh) was not at all the plan (life happened while I was making plans); neither was going back to a small town. But it's a cool, hippy, artsy small town, so I think I'll be okay. At least I'll be used to it, and it's only a 10 month program anyway. Chicago's not going anywhere.

I think the most exciting thing is just how excited I am. It's a cool feeling. I'm a little frightened, sure, but in a good way. This is right.


At 7:05 PM, Blogger JaneFan said...

wow, that's awesome! I really admire your decision. i took the first job i could get out of college (tech writing/editing) and have been stuck in it for 4 yrs now, and it's sucking out my soul. now i've got to backtrack and figure out what it is I really want to be doing, and I feel like I have to "start over" to make it happen. Hopefully you won't have to do that, because you've taken the time to do some real soul-searching instead of just following the path of least resistance. good luck!!!

ps, AZ has got to be more liberal than MO... it just has to be!

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Andygrrl said...

Thanks Janefan! I think I was lucky in that I got to have a year in Europe to basically bum around and think. Also I get to benefit from my parents' example; mom did the "path of least resistance" thing, and dad worked every job you can get without a college degree before settling on something when he was in his 30s. I didn't want to do that!

Good luck with the backtracking. Soul-sucking is not cool for nifty bloggers like you!


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