Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thinking Man's Saturday

This week was a fun, incredibly busy five days at my new job. I'm three weeks into the gig now, and I think things are starting to click a bit. Sure, I still ask the stupid, way-too-obvious question every now and then, but hopefully I’m not getting on the nerves of too many people, too often.

Plus, I got paid yesterday, which was a really great experience after several months of unemployment.

Speaking of unemployment, Nathaniel’s post from a couple of days ago got me thinking about some things. Which is new for me, since I tend not to think about things that I don’t think about.

When I was going through my bout of unemployment, I really wasn’t in a very positive place. It was the end of the world, every day, every hour. At the time, it seemed like there was nothing more important, nothing more pressing, than finding something--anything--to generate some interest from potential employers.

Sleeping--something I did very little of at my previous, too-often, 7:00 am-to 7:00 pm job--would have been a better idea than staring blankly up at a ceiling.

But sometimes, staring up at a ceiling is the only thing that makes any kind of sense.

We all have dreams when we’re young, and then those dreams turn into plans and goals as we get older. Being 27 and unemployed for a second time since I graduated college was not one of those dreams, or plans, or goals.

But what can you do, right? I mean, as the man said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

“Life” over the course of my unemployment, it turned out, meant getting into fun legal battles with former employers and arguing with--and then never again speaking to--a close friend.

Actually, in the last twelve months, I’ve stopped communicating completely with two friends who would have--I’d have bet the house--someday attended my wedding, and my kids’ parties, and whatever.

But I'm just not that good of a person, I guess. Because I can't bring myself to forgive. Which reminds me of something Bruce Wayne once said, in an issue of Hush in reference to Superman.

"Deep down, Clark's a good person. And deep down...I'm not."

Or something along those lines.

Anyway, another dear friend upped and moved to a whole different country altogether. She’ll be back sometime in late spring, or in late summer, or around the holidays. You know how these things go.

With all that happy going on, I also needed to get my butt in gear and pick up the pieces of my broken, shattered career. So, from September to March, I ran around a lot trying to find work. Trying to get a foot in the door. Trying to make a connection somewhere.

Mostly, that didn't go so well.

I had a couple of interviews, I followed a couple of leads, but in the end, I found myself volunteering for a magazine, and volunteering for my uncle, and volunteering to give baseball lessons.

All of which I enjoyed, and I'm glad I did.

But none of those things got me any closer to my dreams and goals. Left far behind in the rear view were/are visions of a professional baseball career, or a job coaching at a college, sure. But that's fine. Those were the long shot, rock star dreams of youth.

These days, I still have a couple of dreams left.

Because of unemployment (and, uh, the complete stoppage of money being given to me), I had to shelf a comics project that I was really into, and that I thought would be fun and potentially profitable. At some point. Many years down the road. Still, I was getting into comics, I was self publishing, I was working with two incredibly talented artists, and I was doing it.

The workday went by as the workday often goes by, but the real work was happening when I got home. Creating, writing, talking and collaborating with artists and friends. Man, that was awesome.

Man, I'd like to do that again.

I've been burned twice in the last six months. One I expected, the other I definitely did not. But, like Eddie Brock said in that issue of Ultimate Spider-Man:

"It's all just training wheels, man. It all fades away. When real life starts--when real life starts you'll know it. Trust me."


Hopefully I still have a couple of tricks left up my sleeve.

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Thanks for listening, everyone. Enjoy the weekend!


Scott said...

A nice baseball article about Dallas Braden, the guy everyone has started to get interested in. I thought it was particularly nice because not only is it well-written, but it's a piece about one of the "littler guys."

Looking forward to more baseball blogs from you!

AJG said...

Thanks, Scott!

More baseball stuff coming--I promise!