Monday, May 17, 2010

Degrees to Get Your Hired? Don't You Want More?

"Life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it."

I keep seeing these ads on my Yahoo and Hotmail pages that are linked to articles; Get a Degree That Will Get You Hired-1o jobs that need people now. . .blah blah blah. They are all the same.

Here is my question to you. Don't you want more out of life than just being hired? What is wrong in the world today that just having a job is enough? I have been out of work many times since I choose to work in a creative, unsteady-you'll always be poor-it isn't a real job-career, so I understand the need for work, anything that will get you by. But to set the goal to just have a job that you won't lose? That makes me sad.

In fact this is the most depressing thing I have read all year. It is asking us to settle for something less than extraordinary and why would we do that?

Do you want to work your whole life in a job you hate and on your death bed have nothing but 40 years of misery behind you? I mean, isn't your life worth more than that?

I have this friend who always plays it safe, in fact her big "risking" it question is whether or not to stop working overtime at her job, and it makes me so sad because this person is an artist. She came out to California to be an artist but it was so beat into their head that she must have a steady reliable job that she has given up on her dream. She also is always reminding everyone that she owns property and has a real job. Especially me, who works and gets paid to draw. Yeah, I don't own property, but I do own my life and I'm not working 9-5 at a job I don't love just to get a paycheck.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with being responsible, but to give up on what you want, just to get a paycheck? That is depressing.

My father used to say, "Work is a necessary evil" because he hated to work. I once asked him what he loved to do, and he said, "Hunt and fish, hike in the woods". I then asked him, "What if you could be paid to do that?" My point is, I LOVE what I do for a living. I wouldn't change it for anything, especially not just a paycheck.

People work their whole lives and save for retirement so they have time to do what I do for a living. Yes it is unstable, but it is also exciting. I never know where I am going to be working, or where I will be living, and it is that which keeps me young, vibrant and creative.

Would I like a steady paycheck? Sure, but it has to be doing something I love, because life is short and I don't want to have regrets. When my mother left my father I learned that I should never stay in a relationship that is just mediocre. Anybody can get married, but to be married to someone you love and are happy with is a different story-but I digress. When she was dying she regretted giving up her painting for steady work. She still worked as an artist, but she had a commercial art job and she lost herself in that. A few months before she died she told me that she couldn't believe that she stopped painting, and "screw it", she was going to go back to that. Unfortunately she died before she could make the change.

Whenever I am stressed out about money, I remember that and I ask myself, "If I am on my death bed tomorrow, will I have regrets about my career?" The answer is no.

I have gotten a lot of slack from family and some friends. "Grow up, get a real job, you don't have a real career, that little writing thing you do" etc., etc.. I have heard it all.

I don't want to grow up. Being a kid was great. Do you remember laughing so hard your side hurt? Do you remember running around like nothing mattered? Do you remember dreaming about the future? Why are people so intent on forgetting that part of our lives?

I am responsible, I pay my bills, I pay my taxes, I donate time and money to the community, I am an adult, but I don't have a boring job that is reliable, because I want to enjoy my time on this planet.

So next time you see one of those articles and if you are out of work and are thinking about it, really ask yourself if you want to settle?

In Titanic Rose's mother asks Jack if he finds his "meaningless existence" acceptable and he says this:

"Well, yes, ma'am, I do... I mean, I got everything I need right here with me. I got air in my lungs, a few blank sheets of paper. I mean, I love waking up in the morning not knowing what's gonna happen or, who I'm gonna meet, where I'm gonna wind up. Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it. You don't know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you... to make each day count."

I would rather be Jack than Cal.

Jack dies knowing he was always happy. Cal kills himself when he loses his money because having money was all he knew. Can you imagine that? It's just money and you can't take it with you.

Just sayin'


  1. Exactly what I've been saying! I love to write and act, and it's what I want to do for a living one day. But even if I never become ultra rich and famous, I don't care. There just aren't any other career options I'm interested in. I'm one of those people who can only do an excellent job if I have passion for what it is I'm doing; and you cannot fake passion. I'm simply not cut out for a "normal" profession; I have to do something that taps into my creativity or I feel completely lost. Therefore I will happily turn down a steady job with a reliable income for one that which gives me joy.

    Keep the awesomeness comin', Ms. Olivieri.

  2. Yay! Me too! Thanks for posting! :0)