I embark on a whole new career tomorrow. Well, not entirely new, but certainly different.
I start working again. After 17 very long months of arduous unemployment; after submitting application and resume after application and resume, I finally landed a job that was literally handed to me. It’s not an ideal job by any means. It’s a part-time job that pays part time wages even though it’ll force me to work 40 hours a week. No benefits and it’s about a 50-mile round trip five days a week.
I’ll be doing PR and writing for an institute of higher learning here in the Houston area. But in spite of its unsavory aspects, I’m grateful to have this job. I really am.
I am grateful for a lot of things actually. I’m grateful for my presence of mind.
You see, I’ve just survived a very bleak period in my life. As I’ve said here on this very blog, I’ve described it as the best worst year I’ve ever had. It was rife with negatives but strewn with life lessons. To begin with. abject joblessness wore thin. Very, very thin. I lost my job on the afternoon of Halloween of 2008 and in that time, I fell on fiscal hard times. I’m broke and I turned 50. I had my heart shattered by one man this summer and before Christmas, I managed to finally exorcise myself from the death grip another had on me for 38 years.
Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear, and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.”– Zora Neale Hurston (1903 – 1960)
Did I suffer? Perhaps not, but it weren’t no picnic. Consequently, I gained by losing. I now live with a piece of me missing, but it’s OK. I don’t look at the void and sigh with a fondness for temps perdu. When finally removed, one rarely ever misses a huge, protruding tumor. Even if benign, it’s still emotionally cancerous just by its mere presence.
Removal is key
And that’s what we humans do. We live by shedding. Cells of our dermis first and foremost. Hairs from our head. Then it’s ideals and mindsets; then jobs..maybe we let go of a few people along the way. Even friendships have endings. We have to let go of the past to make way for present–be it good or bad.
By some accounts, I could be construed as having had a privileged upbringing. Physically, I never lacked for anything. But having tangible stuff doesn’t a whole life make. I’ve worked (by choice) since I was 16. I’ve supported myself since 19 and spent 72K of my money (thank you, capitalism) to major in journalism, only to graduate and go forth in a world that would allow me to work in broadcasting sporadically.
Had I known that broadcasting would become so unstable because of deregulation, I would’ve majored in anything else. Art History. Gum wrapper making. Tiddly-wiking. I gave up on TV years ago. Radio was harder to relinquish (I loved it because it was easier abnd I didn’t have to wear hose or make-up), but now, I have no choice. It’s a dying medium and doing so right before my very ears. Radio is one of a few topics that can instaneously bring a tear to my eye. It saddens me greatly.
I saw the movie, “Up In The Air” recently. George Clooney plays a professional employment terminator who flies from corporation to corporation to fire employees. In one scene he told a man losing his desk job of 27 years to change his perspective. He worked to live; he didn’t live to work. This pencil pushing gig was a paycheck, not his passion. Clooney then asked him what his dream job was. The man thought for a second and replied, “I’ve always wanted to cook. Ever since I was a little boy I dreamed of being a chef!”
Well, that’s fine and all, but what do you do if you were living and working your dream? I was. As a kid in single digits, I used to “play” broadcasting with anything that looked phalllic enough to be a microphone. I’d watch local news and saw myself as that reporter in the field and as the anchor in that chair.
I remember anchoring a 10pm newscast one night. I remember how the heat of the lights felt against my face, how the studio smelled. I remember looking into the lens of that huge, looming camera. I felt very fulfilled; very satisfied. It was everything I imagined it to be. I felt right. The envrionment felt natural. I was at home.
But that was 20 years ago. Everything has changed and it’s worse than you can even imagine. You might think, when driving in a remote stretch or through a tunnel, that the static you hear indicates a signal reception issue. No, the signal is fine. That’s just radio’s death rattle. Call a priest. Last rites. Put pennies on its eyelids. Throw it on a pyre.
Burn baby burn.
You can’t spell the word “remember” without embers. There’s something cerebral and heady in that, I just don’t know what it is.
What I’m trying to say is if that’s the case why keep fighting? Why try to force the issue by beating a dead horse and other platitudes. Sadly, radio is part of my past. It’s now packaged neatly next to dusty memories of a career in TV and my even dustier size 6 jeans.
Unless something amazing happens and the Earth’s axis tilts so that Jews and Arabs can lovingly share an ice cream cone and Big Corporate Radio sells AM and FM tandems back to Mom, and Pop so they can re-establish those nice, homey thousand-watters, I’ve shut off my mike and hung up my headphones forever.
And if the money should ever flow freely through the clogged arteries of my life once again, I will quit all aspects of the dreary 9 to 5 existence and I will write a book. Perhaps two books.
And you will buy my books because as I see it, you owe me. I’ve tried very hard to entertain you through this blog. I charged nothing–I only asked for your time and patience to muddle through the literary by-products of my lunacy. . I fully intended to make you laugh mostly and for sorbet, I tried to make you think with my self-serving drivel on occasions and at times, perhaps I’ve angered you. In fact, I know I did.
I wrote a post about my disregard for “thinness in society”. That drew ire.
I’ve made fun of Democrats relentlessly and I was often attacked as a result. Those who don’t share my negative zeal for Liberals can be very emotional when angered. The problem with that is, so can I.
I intentionally insulted young mothers who do nothing as their children kick, scream and wail in public.
I composed a graphic piece on the utter grossness of spider bites which all by itself, amassed something like 20-thousand hits in just over a week.
I expect this blog to reach one million hits by mid-June. That will be a few months after it turns three. I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a good run.
I convey all this to you because I don’t know what my days will be like in this new job venture. I can’t say whether I’ll be posting more often or less often–we’ll just have to see.
But whatever the scenario, please know that it’s been a pleasure serving you. This blog has kept me sane in moments of sheer insanity and you’ve put up with my strange sense of humor. You’ve coped with my non-sensical approach to verbiage where simpler words would’ve worked just as well and you’ve also strained your ocular muscles umpteen times as you rolled your eyes repeatedly why struggling through my self-indulgent identity crisesessesess.
You know…as in more than one crisis.
I will tell you that I’m seriously considering closing shop at the one million mark. That in and of itself is quite a feat for a single blogger if I say so myself, but when and if I ever stop blogging, you’ll know that will only mean the beginning of my book writing career.
Would you buy and read a book penned by me, Laurie Kendrick????
Aside from that query gentle readers, I do so appreciate your time. You rarely get told that for coming here as you do, especially when there are millions of other blogs out there. You make my blog appointment reading and the numbers don’t lie. You come here of your own accord, so the least I can do is make it worth your while, so thank you from the bottom of my enlarged heart.
And also, thank you for putting up with me and with my bullshit. Thanks for dealing with my mundane life that my literary shading makes so much livelier and of course, my very warped and strange sense of humor.
The reality is I have no boundaries. My life, with few exceptions, is an open book and you, lucky reader, you receive the benefit of reading about my sad, trauma-filled, maudlin existence. I mean, let’s face it–I’m horribly, terribly unlucky in love; I’m middle-aged, a bit bitter and barely employable. I’m depressed and pathological in so many different ways and all in all, one pretty fucked up bitch, but somehow through the muck and mire of it all, you like me.
You really like me.
And to be perfectly honest, I like you too.
Even my fellow assholes.
Here’s to the written word, ya’ll.