Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fearing my newfound freedom

I’m not sure if I should tell you what I’m doing right now.

By law I should be enthusiastically seeking employment. Maybe I should be in the gym. There is even a possibility I should be moping around my house feeling sorry for myself.

I’m not sure if I should tell you what I’m doing right now, because if I was at work and was doing what I’m doing right now it would have made me spitefully jealous.

So what am I doing? Aside from nothing, I’m drinking a pitcher of $3.25 beer. I’m watching this girl with a fedora drinking a diet coke at the establishment I’ve ended dozens of drunken nights. I’m typing this nonsense with a half smile on my face.

I’ve been granted an excess of free time. For the first time in my life I don’t know for sure what I’ll be doing tomorrow, next week, next year. And without a concrete decision I’ll continue to do nothing. My singular goal through this process is to avoid falling into something. I want to pursue something – a volunteer position, a job, a business – but I don’t want to happen upon the next thing that can sustain me comfortably.

Undefined amounts of free time are somewhat of a curse. Society, both fairly and unfairly, frowns on idleness. This principle has been ground into my brain. So I’m making lists, driving around town doing research, and begrudgingly checking job boards.

If someone calls I make a point of mentioning no less than three things that I’ve completed that day. If someone asks what I’m doing tomorrow, I’m likely to give them a dozen imperative tasks.

However, all too often I’m doing these things without happiness. I don’t pretend to think that there is a career out there that I will enjoy every day, but there is surely something I will be proud of. Right now I’m hoping that something involves me revolutionizing the Atlanta popsicle scene, but I’m ok with other equally important undertakings for which I’m capable.

Surely there is a future for a hybrid journalist/product manager with a gift for flipping the most perfect omelets.

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