It is an unfortunate fact of life that most of us mere mortals need jobs. I, unfortunately, am one of these individuals. Bills need to be paid, food needs to get purchased and eaten, and that Cath Kidston bag needs to find itself in my arms. I work so that I can survive and enjoy little luxuries along the way.
I recently graduated with a master's degree in history, but guess what, historians don't make millions and unfortunately, finding a job with history degree needs some determination, imagination, and luck. I guess I've always known this. The decision I made to go to university was instinctual. I wanted to read and learn, to wear tweed and be lost among the book racks late at night like all the historians I saw growing up on documentaries as a child, like the characters in the stories of M.R. James. I never really concerned myself with what would happen after I was done with school.
This is the first time I am out of school with no immediate plans to return to school. It is October now and I miss it already. I miss the late, late nights where I listened to jazz lost in the 18th century England or Rupert's Land. Now, like many others with liberal arts educations, I do not have employment pertinent to my studies. No book racks, no dusty documents, no late nights writing. (But tweed and elbow patches I still wear.)
I'm currently turning over the thought that a career does not define the person. Without realizing, I'd for years believed that a person's career defined them. How North American white middle class of me. I'm part of the generation that was told they could do anything and frankly, to a certain extent, we can. I'd come to believe to do anything less than our absolute best was failure. Technically, I know I COULD be a lawyer, though I'm not particularly inclined to become one. Is this failure? Could I sacrifice my nerves and free time to dedicate myself to gaining a higher pay check? These thoughts also apply to our desire for all things material. We feel entitled to have everything bright shiny and new right away. Nothing is ever good enough. I think most of us have forgotten how a few generations ago people didn't have credit as we do. No cash? Do nothin'. I'm not poor by any means and so I should stop feeling like I'm poor. Poor is not being able to afford food. Nevertheless, it seems that many of us feel that we're poor if we can't get what we want when we want it. This includes (included?) myself.
I've begun looking at the world beyond the nine to five. No, my job isn't what I ever dreamed of having, but I think it supports my dreams in another way. It won't be able to pay for those Louboutin shoes or that trip to England I've dreamt of, but I do have my English Breakfast tea with too much milk and Oscar Wilde's short stories.
So, really, this post is about the fact I'm in the process of grasping two thoughts:
A person's imagination is their ticket to freedom.
Dreaming is free.