As my graduate school career draws to a close this summer (at least for now, as I’m undecided right now about going for a PhD), I’m faced with the wretched game of job hunting.
It makes me sick to my stomach.
Not because I hate the process, which seems to be why most people hate it (as a writer, I find that cover letters are not really intimidating), and not because I’m scared that I won’t find a job quickly. The latter is really almost a given. I’m in the library science field and let me tell you, the job scene is downright pathetic. There are jobs but each one has 100+ people applying for it, no matter how specialized (and my specialization is very, very specialized).
No, what scares me is that I will get a job.
Writers having day jobs they hate is a time honored tradition, of course. And I’ve certainly lived through some pretty shitty job situations, so I’m not scared of the work or the hours or a low pay grade. I’ve done it in the past, I can do it again.
This time, though, I’ve got other things to live for. My past…well, let’s just describe it as a rollercoaster to nowhere. It was exciting at times, and there were definitely low points, but in the end it was not a life I wanted to keep living. I needed something more than just having a job to pay for a cheap apartment and going to the club on the weekends; I needed a passion, a reason to get up in the morning.
I went to grad school thinking that was IT, that working in the library science field was the answer. But at the same time, I got some M/M stories published. That started on a dare, really, but then I had a website and reviews and multiple titles and fans and…
And I realized that I love working in library science, it’s a great hobby.
But I’m a writer, and that is the life I want to live.
Recently a fellow librarian wrote about her own experiences “finding her joy” and it really resonated with me. Her post, “Eight Months Later” is about her finding a job again after quitting her old job to rearrange her priorities. Her comment about not wanting to work full time is a perfect description of what I want: a good part time job that covers the basic bills, so I can so the things that give me purpose. I have so much to do, writing and more, that I want to do that I simply will not be able to accomplish with a full-time job.
That is something you don’t hear people say, here in the States, very often. We are a workaholic culture and that centers around having a job. But nope, not for me. I don’t want a job. I want a passion, a purpose, a reason for getting out of bed that has nothing to do with a damn paycheck.
Money is important, don’t get me wrong. I like paying the bills. I’m horrifically in debt due to student loans and my cat needs food and veterinary care. It’s not my plan to be irresponsible.
My plan, though, is to live life on my own terms. I’ve finally reached the stage where that is non-negotiable.