I’m officially unemployed! Well, not quite. Today and tomorrow will be paid to me as vacation, but after that, I will be officially unemployed! It feels weird to not have a job again, perhaps weirdest that I’m not reacting in the way I did when I was laid off that one time (sobbing, dry-heaving, panic attacks). While I don’t remember the main topic of conversation anymore, when I was a kid, my mother and I were talking about something and she said that we come from a family where no one is ever unemployed, because no one ever leaves a job without having something – some source of income, support, or insurance against poverty – in place. Which has been mostly true for my entire working life, although this time, I actually planned to be unemployed. I knew in advance that I would drift across the country without an immediate means of income and remain that way for an indefinite period of time.
This doesn’t scare me as much as I thought it would. I mean, there are times when I’m just about to go to sleep and my eyes snap open when I remember that I need more money always, but for the most part, I know that I have these savings just sitting there since it turns out that I’m not going to buy a house by myself. I’m not saving for a wedding. I’m not trying to put any kids through college. Although I’ll never be the kind of person who says “what’s the use of having money if you’re not spending it,” in this case, well, yeah. It’s there. I have the opportunity. Might as well spend it. Some of it.
It helps that I have some interviews lined up both before and after I arrive in Seattle, and that I haven’t forgotten the old discipline of waking up, making coffee, and spending a couple of hours applying for jobs. This and the packing, planning, and thinking about driving are keeping my brain on a steady diet of worry and logistical functions, too, which might be helping to keep any unemployment-related panic on a barely-recognized simmer. It’s still there, of course, but it’s always been there, even when I’ve been employed. Anyone who grows up poor and doesn’t have that back burner just percolating away doesn’t make any sense to me, because what else are you doing with your quiet time, you fucking hippie?
Since today was kind-of-sort-of the first day of my unemployment, I slept late. Like, really late. For me. Graham had to kiss a mostly sleeping Me goodbye when he went to work in the morning, which hasn’t happened for about ever. Then I made coffee, applied for some jobs, had a phone interview, scheduled a Skype interview for tomorrow, and posted a bed frame and a dining room table on Craigslist, which led to some unintentionally hilarious e-mails and subsequent Facebook-searching of the most idiotic-sounding people. And then, because I like to waste time instead of spending it packing whole boxes, I searched the Craigslist furniture section for awhile and contemplated telling certain posters how delusional they were, and how “beautiful” was a word they were using very liberally.
I’ve now packed exactly ¼ of a box and haven’t the slightest idea of what to pack next. My father is picking me up for dinner in less than an hour, after which time I have to come home and wait for Jennah to buy some coffee tables from me and maybe finally pack another box for a grand total of not even two for the day. How am I supposed to be moving, again?
“Anyone who grows up poor and doesn’t have that back burner just percolating away doesn’t make any sense to me, because what else are you doing with your quiet time, you fucking hippie?”=WHEN is your book coming out? Because while your required reading list is awesome, what I need are multiple chapters filled with sentences like this. You rock.